NATO uses Afghan clinic as a firebase, prison

Geneva Conventions? Pah, they’re for little countries.

Nato forces stormed into a clinic in central Afghanistan, damaging doors, windows and medical equipment, before using it as a jail and military command centre, in violation of the Geneva conventions, according to the aid group that runs the facility.

Nato and Afghan troops were dropped off by helicopters late one October evening and headed straight to the clinic, according to the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan, which has published details of the assault on their small centre in Wardak province, a few dozen miles south-west of Kabul.

The soldiers knocked down a wall to enter the building, damaged doors, windows, examination beds and other equipment, and detained clinical staff and civilians inside. And for the next two and a half days they brought dozens, maybe hundreds of prisoners through the clinic, using it as a jail, logistics hub and for mortar fire, contravening the Geneva conventions, which protect medical centres.

Let’s try to remember this story the next time the US is backing Israel bombing medical facilities in Gaza because Hamas are there and using the medical personnel as “human shields”.

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Steve Hynd

Most recently I was Editor in Chief of The Agonist from Feb 2012 to Feb 2013. My blogging began at Newshoggers and I’ve had the immense pleasure of working with some great writers there and around the web ever since, including at Crooks & Liars. I'm a late 40′s, Scottish ex-pat, now married to a wonderful Texan, with Honours in Philosophy from Univ. of Stirling, UK 1986. I worked most of life in business insurance industry (fire, accident, liability) including 12 years as a broker/underwriter/correspondent at Lloyd’s of London. Being from the other side of the pond, my political interests tend to focus on how US foreign policy affects the rest of the planet. Other interests include early and dark-ages British history, literature and cognitive philosophy/science.

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