212830 Afghan Mass Grave Crisis

Monday, November 9, 2009: 12:48 PM

Susannah Sirkin , Physicians for Human Rights, Deputy Director, Cambridge, MA
In November 2001, as many as 2,000 Taliban prisoners are believed to have been killed in container trucks by US-allied Afghan troops and buried in a mass grave in Dasht-e Leili, Afghanistan. These Afghan troops were operating jointly with U.S. military forces, who were allegedly present at the scene of the crime. Physicians for Human Rights investigators discovered the mass grave in 2002, and for 7 years, it has advocated for a thorough investigation into these deaths. Now, new evidence has come to light revealing repeated efforts by the Bush administration to impede an investigation into this widely reported massacre. This presentation will provide the story behind the discovery of the grave, the U.S. “cover-up,” the uses of science and medicine to uncover the truth, and the continued struggle for accountability for past crimes. Questions about the roles of the media, U.S. and Afghan policies of coddling “war lords,” and the public response to atrocities will be raised.

Learning Objectives:
Describe the current mass grave crisis in Afghanistan. Describe what public health workers can do to draw attention to and help resolve this crisis.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am Deputy Director of Physicians for Human Rights, where she has been a principal staff member for over 20 years. I have had extensive firsthand experience investigating human rights abuses in war zones and elsewhere. I have spoken and written extensively on these issues. I was a contributing author to the second edition of War and Public Health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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