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Backgrounder #556 on International Organizations

January 12, 1987

The Report that the U.N. Wants to Suppress : Soviet Atrocities inAfghanistan

By

(Archived document, may contain errors)

556 January 12, 1987 THE REPORT THAT THE U.N. WANTS TO SUPPRESS SOVIET ATROCITIES IN AFGHANISTAN A recent United Nations report on human rights reveals much more about the U.N. than it says about anything else. Prepared by the Special Rapporteur of the U. N . Commission on Human Rights, it is an Interim report on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan." But when the report was released officially on November 4, it had an embarrassing gaping hole. Missing from the official French, Spanish Chinese, and R u ssian versions was a 13-page Ilannexll which documents Soviet atrocities and other human rights violations against the people of Afghanistan. Although the Special Rapporteur specifically urged that his findings be brought to the attention of the General'A s sembly this annex appears only in English and then only in a very limited edition This 13-page hole, reminiscent of the 18 minutes erased from a key Nixon Watergate tape, typifies the United Nations' pervasive double standard: treating the U.S. and the We st tough but putting on kid gloves when dealing with the Soviet Union.

Assembly Affairs William B. Buffum defends his decision to omit the annex from the official version by pleading time and financial constraints. He and other U.N. officials note that an annex on Israeli practices in the occupied territories, for example, w a s also omitted from the official report. That annex is much longer--125 pages The U.N. Is Under-Secretary-General for Political and General Buffum told The Heritage Foundation that the annex on Israel is Ilfull of vicious anti-Israeli rhetoric This was, i t seems, one of the reasons for omitting the long added section on Israel. By contrast, however, the annex to the Afghanistan report is free of invective and provocative rhetoric carefully documented instances of Soviet atrocities. against Afghanistan's ci v ilian population, notably children. Another major difference between the Israel and Afghanistan reports is bulk. In addition to the 125-page annex, the main body of the Israeli practices report is 126 pages. The main Afghanistan report is only 27 pages lo ng Instead it merely catalogues When asked whether he was under any legal or any other obligation to cut any of the human rights reports1 annexes, Buffum said that he was not.

The decision of what is included in the main part of the report and what is in a n annex, Buffum explained is made at the "editorial'1 level. He declined to identify who actually made this decision in the case of the Afghan report. According to a U.S. Department of State official and other informed individuals, this decision was made inside the U.N.'s Department of Conference Services, a section heavily controlled by East bloc U.N. employees; The Department, in fact is headed by Eugeniusz Wyzner of Poland.

The problem of editing the U.N.'s human rights reports will become particularly significant this year, as a result of the decision by the General Assembly on December 4 to circulate such reports "in their'full form This decision may result in censoring information in all versions, including English.

Buffum denied that his decision to allow the Afghan report's annex to appear only in an English translation whose availability is limited was politically motivated. When asked whether he felt that the report was significant in view of the severity of the human righ violations in Afghanist a n, he responded: "It is literally in the eye of the beholder.lI ts What the Afghan report's suppressed annex indicates, however, is a brutality by MOSCOW~S troops on an appalling scale. Thousands of children have been killed by Soviet bombs disguised as t o ys; gas and chemical weapons have been used against civilians; and torture is common at interrogation centers of the Moscow-controlled Afghan secret police, the Khad. The torture involves pulling out fingernails, as well as systematic beating and psycholo g ical pressure and Afghan government and Soviet troops try to seal border areas to prevent Afghans from fleeing The U.N. censored report presents, in fact, a very conservative picture of Soviet atrocities in Afghanistan. According to its author 1. See Mark Huber Moscow*s Bastion in Manhattan: The U.N. Department of Conference Services Heritage Foundation Backarounder No. 51 8, June 20, 1986 2U.N. Special Rapporteur Felix Emacora, professor of public law at the University of Vienna, some accounts of atrociti es were omitted to save space and others because further substantiation would have been desirable.

While many egregious human rights violations were also committed by the Afghan soldiers, Ermacora emphasizes that most of the atrocities described in his report and%particularly in the censored annex, were committed by the Soviets.

The United Nations now may be in a life or death struggle for existence. Whether the U.N. survives probably will depend upon whether it can restore its credibility with the U.S. Co ngress and American people A key reason why Americans have become fed up with the U.N. is that organization's undisguised double standard which goes easy on Soviet bloc nations but thinks nothing of getting tough with atrocities in Afghanistan, prepared b y a noted Austrian jurist, is no way for the U.N. to regain credibility. Indeed, even the censored report carefully avoids stating that the USSR has invaded Afghanistan and that its forces are there committing the atrocities.

