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Hospital attack a war crime, says HRW researcher

Hospital attack a war crime, says HRW researcher

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Mar 09, 2017 - 09:22

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Wednesday’s attack on a military hospital in Kabul is a war crime, targeting patients, healthcare personnel and medical facilities, a senior Human Rights Watch (HRW) researcher says.

International humanitarian law or the laws of war applicable to the armed conflict in Afghanistaninfo-icon protected patients, including wounded soldiers, and all medical personnel from attack, Patrica Gossman said.

She added hospitals and other medical facilities were also protected from attack unless they were being used for offensive military operations.

“Commanders and combatants who willfully violate these protections are responsible for war crimes. Fighters who may have dressed as doctors would be committing the war crime of perfidy – feigning civilian status to carry out an attack.”

Gossman said in a statement those paying the price when warring parties rejected the neutrality of medical facilities were not just the patients, doctors, nurses and medical staff, but civilians, including alarming numbers of children, who were denied essential care when clinics and hospitals were forced to close.

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