As we saw the other day, the Canadian Forces recently released data on the number of civilians killed and injured by our troops: 10 killed (now 11) and 30 injured. The same article relates how military officials are authorized to give up to $2,000 in compensation to families of those killed or injured.
Two thousand dollars is also the amount which US military officials are authorized to give out to Afghans as compensation. The problem is, this is an insultingly low figure.
Mirwais Ahmadzai is the regional director of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) for the eastern part of the country. He has been lobbying the US and NATO forces for significantly higher compensation rates:
Ahmadzai points out that the "blood price" for a killing under Afghan customary law is more than 10 times this amount...Dawn Black of the NDP hit the nail on the head:
Ms. Black took issue with the overall combat-oriented nature of Canada's engagement in Afghanistan, as well as the $2,000 maximum for compensation, which she called "quite insignificant."
Steven Staples, director of Ottawa think tank the Rideau Institute, disputed the completeness of DND's body count.
Mr. Staples doubted whether DND's figures included Afghan civilians killed by airstrikes called in by Canadian Forces, but delivered by other national forces such as Americans. (link)
List of civilians killed by our forces:
March 14, 2006-Nasratali Hassan, an Afghan man of unknown age, is killed when the taxi he was riding in drove too close to a Canadian patrol vehicle.
July 13, 2006-Information unavailable.
Aug. 22, 2006-Following a suicide bomb attack that killed one Canadian soldier and wounded three outside Camp Nathan Smith near Kandahar City, a 10-year-old boy was shot and killed by a Canadian soldier when the motorcycle he was riding passed through a security cordon. The motorcycle's 17-year-old driver was also shot. While listed as being in serious condition shortly after the shooting, DND reports two deaths on this day and no other information is available to determine whether the teenager also died. Canadian forces did kill an Afghan policeman in late August 2006 who was travelling in an unmarked vehicle as he approached a security checkpoint, but it's unclear if he was listed as the other civilian casualty.
Nov. 30, 2006 Information unavailable.
Dec. 12, 2006 90 year old Abdul Rahman, former primary teacher to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, was shot after failing to stop at a security checkpoint.
Feb. 17, 2007 A man of unknown age was killed after acting strangely as he approached a convoy near Kandahar Air Field.
Feb. 27, 2007 A man of unknown age was killed in Kandahar City when the car he was in is fired upon by a Canadian convoy.
July 27, 2008 A two-year-old boy and his four-year-old sister were killed in Panjwaii district when the car they were in was fired upon by a Canadian convoy.
Sep. 18, 2008 Canadian soldiers in Kandahar city shoot one civilian in a civilian car which approached a convoy.
From the comments section:
Thank you for that, terry price. However, as I'm sure you'll agree, it is scarce comfort to consider that we might at best approach half the monetary compensation which Afghans feel is right.