Report Blasts US Over Afghan Civilian Deaths
Amnesty International says US failed to properly investigate civilian killings and possible war crimes in Afghanistan .
The US failed to properly investigate civilian killings, including possible war crimes, which occurred during its military operations in Afghanistan , rights group Amnesty International has said .
Left in the Dark , a report by the group published on Monday , focused on 10 incidents between 2009 and 2013 that it said involved the deaths of 140 civilians during US military operations.
” The US military’ s investigative and prosecutorial practices fall far short of what is needed to ensure accountability for alleged crimes against civilians, ” the report said .
” In numerous cases in which there is credible evidence of unlawful killings of civilians, the military has failed to conduct prompt, thorough and impartial investigations. “
Most of the incidents investigated by Amnesty involved airstrikes and night raids carried out by US forces – both of which are tactics condemned in Afghanistan by citizens and the government .
The US has previously come under fire from the Afghan government for not taking enough care to prevent the deaths of civilians.
Defense Department spokeswoman Navy Cmdr Amy Derrick- Frost told Al Jazeera US forces go to extraordinary lengths to avoid civilian casualties .
” The Department of Defense takes seriously all credible reports of civilian deaths and injuries. We hold ourselves to high standards of conduct and accountability , ” she said .
” In those instances in which civilians have been killed or injured , after -action reviews have been conducted to determine why, and to ensure that we are taking the most effective steps to minimise the risk of civilians being killed or injured in the future .”
Amnesty said the vast majority of family members it interviewed said they had never been interviewed by US military investigators.
” None of the cases that we looked into , involving more than 140 civilian deaths , were prosecuted by the US military, ” Richard Bennett , Amnesty International ‘ s Asia Pacific Director, said in a statement .
” Evidence of possible war crimes and unlawful killings has seemingly been ignored .”