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HRW urges Afghanistan to prosecute captured militant leader Aslam Farooqi
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HRW urges Afghanistan to prosecute captured militant leader Aslam Farooqi

Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Monday that the Afghan government should bring war crime charges against captured militant leader Aslam Farooqi for his alleged role in directing attacks against civilians in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan’s intelligence agency, the National Directorate of Security, announced on Saturday that they had arrested Farooqi. Farooqi is the leader of the Islamic State of Khorasan Province (ISKP) and an affiliate of the Islamic State (ISIS). ISKP has been responsible for numerous attacks, including mosque bombings and an attack on a Sikh temple, that have killed or injured thousands of civilians.

While Afghanistan incorporated war crimes and crimes against humanity as part of its 2017 Penal Code, there have not yet been any prosecutions under these laws. According to HRW, Afghanistan has a “poor record in bringing individuals implicated in human rights abuses and war crimes to justice.”

Patricia Gossman, Associate Asia Director for HRW, has said:

Afghanistan owes it to the victims to carry out a credible prosecution and fair trial of Aslam Farooqi and others accused of serious crimes. The pursuit of justice is essential if Afghanistan is to bring an end to such violence.

HRW urged that Farooqi should be given a “fair trial in accordance with international human rights standards,” which includes ensuring that victims and witnesses to ISKP attacks could testify.