FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Caitlin Graf, The Nation, press[at]thenation.com, 212-209-5426
Amy Parker, SITU Research, press[at]situresearch.com, 718-237-5795
New York, NY—June 21, 2016—The Nation, America’s leading weekly magazine of progressive politics and culture, and SITU Research, an interdisciplinary studio uniting design and human rights, today launched “Where the Bodies Are Buried,” an interactive online platform that presents detailed evidence of war crimes allegedly committed by the US military in Afghanistan.
Based on Matthieu Aikins’s award-winning 2013 investigation into the deaths of 10 Afghan civilians in the area surrounding a US Special Forces base, the new project throws all available evidence into sharp relief and allows the public to examine the case.
Between November 2012 and January 2013, 10 Afghan men disappeared in Nerkh, a volatile district in central Afghanistan. According to dozens of eyewitnesses, they were all detained and arrested by the same US Army Special Forces unit: ODA 3124. On April 6, 2013, shortly after local protests forced the American unit out of the district, Afghan officials began finding the missing men’s bodies buried near the Special Forces’ former base. An Afghan interpreter affiliated with the US unit remains the only person arrested in connection with the deaths. In July 2013, the US Army’s Criminal Investigation Command launched an internal investigation into the matter. Nearly three years later, it remains open.
“Too often, governments and militaries claim that the dense fog of war precludes acting on allegations of war crimes,” explains Aikins. “With the help of SITU’s platform, we’re opening up the reporter’s notebooks in an attempt to demystify the alleged war crimes and the investigation. We also hope that it will provide a yardstick that will allow readers to judge the military’s criminal investigation once it concludes, if and when it is made public.”