The Afghanistan Justice Project

October 28th, 2004

The Afghanistan Justice Project, established by Human Rights Watch and staffed with non-Afghans and Afghans from the entire spectrum of the country’s major ethnic groups, has published its first report on war crimes and and crimes against humanity committed by all of the parties to the conflict during the wars in Afghanistan, 1978 – 2001.

The AJP’s statement to this enterprise is:
“The objective of the project is to provide needed documentation for Afghans about the crimes of the past so that if there comes a time when Afghans want to pursue justice or a reconciliation process, the means to establish an objective historical record will be available.”

Inasmuch as the report condems present members of the Afghan government as responsible for war crimes, many of the Afghans taking part in the AJP – in fear of retaliation – have decided to stay unknown to the public. This first report concentrates on the time-period 1992 – 2001.

Now that the “democratically” elected administration has the tool (the AJP) to bring these criminals to justice, it is highly unlikely that President Karzai will utilize it – as evidenced by Karzai’s hasty decision to have Abdullah Shah – a former commander of the Wahabbi-group of Abdul Rasul Sayyaf – executed after a dubious, but speedy trial. Karzai simply executing a witness to these crimes leaves me exploring conspiracies. While admitting his guilt without neither remorse or a fight for his innocence, he could have taken part in identifying some of those that committed or ordered the subject atrocities. Shah’s admission and assistance could have assisted in bringing down some of those mass murderers.

Now, please tell me how fruitful the elimination of the Wahabbi-influenced Taliban was when we have the cause of the Taliban’s rise sitting in top governmental positions?

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