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Afghanistan: Mazar-I-Sharif Inquiry Latest

* News Release Issued by the International Secretariat of Amnesty International *

29 November 2001

Following reports that Amnesty International has been invited, by the United Front, to investigate the killings of hundreds of prisoners and others within Qala-i-Jhangi, a fort on the outskirts of Mazar-i-Sharif, the organization has said that it is ready to consider sending an observer to monitor an inquiry and to suggest forensic and other experts for it.

However, Amnesty International reiterated that the primary responsibility for such an inquiry and for ensuring that it is fair, thorough and in line with international standards, lies with those who had custody of the prisoners and were directly involved in this incident -- the United Front, the United States and the United Kingdom. The organization also called for the results of an inquiry to be made public.

Amnesty International urges that immediate measures are taken to preserve evidence. Also, the fate of any surviving prisoners must be clarified and their safety protected, including prisoners detained in other locations.

Amnesty International reiterates its call for international human rights monitors to be deployed throughout Afghanistan as soon as possible.

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