Afghan Rights Report Kept Secret to Shield Political Leaders

Many in the US-supported Afghan leadership are implicated in mass killings, torture and other crimes

A recent report detailing various atrocities committed over the years in Afghanistan is being kept secret because it implicates current political leaders in the US-supported government in Kabul in major crimes and killings on a mass scale.

The 800-page report, based on six years of research by a team of 40 researchers and the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), covers Afghanistan’s bloody, war-torn history from 1978-2001. Many of the leaders the US helped put in power in recent years were warlords in the 1990s and apparently don’t want to be exposed for the crimes they’ve committed.

The report covers evidence of 180 mass graves, killings of civilians and prisoners, arbitrary arrests, forced disappearances, destruction of towns and villages, etc.

Afghanistan’s vice president, Marshal Muhammad Qasim Fahim, was listed among the many Afghan warlords linked to the mass killings of fighters and civilians from 1992 to 1996. He and others within the Afghan government are not only lobbying to keep the report secret, but they advised President Hamid Karzai to dismiss the official who commissioned the report.

This kind of lack of transparency and impunity for Afghanistan’s criminal leadership is illustrative of the kind of society the US has bestowed upon Afghanistan over the past decade of military occupation and nation building.

In fact, they seem to be taking a card out of the US government playbook. Interesting that the report doesn’t detail the history of conflict in Afghanitsan after 2001, when the Americans invaded. Afghan casualties only started to be counted in 2007, so there is a huge gap in knowledge about what when on in the first years of the US war.

Similarly, the US political and military leadership has recently come under scrutiny for trying to stall investigation of and hide the horrible abuse of Afghan patients at a US-funded hospital in the Dawood National Military Hospital in Afghanistan. There, patients nearly starved to death and received such poor medical care that their conditions worsened while in the hospital (see here for more information on the “Horror Hospital” WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES).

Author: John Glaser

John Glaser writes for