News Release

Will Victims of U.S. Hospital Bombing be Heard?

Former MSF Kunduz Hospital pharmacist, Khalid Ahmad, recuperating at Emergency Hospital in Kabul. (Photo courtesy of Dr. Hakim)

The British newspaper the Independent reports: “International medical charity, Doctors Without Borders, on Monday submitted a petition to the White House requesting an independent investigation into the U.S.’s October 3 attacks on a trauma center in Afghanistan.

“More than 545,000 people worldwide signed the petition calling on President Barack Obama to approve a International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission (IHFFC) investigation into the attack on the hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan that killed 31 civilians and injured dozens more. IHFFC, which investigates violations of humanitarian law, has agreed to conduct the investigation if Washington and Kabul offer their consent.”
“’While the U.S., NATO, and the Afghan government have launched investigations, it is impossible to rely only on the parties involved in the conflict in Afghanistan to carry out independent and impartial investigations of acts in which they are implicated,’ a Doctors Without Borders press release said. ‘Perpetrators cannot also be judges.'”

BRIAN TERRELL, brian at vcnv.org
Terrell was in Afghanistan last month and is a co-coordinator for Voices for Creative Nonviolence. He has written several pieces including “Life Under Helicopters: Dispatch From Kabul.”

KATHY KELLY, kathy at vcnv.org
Kelly is co-coordinator of the group Voices for Creative Nonviolence. Her most recent piece is “Killing Blindly in the Endless War.”

Dr. HAKIM, hakimoryoung at rediffmail.com
Dr. Hakim is a medical doctor from Singapore who has done humanitarian and social enterprise work in Afghanistan for the past nine years, including being a friend and mentor to the Afghan Peace Volunteers, an inter-ethnic group of young Afghans dedicated to building non-violent alternatives to war. He is the 2012 recipient of the International Pfeffer Peace Prize.

He just wrote the piece “Kunduz MSF Hospital U.S. Bombing Survivor: ‘I Want my Story to be Heard’” — which states: “’I feel very angry, but I don’t want anything from the U.S. military,’ said Khalid Ahmad, a 20-year-old pharmacist who survived the U.S. bombing of the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) / Doctors Without Borders Hospital in Kunduz on the 3rd of October, ‘God will hold them accountable.’

“The actions of the U.S. military elicit the same contempt from Khalid and many ordinary Afghans as the actions of the Taliban or the ISIS.

“Khalid was a little wary when Zuhal, Hoor and I were introduced to him in a ward of Emergency Hospital in Kabul, where he has been recuperating from a U.S. shrapnel injury to his spine that nearly killed him.

“But, immediately, I saw his care for others. ‘Please bring a chair for him,’ Khalid told his brother, not wanting me to be uncomfortable in squatting next to him, as we began our conversation in the corridor space outside the ward.

“Having just recovered strength in his legs, he had walked tentatively to the corridor, making sure his urinary catheter bag wasn’t in the way as he sat down.

“The autumn sun revealed tired lines on his face, as if even ‘skin’ can get permanently traumatized by the shock of bomb blasts.

“’The Taliban had already taken control of all areas in Kunduz except the MSF Hospital and the airport. I felt I could still serve the patients safely because neither the Afghan /U.S. military forces nor the Taliban would bother us. At least, they’re not supposed to.’ Khalid paused imperceptibly. …”