MEDIA CONTACT: Mandy Simon, [email protected]
(WASHINGTON, DC) – According to media reports, Department of Defense will be releasing public report on its investigation into the U.S. bombing of a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan which killed 42 and injured 43, including medical staff and patients, in October 2015. The report allegedly describes the Defense Department’s internal investigation into the facts of the bombing and reveals that the resulting disciplinary actions were administrative, and not criminal.
“Amnesty International has long expressed serious concerns about the Department of Defense’s questionable track record of policing itself,” said Naureen Shah, director of Amnesty International USA’s Security With Human Rights program. “These reports demonstrate the need for an independent investigation, outside of the chain of command, to determine what happened in Kunduz and to assess potential criminal wrongdoing.”
“It is never acceptable to target hospitals under international law. To prevent the principles of international humanitarian law from being further eroded, the U.S. government must respect its obligation to independently investigate serious violations of international humanitarian law and ensure those responsible are prosecuted.”
“The decision to prosecute members of the armed forces for criminal conduct should be made by an independent prosecutor to avoid the conflict of interest inherent in allowing commanders to make such decisions. Until there is meaningful and systemic reform, Afghan victims of violations by US forces will be denied full justice.”
Amnesty International’s 2014 report Left In the Dark documents severe inadequacies in the U.S. military justice system in addressing allegations of violations of international humanitarian law and civilian deaths and injuries in Afghanistan.
Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning global movement of more than 7 million people who campaign for a world where human rights are enjoyed by all. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.