Sadeq Alamyar was born in 1951 in Afghanistan. He was Commander of the 444th Commando Force, an elite Afghan army, under Hafizullah Amin’s regime.
In April 1978, the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan was brought to power by a coup known as the Saur Revolution. This was followed by a civil war between the communist government and Islamist rebels known as Mujahedeen.
On 20 April 1979, Alamyar’s troops are believed to have raided Kerala, the capital of the Kunar province (north-eastern Afghanistan). More than 1’000 boys and men were executed or taken away to be killed, in retaliation for collaborating with anti-government fighters. Alamyar had allegedly fired some of the shots himself. His men used bulldozers to bury the bodies in mass graves. Many of the victims were only wounded and therefore buried alive. The rest of Kerala’s population deserted the village.
In the 1990s, after the collapse of the Afghan communist government and a decade of imprisonment, Alamyar was granted asylum in The Netherlands. He is now a Dutch citizen and a resident of Rotterdam.
Alamyar was arrested 27 October 2015 by the Dutch national police. The case was initiated following a criminal complaint filed in 2008 by relatives of victims. Alamyar is facing charges as a direct perpetrator, since he allegedly shot some of the victims himself. The Dutch prosecutors are accusing him of war crimes allegedly committed in a non-international armed conflict.
In December 2017, the Dutch Office of the Prosecutor dismissed the case against Sadeq Alamyar for lack of convincing evidence.
None of the perpetrators have yet been held accountable for the Kerala massacre, but because The Netherlands have no statutes of limitation for war crimes, it could still happen in the future. Another Kerala suspect, who lives in Norway, can no longer be prosecuted because of the Norwegian statute of limitations.