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.
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In December 2001, Afghanistan’s Northern Alliance, with strong US backing consisting of special-forces units and CIA paramilitary operatives, were close to consolidating their control over the country. Then, in the north, as many as 2,000 prisoners who had surrendered to the Alliance or their American supporters were apparently shot to death or suffocated in sealed metal truck containers while being transferred to Afghanistan’s Sheberghan prison.
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PHR is calling on President Obama to act on his promise to investigate the massacre of at least 2,000 suspected Taliban prisoners of war that occurred 10 years ago in Afghanistan. The prisoners were allegedly shot to death or suffocated in sealed metal truck containers at Dasht-e-Leili while being held by the US-backed Afghan Northern Alliance.
In a letter dated December 9, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) asked President Obama to make good on his promise to investigate the massacre of prisoners by the Northern Alliance, US allies.
Hans Hogrefe, PHR’s Chief Policy Officer and Washington Director, will be honored by the Stewart Mott Foundation and the Open Society Foundation for his contributions to human rights.