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Monday, March 08, 2004

US accused of "double standards" by Human Rights Watch
In a severely critical report, Human Rights Watch has said that "U.S. forces operating in Afghanistan have arbitrarily detained civilians, used excessive force during arrests of non-combatants, and mistreated detainees"...

The report concludes that "the US-administered system of arrest and detention in Afghanistan exists outside of the rule of law", that "The United States is setting a terrible example in Afghanistan on detention practices," and that "Civilians are being held in a legal black hole – with no tribunals, no legal counsel, no family visits and no basic legal protections."

Brad Adams, executive director of the Asia division of Human Rights Watch also stated that although "The Taliban and other insurgent groups are illegally targeting civilians and humanitarian aid workers," "abuses by one party to a conflict do not justify violations by the other side. This is a fundamental principle of the laws of war."

Adams also said the United States is eroding international standards by not taking action as "Abusive governments across the world can now point to U.S. forces in Afghanistan, and say, If they can abuse human rights and get away with it, why can't we?"