HRW cites evidence of Afghanistan war crimes in calling for sanctions against Defense Minister
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HRW cites evidence of Afghanistan war crimes in calling for sanctions against Defense Minister

Human Rights Watch (HRW) called Saturday for its major donor nations to issue sanctions against Asadullah Khalid, the Defense Minister of Afghanistan, pointing to “[c]redible evidence of serious human rights abuses and war crimes” that have accumulated “throughout [Khalid’s] government career.”

HRW cited 2007 internal Canadian documents describing Khalid’s human rights violations as “numerous and consistent.” The violations described in the documents were Khalid’s alleged involvement in enforced disappearances, holding people in a private prison under his palace, and the 2007 killing of five UN workers.

On top of the Canadian documents, HRW cited “strong evidence directly implicating Khalid in acts of sexual violence against women and girls when he was governor of Ghazni and Kandahar,” between 2002—2008.

HRW called for the US and Canada to utilize their authority under their respective “Magnitsky laws” to issue sanctions on “any foreign official against whom there is credible evidence of responsibility for serious human rights abuses.” Additionally, HRW made a plea to the EU and other donor nations to “impose similar sanctions” in order to “send a clear message that returning a known human rights abuser to a position of authority is simply unacceptable.”