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Ghani urged to denounce remarks of Army chief

Ghani urged to denounce remarks of Army chief

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Jun 30, 2015 - 10:39

WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): US-based Human Rights Watch on Tuesday urged President Ashraf Ghani to denounce remarks by the chief of the army offering soldiers protection from punishment for war crimes.

Ghani, who is commander-in-chief of the Afghan armed forces, should recommit the country’s security forces to respect the laws of war and put commanders on notice that suggesting otherwise will subject them to disciplinary measures, the human rights body said.

“President Ghani should state clearly that abiding by the laws of war is a legal requirement, not a policy option,” said Phelim Kine, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

He said that “commanders who reject the laws of war not only unnecessarily risk the lives of civilians and their own troops, but also make themselves subject to prosecution for war crimes.”

Kine demanded that foreign donors assisting the Afghan military should make it clear that their support depends on minimizing harm to civilians and holding violators to account. “Afghanistaninfo-icon’s donors need to press the military to end abuses or they may find themselves complicit in future atrocities,” he said.

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