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Government can’t rely on ISAF report into civilian casulties

23 March 2017

Amnesty International says New Zealand
Government can’t rely on the ISAF report into civilian casualties in Afghanistan

Amnesty International’s Grant Bayldon says the New Zealand
Government must act now to swiftly launch an independent inquiry into allegations of civilian deaths in Afghanistan.

Bayldon said today, “The New Zealand Government can’t
rely on the veracity of the ISAF report as they’re currently doing. We have documented instances of ISAF reaching incorrect findings in their reports and have also raised concerns about their ability, as military forces, to conduct an impartial investigation
into military conduct.”

In just one example from 2013, ISAF reacted in the media to reports of civilian casualties
caused by a drone strike. After initially saying that it killed “10 enemy forces” and that there were “no signs of civilians in the vicinity”, it later acknowledged that three civilians were killed. A United Nations investigation found that 10 civilians were
killed.

In a 2014 report Amnesty International noted, “A key requirement
of a good investigation is that those responsible for carrying out the investigation are independent of those implicated in the alleged crimes...Other indicators of good investigations include taking witness statements in a timely fashion, protecting witnesses
from violence or intimidation, and drafting detailed written reports of findings that are made public within a reasonable time.”

/ENDS

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