Rights Group to US: Watch Whom You're Dealing With in Afghanistan
Some commanders in the Afghan anti-Taliban opposition in contact with the United States are guilty of brutality abuses, Human Rights Watch (HRW), a US-based rights organization, said Saturday.
"The US and its allies should not cooperate with commanders whose record of brutality raises questions about their legitimacy inside Afghanistan," the director of the organization's Asia branch, Sidney Jones, said in a statement.
HRW said there had been reports from nearly two years ago of executions, looting, arson and of children being drafted into the opposition Northern Alliance.
The opposition, which has rebaptized itself the United Front, was also guilty of killing civilians between 1992 and 1996, it said.
The United States is working to support a change of regime in Afghanistan, but has stopped short of publicly saying it wants to topple the Taliban ruling militia or giving its blessing to the United Front as the Taliban's possible successor.
In a separate statement released Friday, HRW warned the US government to take into account rights violations in Tajikistan, one of Afghanistan's northern neighbors.
HRW said Tajikistan, a former Soviet republic, had conducted rigged elections, repressed the media, allowed abuses by security forces and persecuted religious groups - WASHINGTON (AFP)
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