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Amanullah Osman

09.05.2016 ( Last modified: 07.06.2016 )
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facts

Amanullah Osman was born in 1945 in Afghanistan. During the time the crimes he is alleged to have committed took place he was head of the interrogation division of the former Afghan political police force.

Osman is said to have participated in commissioning war crimes during the Saur Revolution in Afghanistan, a coup which brought the Popular Democratic Party to power on 28 April 1978 with the help of the National Afghan Army. In particular Osman allegedly participated, in his role as head of department, in numerous torture sessions and extrajudicial killings.

In 1993, Osman went to the Netherlands seeking asylum. During interrogations with the Immigration and Naturalisation Services, he did not hide his past and confirmed to the Dutch authorities that he had participated in torture sessions, as well as having signed documents which caused people to be killed. In this way Osman hoped to avoid returning to Afghanistan, now under the control of Mujahideen, communist enemies. Asylum status was not granted to Osman, but nevertheless he benefited from a reprieve, which allowed him to stay in the Netherlands.

legal procedure

In 1993, Osman went to the Netherlands seeking asylum. During interrogations with the Immigration and Naturalisation Services, he did not hide his past and confirmed to the Dutch authorities that he had participated in torture sessions, as well as having signed documents which caused people to be killed. In this way Osman hoped to avoid returning to Afghanistan, now under the control of Mujahideen, communist enemies. Asylum status was not granted to Osman, but nevertheless he benefited from a reprieve, which allowed him to stay in the Netherlands.

In 2000, a logbook on the Afghan communist regime’s crimes revealed the existence of orders to transfer people, including around 670 Afghans who were moved from local security prisons to different prisons before they disappeared. The Dutch police obtained the original transfer orders and on them was the name and signature of Osman.

The Dutch police then began a large survey that brought them all the way to Germany, to Hamburg, where a 93-year-old Afghan put forward a list of the deceased which he had received from Felix Ermacora, former UN reporter for Afghanistan, in which the names of around 4’700 people who were executed under the Afghan communist regime and then reported missing were disclosed.

In 2012, Osman died in the Netherlands at the age of 67, just before he was arrested and formally charged by the Dutch police.

On 18 September 2013, the prosecutor general’s office in the Netherlands decided to publish the list of the people who were executed or who disappeared between 1978 and 1979 on their site, so as to help those close to the victims in their grief. 30 September and 1 October 2013 were proclaimed national mourning days for Afghanistan.

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