Juliana Geran Pilon, Ph.D.

Senior Policy Analyst the U.S. and other democracies. Censoring a report on Soviet 3Following are excerpts from the Annex to the report on Soviet human rights violations in Afghanistan that the U.N. has censored.

Supplementary material to the interim report on the situation of human riahts in Afahanistan prepared by the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Riahts in accordance with Commission resolution 1986/40 of 12 March 1986 and Economic and Social Council decision 1986/136 of 23 Mav 1986 A/41/7 7 8, annex INFORMATION CONCERNING RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS IN AFGHANISTAN 1. Situation of human riuhts in Afahanistan independent of the armed conflict a) Riaht to life 4. During the reporting period, the Special Rapporteur has received information on some c ases of death sentences b) Riuht of liberty and securitv of person; prison conditions 6. New information concerning prison conditions has been communicated to the Special Rapporteur in Quetta by two Australians, Ms. Jenny Lade, teacher of sculpture at the University of Baluchistan, and Robert Williamson, expert of forestry working on a project financed by the World Bank in Baluchistan, who were kidnapped by members of the Sassouli tribe on 18 May 1985 while proceeding to the site of the project located in the Maslakh forest reserve (west of Quetta).

Detained for two weeks in the tribal area on the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan, they were transferred to Kandahar by a helicopter identified as belonging to the [Soviet-controlled] Afghan military forces Tw o days later they were transferred to Kabul and detained in Sadarat Prison. During their transfer from the tribal area to Kandahar and Kabul they were blindfolded and handcuffed detention they were separated.

Jennv Lade's conditions of imprisonment During their 7. Detained from 2 June to 27 December 1985 in a cell measuring 10 feet by 10 feet with up to four political prisoners waiting to be convicted (she was told that some of them had been detained for up to 22 months without trial) she was not permitte d to inform the Australian Embassy of her detention aged between 17 and 65 years and some were accompanied by their babies. During the period of detention, although she received sufficient quantities of food, the nutritional value of the food was The women detained with her were 4- [EXCERPTS Following are excerpts from the Annex to the report on Soviet human rights violations in Afghanistan .that.the U.N. has censored.

Supplementarv material to the interim report on the situation of human riahts in Afahanis tan mepared bv the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Riahts in accordance with Commission resolution 1986/40 of 12 March 1986 and Economic and Social Council decision 1986/136 of 23 Mav 1986 A/41/778, annex INFORMATION CONCERNING RESPECT FOR H UMAN RIGHTS IN AFGHANISTAN 1. Situati.on of human riahts in Afahanistan independent of the armed conflict. a) Riaht to life 4. During the reporting period, the Special Rapporteur has received information on some cases of death sentences.

Riaht of libertv a nd securitv of person; prison conditions 6. New information concerning prison conditions has been communicated to the Special Rapporteur in Quetta by two Australians, Ms. Jenny Lade, teacher of sculpture at the University of Baluchistan, and Robert Willia m son, expert of forestry working on a project financed by the World Bank. in Baluchistan, who were kidnapped by members of the Sassouli tribe on 18 May 1985 while proceeding to the site of the project located in the Maslakh forest reserve (west of Quetta).

Detained for two weeks in the tribal area on the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan, they were transferred. to Kandahar by a helicopter identified as belonging to the [Soviet-controlled] Afghan military forces. Two days later they were transferred to Kabu l and detained in Sadarat Prison. During their transfer from the tribal area to Kandahar and Kabul they were blindfolded and handcuffed. During their detention they were separated 5- [EXCERPTS Jennv Lade's conditions of immisonment 7. Detained from 2 I Ju n e to 27.-December I985 in'a cell measuring 10 feet by 10 feet with up to four political prisoners waiting to be convicted (she was told that some of them had been detained for up to 22 months without .trial) she was not permitted to inform the Australian E mbassy of her detention. The women detained with her were aged between 17 and 65 years and some were accompanied by their babies. During the period of detention, although she received sufficient quantities of food, the nutritional value of the food was so low that she eventually contracted scurvy. Accordingly [sic] to information given to her ,by an inmate, there had been cases of ill-treatment of women previously detained at the Sadarat Prison (some of them were allegedly hung up by their arms and beaten o n their legs, and she had seen an inmate with bruises on her legs The time outside the cell was limited to half an hour a day. She described the cell as being in poor condition, with a leaking roof and the floor covered with insects and rats. Other inmate s could receive parcels once fortnightly from relatives, containing food, clothes and money.

