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Bush Admin. Covered Up Afghan Massacre
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) has issued a call for a criminal probe in the wake of a major New York Times story with new evidence that the Bush Administration impeded at least three federal investigations into alleged war crimes in Afghanistan in 2002.PHR is calling for the Department of Justice to investigate why the Bush Administration impeded an FBI criminal probe of the alleged Dasht-e-Leili massacre.According to US government documents obtained by PHR, as many as 2,000 surrendered Taliban fighters were reportedly suffocated in container trucks by Afghan forces operating jointly with the US in November 2001. The bodies were reportedly buried in mass graves in the Dasht-e-Leili desert near Sheberghan, Afghanistan. Notorious Afghan warlord General Abdul Rashid Dostum, who was reportedly on the CIA payroll, is allegedly responsible for the massacre.Physicians for Human Rights, which shared the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize, first documented the existence of the alleged mass grave in January 2002 and since then:
- Advocated for witnesses to be protected, the mass grave site to be secured, and for a full and impartial investigation;
- Conducted preliminary forensic investigations -- including exposing 15 remains and conducting three autopsies -- under UN auspices at Dasht-e-Leili;
- Successfully sued for compliance with a PHR Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the release of US government documents that reveal US intelligence knowledge of the magnitude of the alleged crime and awareness of the execution and torture of witnesses to the incidents;
- Helped identify the US chain of command likely responsible for impeding federal investigations into the alleged massacre;
- Discovered and reported on alleged tampering of the site; and
- Requested satellite image analysis by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) that appears to demonstrate that tampering occurred soon after PHR filed its FOIA request in June 2006.
- Secure the area with the assistance of ISAF (International Security Assistance Force-Afghanistan);
- Protect witnesses to the initial incident and the ensuing tampering; and
- Ensure a full investigation of remaining evidence at the site, including the tracing of the substantial amount of soil that appears to have been removed in 2006.
Issues: Mass Atrocities, War Crime in Afghanistan, Justice and Forensic Science, Death Investigations