Afghanistan: UN condemns police killings of student demonstrators

Afghanistan: UN condemns police killings of student demonstrators

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) today condemned a recent police action in the country which left two student demonstrators dead and at least 15 wounded.

A spokesman for UNAMA chief Lakhdar Brahimi said the shootings were “in no way justified by considerations of either self-defence by the police or public safety.”

According to the Mission, the demonstrations took place against the background of difficult conditions prevailing at Kabul University.

Spokesman Manoel de Almeida e Silva called on the Afghan authorities to launch an official investigation of the incident and to punish those found responsible.

“UNAMA deeply regrets the loss of life and presents its sincere condolences to the families of the victims,” he said, extending wishes of prompt recovery to the injured students.

On another security-related matter, the spokesman voiced concern over “credible reports” of disturbing incidents relating to the prospect of an investigation into the mass graves of Dasht-i-Leili. He cited harassment, arbitrary detention, torture and extrajudicial execution against Afghans who are believed to be in possession of information relating to the circumstances surrounding Dasht-i-Leili.

The Mission has raised its concerns with the government authorities and with General Abdul Rashid Dostum, a faction leader in the north who has pledged to cooperate with an immediate investigation currently being conducted jointly by UNAMA and the Afghan Human Rights Commission.