However, some of the -contents of the parcels were withheld by prison warders 8. In October 1985, she was charged with illegal entry into Afghanistan, membership o f the CIA and involvement with Pashtu tribesmen for counter-revolutionary activities. Thereafter she' was given half an hour to write her defence. During her entire detention she was not allowed either to write to her family or to have a lawyer. However, s he was obliged to write two letters in accordance with guidelines, dictated to her by a police officer (interrogator stating that she was in good health and alive. The letter was sent to the Pakistani authorities and the Australian Embassy in Islamabad. S he was released without trial on 27 December 1985, the same day as Mr.

Williamson.

Robert Williamsonls. conditions of immisonment 9. Detained for the same period as Ms. Lade, Mr. Williamson was completely isolated from the other detainees for five months. He was not permitted to inform the Australian Embassy or anyone else of his detention. Unlike other inmates, he was not allowed any physical exercise; his only option was to walk up and down his cell. He was charged with illegal entry into Afghanistan, m e mbership of the CIA and involvement with Pashtu tribesmen for counter-revolutionary activities. However, he received enough time and paper to prepare his defence. During his entire detention he was not allowed either to 6- [EXCERPTS write to his family or to contact a lawyer He was trial on 27 December 1985, the same day as Ms. Lade 10. According to information given to him by inmates cases of torture by electric shocks; he was also told detainee and the case of a man kept in detention for years without tr i al. Cries and screams could be night from different parts of the prison. released without there had been of a 16-year-old three and a half heard during the 12. A driver working for the Water and Power Development Authorities project group informed the Spe c ial Rapporteur that he had been kidnapped by Asmatullah tribesmen on 29 November 1985 under similar circumstances to those of the two Australians while proceeding to a village located near Chaman. He had also been handed over to Afghan authorities in Spin Baldak and then transferred to a prison in Kandahar Two and a half months later he was transferred to Pol-i-Charkhi Prison in Kabul, and charged with illegal entry into Afghanistan. According to his testimony, there have been cases of ill-treatment of det a inees who were allegedly forced to stand on one leg in the snow for an hour at a time. On 16 August 1986 he was released without trial as part of an exchange of prisoners. It was also stated to the Special Rapporteur that other Pakistan citizens who had b e en kidnapped under similar circumstances were still in Afghan custody no further information about the fate of these persons was available 13. The Special Rapporteur has been informed about the continuation of torture and ill-treatment in Khad [the Moscow - controlled Afghan secret police] interrogation centres during interrogation. According to new information, during interrogation the following severe methods of torture are still being used on men and women: pulling out finger nails, systematic beating and psychological pressure. Information has been received about particularly harsh' disciplinary measures in the Pol-i-Charkhi Prison. Two persons reported that they have been 'held for days and nights handcuffed and with their knees bound, in a very small, d i rty, humid cell. They showed marks on their arms and legs to the Special Rapporteur. One of these persons gave the Special Rapporteur a copy of judgement delivered by a revolutionary court and a copy of a decision releasing the same person in accordance w i th the implementation of the Amnesty Decree declared on the occasion of the Lova Jiraah which took place onl.4 July 1986 7 0 [EXCERPTS d) ImDact of conflictins ideoloaies on cultural life in Afshanistan 16. The Special Rapporteur has received additional i n formation confirming the fact that the educational system in Afghanistan is largely based on non-traditional ideas. This is at variance with article 18, paragraphs 1 and 4, of the International Covenant on Civil and'Politica1 Rights. The educational syste m applied to many children sent abroad through the institution known as perwarischsahi watan homeland nursery is still in force and children, are still enrolled in this institution [apparently for the purpose of communist indoctrination] against their pare n ts' will. The Special Rapporteur was told that some children are sent to the Soviet Union for a short period of time and used thereafter as spies. A 16-year-old boy informed the Special Rapporteur that he had been sent to the Soviet Union against his will , trained for two months in espionage and forced to collect information on the activities of opposition movements based in Peshawar (see also E/CN.4/1986/24, paras. 