Monday 30 September 2013

Dutch publish lists of those killed during the late 1970s

Here is the link to the Dutch public prosecutor's lists of almost 5,000 Afghans murdered during the period when the country was ruled by the Communist Party in the late 1970s. The Death Lists consist of rows of names, mostly in alphabetic order. With those names are mentioned: father’s name, occupation, place of origin and an accusation.
Examples of such accusations are: echwani, ashrar and Maoist anti-revolutionary. On each list, a date between 1978 and 1979 is written. On some lists, there is a Government-stamp. The Transfer Orders give names as well, together with the names of parents, occupation and place of origin. These documents also contain information about the locations where those involved were interrogated and detained.
The documents were obtained in the course of a criminal investigation into the alleged involvement of an Afghan male residing in the Netherlands in war crimes and enforced disappearances, committed in Afghanistan in 1978-1979. The suspect was the former chief of the Interrogation Department of the Afghan Security Service AGSA - predecessor to the KAM, KhAD and WAD. In this capacity, say the Dutch, he was involved in torture, extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances. The suspect died in March 2012, shortly before he was due to be arrested.
The dates on the Transfer Orders give information about the dates of interrogation and detention. Furthermore, the Transfer Orders bear the name and the signature of the involved officials. One of those officials was the deceased suspect.
The authenticity of the documents is not in question. According to the Dutch: "The original Transfer Orders were handed to the Netherlands Police by the now deceased Afghan Mirwais Wardak, editor of the book ‘The Hard Evidence of the Crimes of Khalq and Parcham’. According to the Netherlands Forensic Institute, the emblem found on the documents as well as the printing technique and ink used to sign them, match the years 1978-1980. Several survivors whose names are mentioned in the Transfer Orders, have confirmed to the Netherlands Police that the information contained in those documents is correct. Around the dates mentioned and together with the other persons listed, they have indeed been handed over to AGSA and were subsequently transferred to the mentioned prisons, such as the Pul-i-Charkhi and the Deh Mazang."
They add that the Death Lists were handed to the Netherlands Police by a witness who received them years ago from former United Nations Rapporteur for Afghanistan Felix Ermacora. The accuracy of the contents of the Death Lists is confirmed by the accounts of surviving relatives. One witness has confirmed that her family members whose names appear on the Death Lists were indeed arrested and subsequently disappeared in the relevant time-frame. Finally, the information in the Death Lists is consistent with information contained in the Transfer Orders. In several cases, there are matches between identifying information in both sets of documents.