Junbish party rejects HRW report on abuses in Faryab
KABUL (Pajhwok): Junbish-i-Milli Islami Afghanistan (JMIA), the party led by First Vice-President Abdul Rashid Dostum, on Monday rejected a Human Rights Watch (HRW) report accusing its members of killings and other abuses.
In a report released a day earlier, HRW said the Junbish militia was involved in killings and other abuses of civilians in northern Faryab province in late June 2016.
The watchdog said it had interviewed the villagers in the aftermath of the attack, asking the Afghan government to prosecute those involved.
President Ashraf Ghani has reportedly ordered an investigation into attacks by the Junbish militia, and has detained some militia members allegedly involved, the HRW report said.
“The killings in Faryab are the latest in a long record of atrocities by Dostum’s militia forces,” said Patricia Gossman, senior Afghanistan researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The fact that these forces, and Vice-President Dostum himself, have never been held accountable, has undermined security in northern Afghanistan.”
But the Junbish party in a statement said “we appreciate any kind of impartial investigations, but we reject accusations based on discrimination.”
The party statement said operations conducted in Faryab province were aimed to rescue the province from falling to Taliban.
The JIMA said the operation in Dawlatabad district was also aimed to drive militants who were arresting and torturing civilians and were blocking roads and attacking Afghan forces.
The Junbish party said the HRW report contained unreal and unofficial contents and was far from truth and ignored sacrifices rendered by the Afghan forces.
“Our and the government policy is to protect people and ensure security in any part of the country,” the statement said.
The statement called as unfortunate and natural civilian casualties occurring during clashes with militants. It said the Afghan forces played leading role in clearing Faryab of Taliban.
The party said HRW should have first shared its report with the government before making it public.
“Information in this report is provided by biased people and it will damage HRW’s neutrality, we want clear evidence from HRW about the claims,” the statement sai.
The HRW report comes as Afghan forces and upraising groups loyal to Dostum have launched joint operations in Faryab, Jawzjan and Sar-i-Pul provinces under Dostum command over the past few months.
A month back, residents of Dawlatabad district complained militiamen loyal to Dostum killed nine civilians and arrested a large number of others.
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