64-66 2. Situation of human riahts resultina from the armed conflict in Afahanistan a) Gene r al survey 17. Pursuant to the request of the Commbsion on Human Rights in paragraph 6 of its resolution 1985/38, the Special Rapporteur proposes to provide information on the casualties sustained by the civilian population in Afghanistan as a result of th e situation now prevailing in that country 18. The provision of such information is dependent upon two basic requisites: first, access to areas where bombardments took place; and secondly, the technical knowledge and expertise to assess the material damage resulting from these bombardments of civilians. As regards the first element, since the Special Rapporteur is denied access to the territory, he is obliged to take into consideration all other information available to him that he deems reliable as corrobo r ated by numerous sources. The second element is a matter. outside his competence, and he will limit himself to describing, as far as possible, the nature and extent of the bombardments in question 19. The Special Rapporteur has followed the situation in t h e country as ref1ected.h the information available to him,' including reports on several incidents which came to his knowledge. As already mentioned above, new tactics are being used in order gradually to close the routes often used by the opposition forc e s as well as Afghan refugees. Many reports show that the governmental forces or foreign 8- [EXCERPTS i.e., Soviet] troops are trying to seal border areas to prevent the flow of persons, including refugees, across the borders; this has resulted in the loss of many alives..as well.:as propeaty and ,has made it difficult to evacuate the wounded. Furthermore, many casualties have been reported as a result of the military campaign to secure the main highways linking the larger towns and the northern border and t o establish new military posts along the highways and in the larger cities and airfields. Cities like Herat and Kandahar are reported to have been largely destroyed and to be mainly controlled by opposition movements. Intense fighting was reported to have taken place also in the northern and south-eastern regions. Toy bombs are still used [by the Soviet troops affecting the civilian population, especially children and animals. The Special Rapporteur was informed of the use of bombs which were said to dispe r se hundreds of fragments similar to small blades The use of such bombs has been confirmed by many wounded persons during the visits of the Special Rapporteur to hospitals. b) Casualties resultina from bombardments and other forms of warfare, in particular concernina the civilian population 21. The gravity of the conflict is illustrated by the high civilian casualties resulting from bombardments and massacres which were reported to have occurred during searches for members of opposition movements carried ou t by the [Soviet and/or Soviet-controlled military forces. Statistics received by the Special Rapporteur show that the number of civilian deaths has diminished during 1986 (see annex 22. The Special Rapporeeur has already provided a statistical survey of c i vilian casualties during 1985 (E/CN.4/1986/24, para 72 According. to information. submitted by the Bibliotheca Afghanica Foundation (Liesthal, Switzerland civilian casualties from the end of 1985 to September 1986 are of the order of 10,000 to 12,000 23. A ccording to statements'made by various witnesses to the Special Rapporteur, the governmental. forces and/or foreign [Soviet] troops continue to bomb villages, cultivated land and water reservoirs as well as to kill animals in order to deprive the populati o n of their subsistence and force them to leave the rural areas either to seek refuge or to seek shelter in the major cities 24. Several witnesses reported on the use by the armed [Soviet] forces of gas, in which a greenish-colored substance was released a g ainst 9- [EXCERPTS members of opposition forces hiding in underground passages or karez. The substance reportedly caused serious injuries. The use of chemical .weapons has been reported .in four $instances r in Konduz Paktia, Kabul and Vardak Provinces: t h e use of napalm and phosphor bombs was reported in four other instances in the provinces of Herat Paktia and Kabul (twice 25. The Special Rapporteur was given information about an incident said to have occurred in mid-Auqust 1986 in the villaqe of Garabad , in Konduz Province, during which- pro-Soviet and/or Soviet-controlled soldiers first invaded the village in retaliation for an encounter with members of opposition movements and then executed 30 persons disemboweled a woman with a bayonet and cut off her breasts, and kicked several children to death. Several houses were destroyed and all livestock killed. The witness claimed that he himself had lost 14 family members three of whom had been killed by bayonets and 11 crushed under the rubble of their house, which had been destroyed by fire 26. The Special Rapporteur also learned of several incidents in which reprisals were carried out according to an identical pattern Soviet and/or Soviet-controlled] soldiers would retreat after a ,skirmish then return to th e villages in the vicinity of the combat zone and enter and search the. houses, which they subsequently burned, often killing any survivors with bayonets 27. In one particularly horrible incident,several persons had their throats slit with knives. This inc ident took place in the village of Siyawachan, in Herat Province, in March 19

