The United States government should undertake a thorough and impartial investigation into new allegations of US complicity in the killings of 18 men in Afghanistan, Human Rights Watch said today. An article published on November 6, 2013, by Rolling Stone magazine contains new information that US personnel were implicated in the killings in Nerkh district, Wardak province, which occurred in late 2012 and early 2013. US personnel who participated in or were otherwise responsible for the abuses should be criminally prosecuted.
The US has a meager record of investigating and prosecuting human rights abuses allegedly committed by its forces during its 12-year military presence in Afghanistan, Human Rights Watch said. Although several high-profile cases have resulted in convictions and substantial punishments, many other serious cases have resulted in minimal or no charges, or in disproportionately light punishments.