Probe into illegal executions in Afghanistan urged by UN human rights expert

Probe into illegal executions in Afghanistan urged by UN human rights expert

Reacting to reports of innocent civilians being killed in Afghanistan, a United Nations human rights expert has called for the investigation of these crimes and the prosecution of those responsible.

Asma Jahangir, the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, released a statement in Geneva citing evidence "clearly indicating that large numbers of unarmed civilians have been and are still being killed extrajudicially by Taliban forces and other warring factions." The statement, issued on Thursday, said this evidence supported credible reports of such atrocities that had been filtering out of Afghanistan in recent years.

"There is now an urgent need to ensure that these crimes are promptly and independently investigated, with a view to bringing those responsible to justice without delay," said Ms. Jahangir. "There can be no impunity for these widespread and systematic killings, which may amount to crimes against humanity."

The Special Rapporteur also emphasized that a sustainable and just peace in Afghanistan could only be achieved if those responsible grave human rights violations were held accountable for their crimes in trials that conformed to international human rights standards.