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Amnesty on summary executions by the Taleban

Afghanistan: Amnesty International condemns reported summary executions by the Taleban


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

29 October 2001 ASA 11/025/2001 191/01

Amnesty International today condemned the summary and unlawful execution of Abdul Haq on 26 October 2001, following his capture by the Taleban earlier that day. "The execution of Abdul Haq is in blatant disregard of the laws governing international armed conflict and the protection of prisoners of war" Amnesty International said. Abdul Haq's deputy, Sayed Hamid, is also reported to have been executed.

According to reports, Abdul Haq entered Afghanistan on 21 October 2001 in order to consolidate resistance against the Taleban. Abdul Haq, a commander during the Afghan resistance against the Soviet Union (1979 - 1989), had been on a mission to generate support for the return of the Afghan King, Mohammed Zahir Shah.

A fatwa, or religious edict issued in Kabul in September 2001 reportedly imposes the death penalty for spying. It is believed that this fatwa is being applied by the Taleban against captured opponents.

Amnesty International calls on all parties to the conflict in Afghanistan to ensure that human rights, and the rules and principles of international humanitarian law governing armed conflict are fully respected. Captured combatants must be treated as Prisoners of War in accordance with the Third Geneva Convention.

Afghanistan and the USA are both parties to the four 1949 Geneva Conventions. The Conventions, together with their two 1977 Protocols and other international treaties, constitute international humanitarian law, also known as the laws of war.

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