Investigative reports by McClatchy newspapers, as well as PHR’s own findings, have revealed that large sections of the Dasht-e-Leili mass grave in Northern Afghanistan have been dug up and removed.
Mass graves still unguarded as U.S., U.N., Afghans duck task
By Tom Lasseter
ANKARA, Turkey — A week after the revelation that remains had been bulldozed from a mass grave site that held up to 2,000 bodies in Afghanistan, the location remains unprotected, the United Nations hasn’t released its own investigation and the warlord who’s accused of the exhumation is comfortably lodged just down the street from a Starbucks in Turkey’s capital.
None of the key players in Afghanistan — the U.S. military, NATO, the United Nations or the Afghan government — has taken responsibility for safeguarding the site at Dasht-e Leili in northern Afghanistan. Each says that someone else should take the first step.
The U.S. military says it has no mandate to guard the graves and is waiting for a request by the Afghan government. That government, headed by President Hamid Karzai, has remained silent, possibly out of fear of riling Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum, the U.S.-backed warlord whose men are accused of killing their prisoners seven years ago and of destroying evidence of the crime this year. Many in Afghanistan see Dostum as a key figure in maintaining stability in the north, a relatively calm part of a nation that’s beset by insurgency.