86. Eleven persons were killed, with one survivor currently receiving medical treatment 28. Eye-witnesses have informed the Special Rapporteur of civilian deaths during [Soviet] bombing attacks on villages. Some 100 instances of bombardment of civilian.targets, or affecting civilian targets were reported during the period under review. According to these witnesses, the bombardments grew particularly intense and numerous after Jun e 19

86. Given the large number of incidents, the Special Rapporteur will describe only the following cases, which he believes ought to be brought to the attention of the General Assembly a) In late March 1986, approximately 350 men, women and children wer e killed in four villages in the Qarabagh District, Ghazni Province b) On 12 April 1986, between 800 and 1,000 civilians were killed by soldiers in the Andkhvoy District of Faryab Province during a 10 EXCERPTS i Soviet] bombing raid. Several houses were d e stroyed during this raid. There have also been reports in the same province of 100 civilians killed during encounters on 5 'June 1986 between Afghan troops and opposition fighters opposition movements in Kandahar Province in mid-July 1986 approximately 25 civilians were killed 29. In addition to the incidents mentioned above, the Special Rapporteur personally saw the bodies of women killed during [Soviet bombings in Paktia Province 30. On a parallel with these incidents, the Special Rapporteur feels compel l ed to state that a number of civilians are reported to have been killed during attacks by members of opposition movements. The Special Rapporteur was informed that at least 50 civilians and military personnel had been killed and several others wounded in t he explosion of a munitions depot on 27 August '1986 at Qargha in Kabul Province. In addition, a bomb explosion at the Jalalabad airport on 11 August 1986, killed approximately 16 persons and wounded several others. Leaders of the [anti-Soviet] opposition movements took credit for both these incidents I (c) Following fighting between Afghan troops and members of 31. The Special Rapporteur has already had occasion to discuss the humanitarian activities of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) i n his earlier reports. Since then he has noted an increase in the number of civilian casualties and in the severity of injuries, particularly within the last three or four months of this year. Different sources of information concur that this worsening of the situation is attributable to the intensity of the fighting begun during this period 32. According to various sources, ICRC undertook an exploratory mission to assess the prospects for reshing its activities in Afghanistan and to set up a facility that would enable it to resume its humanitarian work 33. As stated in earlier reports, the main types of action [by Soviet and/or Soviet-controlled forces] which. have caused deaths and casualties, in particular among the civilian population of Afghanistan, ar e bombardments, shelling and massacres in reprisal acts of brutality committed by armed forces, and the use of 11 EXCERPTS d anti-personnel mines and booby-trap toys. The Special Rapporteur learned that chemical fertilizers, so-called "seism" mines anti-pe r sonnel.mines and,booby-t.rap toysswere:still used; He was also informed of the use of toy-bombs inside houses 34. During visits to hospitals at Quetta and Peshawar in September 1986, the Special Rapporteur was able to obtain statistics on civilian casualt ies. There was a notable increase in the number of wounded since May 1985, peaking in July and August 19

86. It was explained to the Special Rapporteur that this aggravation was due to the intensity of fighting which had taken place in Paktia, Paktika, Nan garhar, Herat and Faryab Provinces. For example, in a single hospital, 3,344 patients had been hospitalized between January and July 1986, for either bullet or shrapnel wounds c) Use of anti-Bersonnel mines and booby-traB toys 35. The Special Rapporteur h a s already reported to the General Assembly on the use of anti-personnel mines and booby-trap toys A/40/843 paras. 90-93). He was able to see and spe'ak to wounded children whose injuries were caused by the use of these 'horrible weapons 36. In the course of talks held in September 1986, the Special Rapporteur received information which confirmed that the [pro-Soviet Afghan and/or foreign [i.e Soviet] armed forces were using anti-personnel mines and. booby-trap toys of increasingly varied 37.

As regards inj uries sustained by children, the Special Rapporteur himself observed that they generally comprise serious leg and hand wounds which frequently result in amputations; this, he was told, was the result of explosions of booby-trap bombs in the form of toys, o f anti-personnel mines or of bombardments. The following cases may serve as illustrations types a) A child of two years, hospitalized at Mekka El Mukarramma, at Quetta, is currently undergoing treatment for severe burns sustained on.both legs in a fire wh i ch totally destroyed his house in July 1985 after a [Soviet] bombing attack on his village, located in Ghazni Province b) A 17-year-old girl from Ghazni Province had her face disfigured by burns in a fire which started when her house completely was bombed . A piece of shrapnel in her abdomen also injured her 12 EXCERPTS entire genital system, for which she is now receiving intensive care.

