doctors without borders

2 petitions

Update posted 1 year ago

Petition to Barack Obama, Ashton Carter

We need an independent investigation into U.S. airstrike on Afghanistan hospital

In the middle of the night on October 3, 2015, U.S. military forces launched a deadly airstrike against a hospital in Kunduz, operated by the international charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), also known as Doctors Without Borders. The attack killed 42 people and injured dozens more. For more than a half hour, a U.S. warship rained 211 shells onto the hospital, despite MSF frantically calling both U.S. and Afghan military officials in an attempt to stop the airstrikes. The attack was met with an international outcry, with MSF condemning the U.S. and allied forces for their violation of international humanitarian law. In the U.S., a number of Congress members called on President Obama and the Pentagon to conduct a full investigation into what went wrong. MSF has repeatedly stated that they had given the exact coordinates for the location of the hospital to the U.S. military and allied forces, most recently on September 29. In the days after the attack, the Pentagon offered contradictory statements about exactly what happened. A press release from the Pentagon on October 3 acknowledged “collateral damage” while people burned alive in hospital beds. On October 4, U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter claimed that American forces were under attack. The next day, then-U.S. army general John Campbell claimed that Afghan forces were under attack and had called in for assistance. It must be noted here that the AC-130 warship cannot fire without direct command. On April 29, 2016, U.S. Central Command released a heavily-redacted final investigation report that absolves the Pentagon of any war crime. “Condolence” payments - $3,000 to those injured and $6,000 to the families of those killed - were given to the victims in the aftermath of the airstrike. The U.S. Department of Defense has rationed $5.7 million for the purpose of rebuilding the trauma center operated by MSF in Kunduz. We know that 16 U.S. military personnel were accused of errors that led to the attack and were given administrative reprimand. Instead of these individuals being held accountable in a court of law either in the U.S. or in Afghanistan, however, the airstrike is being blamed on the “fog of war.” Calling the attack a “mistake” and an “unintentional error” does not absolve the guilt of those who committed this crime. This is an injustice and an affront to the Afghan patients, doctors, nurses, and MSF staff who were murdered in the early hours of October 3 last year. MSF has reacted to this report with an initial statement saying: The administrative punishments announced by the US today are out of proportion to the destruction of a protected medical facility, the deaths of 42 people, the wounding of dozens of others, and the total loss of vital medical services to hundreds of thousands of people. The lack of meaningful accountability sends a worrying signal to warring parties, and is unlikely to act as a deterrent against future violations of the rules of war. At the same time, it has become clear that the victims and their families have neither the option to pursue legal action against the US military, either in Afghanistan or in the US, nor to claim compensation for loss of life and livelihood. This has only compounded the devastation of the attack. The human cost of this war crime continues beyond the October 3 airstrike. The whole city of Kunduz is now without a hospital, as MSF has been forced to evacuate the area. This means that tens of thousands of people are without access to emergency medical and surgical healthcare in a city that has been devastated by intense fighting. Some survivors of the attack, like Khalid Ahmad, will suffer from lifelong permanent disabilities. And, without accountability, the U.S. military will continue to justify its war crimes.  Many important questions remain unanswered. We echo MSF in asking, "Who within the chain of command is ultimately responsible for the deaths of 42 people, and how is that person being held accountable?" Afghans United For Justice demands: An independent investigation of the Kunduz hospital bombing, outside of the chain of command. The U.S. Department of Defense release the names of all 16 U.S. Military personnel involved in this attack. The Afghan Unity Government bring the 16 U.S. military personnel to trial and prosecute them in Afghanistan. The U.S. Department of Defense release all footage and recordings captured by the AC-130 warship before, during, and after the attack. Lifelong medical coverage for all permanently disabled and injured victims of the attack. Proper compensation to all victims. We cannot allow this war crime to pass unnoticed. We need to hold the U.S. military accountable. The Pentagon cannot conduct an impartial investigation of its own actions. We need an independent investigation outside of the chain of command.

Afghans United for Justice
379 supporters
Update posted 1 year ago

Petition to Barack Obama

Tell President Obama to Consent to Independent Investigation of Kunduz Hospital Bombing

(Photo by Andrew Quilty) In the early morning hours of October 3, a U.S. gunship repeatedly bombed a Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) hospital in Kunduz, in northern Afghanistan. The attacks killed 30 people, including 13 MSF staff members, 10 patients, and 7 others who have not yet been identified.* More than three dozen patients and MSF staff were injured as well, and the hospital itself was destroyed, leaving several hundred thousand people without access to emergency trauma care.   Survivors have recounted it as a horrifying experience. Beyond that, attacking a protected site such as a hospital is a grave violation of International Humanitarian Law and the Geneva Conventions. The precise GPS coordinates of the four-year-old MSF hospital in Kunduz were provided to U.S. and Afghan authorities in Washington and Kabul in the days prior to the bombing, and the hospital contained nearly 200 patients and staff at the time of the attack.   Investigations have been launched by the U.S., NATO, and the Afghan government, but it is impossible to expect the parties involved in the conflict to carry out independent and impartial investigations of acts in which they themselves are implicated. It was for that reason, and in the name of our killed and wounded colleagues and patients—and for all of our staff and patients worldwide—that MSF called for an independent international investigation into the events of October 3 by the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission (IHFFC), the only permanent body set up specifically to investigate violations of international humanitarian law. Now that the call to mobilize the IHFFC has been answered, we are calling for the United States and the Obama administration to consent to the IHFFC investigation into the Kunduz hospital bombing, as it must before a truly impartial truth-seeking investigation can be launched. PLEASE SIGN NOW! By signing this petition, you can add your voice to these calls and demand that parties to this conflict—and parties to conflicts the world over—respect the statutes of International Humanitarian Law and the Geneva Conventions. The preservation of health facilities as neutral, protected spaces depends on this. If not for the recognition of these principles, MSF and other humanitarian organizations could not work in conflict zones and other places rife with violence. We could not deliver the medical care so many people so desperately need. That is why our call is not only about Kunduz and not only about the United States. It is directed at all nations, and all parties to conflicts, and it is an opportunity for all to reaffirm their commitment to International Humanitarian Law, to reaffirm the right of organizations like ours to provide medical care independently and impartiality in conflict zones, and to reaffirm the effort to bring some humanity to the worst of circumstances, now and into the future. Please add your voice, and call on people in your networks to add their voices, to our call on the United States and the Obama administration to consent to the IHFFC investigation into the Kunduz hospital attack. Because even wars have rules. #independentinvestigation #evenwarshaverules READ: FACT SHEET ON THE BOMBING OF MSF'S HOSPITAL IN KUNDUZ  * Please note, the number of people killed in the attack was updated on October 24 to include additional people whose identities were confirmed and some whose bodies were found in the wreckage but have not been identified to date, due to their condition.  

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) USA
559,824 supporters