Afghans await justice a year after Kandahar killings

Last year’s massacre in Kandahar by a US soldier is far from forgotten. The families of the victims continue to demand justice and observers fear there could be an uprising.

Samiullah cannot forget how the members of his family lay there in a pool of blood. The images continue to give him nightmares a year later. He has trouble sleeping at night. He will forever be haunted by the scene, he says.

“The first person I saw dead on the floor was my old mother. Then I saw my old uncle Nazar Mohammad Aka, with his long, white beard. My father was also dead as well as my cousin, Tora. She was precious.”

Samiullah takes a deep breath. “These four people are martyrs. Then I saw my small children – my son and daughter Suzanna and also my niece. All three were injured.”

There have been protests at US army bases in Afghanistan He angrily counts the victims in his family. A total of seven.

Bloody night

In the dark of night on 11 March 2012, US Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales killed 16 people in Panjwai in Kandahar. Among the victims were nine children and three women. He then allegedly burned some of the bodies.

The incident caused an outrage. Afghan President Hamid Karzai and the US government promised a quick investigation.

Bales has been charged with 16 counts of premeditated murder and six counts of assault and attempted murder. He is currently being held in a military prison in Kansas. He faces the death penalty if found guilty.

Horia Mosadiq of Amnesty International criticizes the fact that not much has been done for the families. “The case must be thoroughly and independently investigated and those responsible must be brought to justice. The family members should receive compensation and damages. Up to now, authorities have only collected testimonial from witnesses and gathered evidence.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.