She said that her entire family had been killed during the incident c) In March 1986, a 13-year-old child from Mazar-e-S harif in Balm Province was seriously wounded by exploding knife-like shrapnel. During this incident, which occurred during an aerial bombing 7 members of his family and 60 other inhabitants of the village perished; d) A 16-year-old boy, a native of Paktik a , had his left leg amputated following the explosion of an anti-personnel mine in July 1986 38 According to information obtained during the recent visit Soviet] booby-trap toys have been distributed along the entire length of the. Misamsha-Khost border in the Bangidar Valley, in Paktia Province d) Acts of brutalitv committed bv armed forces and other examples of warfare contrarv to humanitarian standards 39. During the period under consideration, the Special Rapporteur received information confirming that a cts of brutality by the armed forces had taken place during military operations throughout the country. He can only recall the incidents described in document A/41/778, which are largely typical of the atrocities committed particularly during raids or ret a liatory attacks against villages 40. Looting is reported to happen frequently during house and village searches [by Soviet and/or Soviet-controlled forces In particular money and jewelry are requested and people who are unable or unwilling to give them ar e shot 44. The Special Rapporteur has been informed that the Minaret of Herat, the Chesht Mosque and the Herat Great Mosque Jami have been destroyed. These are monuments to which the Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the event of Armed C onflict of 14 May 1954 must apply. Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural 0r.ganization requesting additional information, the Special Rapporteur received the following reply on 24 February 1986 In response to his letter to the United AS part ofthe international campaign to save the monuments of Herat, and at the request of the national authorities 13 EXCERPTS UNESCO dispatched a consultant, Professor Andrea Bruno of Italy, on a mission to Afghanistan from 23 December 1985 to 6 January 19

86. The pur pose of the mission was to update the campaign plan of action Professor Bruno visited only Kabul, where he held technical consultations with the competent authorities in charge of monument preservation. In view of the instructions of the United Nations Se c urity Co-ordinator in New York, no visit to the Herat region was scheduled, nor did the Kabul authorities propose any such visit. Consequently, Professor Bruno was unable to-obtain any on-site information regarding the monuments mentioned in the aforement i oned letter 45. Apart from the direct consequences of the conflict on the cultural heritage of Afghanistan (see para. 44), the Special Rapporteur has received information indicating a consistent pattern of actions [by Soviet forces] designed to obliterate the evidence of the cultural heritage, mainly through neglect of the side-effects of hostilities.

Furthermore, this information shows a deliberate effort to stifle artistic activities and cultural life; museums have suffered libraries have been destroyed, and artists have been killed or have sought refuge abroad e) Conscrintion. inhudina of children 46. The Special Rapporteur was informed that, in 1982, the regulations concerning the age for drafting into the [Soviet-controlled Afghan army had been lowere d to 15 years. There was forced conscription and the term of military service rose from two to three years in 1982 and then to four years in 1984 47. The Special Rapporteur has learned that such conscription continues, depriving universities and schools of male students. In addition, it would appear that the conscription system is governed by severe discriminatory methods: for example, students from families belonging to the Communist Party or sympathizing with it have the privilege of not joining the army a t the age of 15, thus having a chance to continue their studies, at home or abroad. A new feature of conscription has been reported by various reliable persons: political prisoners who have benefited from the amnesty following the commemoration in April 1 9 86 of the Saur Revolution were immediately drafted into the Afghan army. Some of them have served in the militia, where their task has been to pick up young men who are old enough to be conscripted in order to draft them into the army 14 EXCERPTS f) Situa t ion of "internal refuaees" or displaced persons in Afahanistan 48. As the Special Rapporteur already stated in his previous reports the instability created by events in Afghanistan since 1979 has led to a massive exodus not only to other countries, partic u larly Pakistan and the Islam'ic Republic of Iran, but also from rural areas to the towns 49. The situation of internal refugees or displaced persons has not changed since the Special Rapporteur described it in paragraphs 63 to 66 of his previous report to the General Assembly (A/40/843). In addition, the Special Rapporteur has learned that the Soviet-controlled] Government intends to displace 300,000 persons from the eastern provinces to the south-western provinces. According to information available, most of the population concerned has already sought refuge in Pakistan (see A/41/778, para 29 I 15

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