PHR has been investigating human rights violations in Afghanistan since 1998, when it first focused on the abuses of women under the rule of the Taliban. Today, PHR continues to call for a full investigation into an alleged massacre of as many as 2,000 Taliban prisoners who surrendered in November 2001 to US and Afghan forces and are believed to have been buried in the desert of Dasht-e-Leili.
PHR has also investigated the abuses of detainees captured in Afghanistan during the war on terror and continues to call for accountability of those who authorized and carried out the abuse.
Our expertise in forensics is helping the government of Afghanistan and civil society work together to investigate mass atrocities in order to heal the nation and create a more stable society.
As U.S.-Afghanistan Sign Troop Deal, CIA-Backed Warlord Behind Massacre of 2,000 POWs Sworn-In as VP (Democracy Now, September 30, 2014)
Afghanistan has inaugurated its first new president in a decade, swearing in Ashraf Ghani to head a power-sharing government. Joining him on stage Monday was Abdul Rashid Dostum, Afghanistan’s new vice president. Dostum is one of Afghanistan’s most notorious warlords, once described by Ghani himself as a "known killer." Dostum’s rise to the vice presidency comes despite his involvement in a 2001 massacre that killed up to 2,000 Taliban prisoners of war.
PHR Responds to White House Comment on Reported Afghan Massacre (July 31, 2013)
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) today responded to a White House official’s remarks indicating the conclusion of its investigation into the 2001 incident at Dasht-e-Leili that may have claimed as many as 2,000 lives.
White House Closes Inquiry Into Afghan Massacre – and Will Release No Details (ProPublica, July 31, 2013)
Soon after taking office, President Obama pledged to open a new inquiry into the deaths of perhaps thousands of Taliban prisoners of war at the hands of U.S.-allied Afghan fighters in late 2001. Last month, the White House told ProPublica it was still “looking into” the apparent massacre. Now it says it has concluded its investigation – but won’t make it public.
Four Years Ago Obama Promised to Investigate Afghan Massacre. Has Anything Happened Since? (ProPublica, June 4, 2013)
In his first year in office, President Barack Obama pledged to “collect the facts” on the death of hundreds, possibly thousands, of Taliban prisoners of war at the hands of U.S.-allied Afghan forces in late 2001. Almost four years later, there’s no sign of progress. When asked by ProPublica about the state of the investigation, the White House says it is still “looking into” the apparent massacre.
A Time for Truth in Afghanistan (August 19, 2014)
Afghans have endured injustice for decades. Victims languish in an environment where abuses are committed with impunity, fueling resentment and the country’s conflict itself.
Psychologists Must Stand by their Ethical Obligations (August 11, 2014)
American psychologists designed and oversaw the brutal regime of interrogation used on detainees in U.S. military custody at Abu Ghraib, Guantánamo Bay, and elsewhere during the U.S. war on terror; but the profession has yet to punish any psychologist who participated in torture or to fully distance itself from this legacy.
Science and Justice in Afghanistan (April 27, 2012)
With the backing of PHR, the Afghanistan Forensic Science Organization (AFSO) was officially launched in Kabul on March 7, 2012. The AFSO was created by eighteen participants of PHR’s 2010 forensic training program in Afghanistan, and funded through PHR’s International Forensic Program.
On 10 Year Anniversary of ‘Convoy of Death’, President Obama Must Keep His Promise to Investigate (December 20, 2011)
This December marks the 10-year anniversary of the “Convoy of Death.” During Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, 2,000 prisoners who had surrendered to the US and the Afghan Northern Alliance were shot or suffocated to death in sealed truck containers while being transferred by Northern Alliance forces. The dead prisoners – some of who had been tortured - were then buried in a mass grave in a northern Afghanistan desert at Dasht-e-Leili.
Annual Report 2013 (June 2014)
Physicians for Human Rights' 2013 Annual Report provides a comprehensive overview of our work between July 2012 and June 2013 (PHR’s fiscal year).
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) joins seven other organizations in calling on President Obama and the White House staff to lead the declassification process of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) report on the CIA’s detention and interrogation program. The letter emphasizes that the United States must reckon with the past in order to prevent torture in the future. Releasing the committee’s report is a foundational step in that process.
PHR's report outlines steps that Afghanistan can take if it is to make progress in addressing the right to truth of victims of more than three decades of violent conflict by identifying missing and disappeared persons.
PHR calls on President Obama launch a probe into the alleged Dasht-e-Leili massacre and its cover-up by the Bush Administration.