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Afghans continue to pay price of conflict: Amnesty

KABUL (AA): Afghan civilians have remained victims of the “widening” armed conflict in their country throughout 2019, Amnesty International said on Thursday.

“Throughout 2019, they were killed, injured, forcibly displaced and subject to other serious human rights violations by both the government and armed groups,” said Omar Waraich, deputy South Asia director at Amnesty International.

The human rights group published Thursday its annual report on the state of human rights in the Asia-Pacific region.

“In the first nine months of 2019, more than 2,400 children were killed or injured in Afghanistan, making it the deadliest conflict in the world for children,” Amnesty said.

“Over the same period, 2,563 people were killed in total and 5,676 injured,” it added.

The report highlighted that hundreds of thousands of people were internally displaced, while half a million Afghans were forcibly returned from neighboring countries, and several thousand more from Europe.

The report also criticized human rights violations, oppression and attacks against journalists and the right groups in the country.

“Journalists and human rights defenders continued to face intimidation, threats, detention and even death for their work”, the organization said.

Criticizing the International Criminal Court (ICC) for rejecting to authorize an investigation into crimes under international law in the country, Amnesty said: “Justice continued to prove elusive for the victims”.

“The authorities failed to investigate other serious human rights violations, including violence against women and attacks on human rights defenders,” it added.

The group called the world to pay more attention to this “long-running conflict”, and to ensure the necessary protection and justice for the people of Afghanistan in 2020.

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