Afghanistan Acquits Italian Aid Workers

Three Italian aid workers from medical charity Emergency were found innocent by Afghanistan’s intelligence agency following an allegation that they plotted to kill the governor of Helmand province, Reuters reports. The three were arrested April 10 after Afghan security forces said they located weapons and ammunition in the organization’s hospital in Helmand. “We are very happy to be released, we are very happy that our name, our own personal name and the reputation of Emergency is clear,” said Marco Garatti, one of the aid workers. “We were treated very nicely by the staff in the jail and we don’t have anything to complain about the way we were treated.”The Italian medical charity believes that foreign troops, particularly U.K. forces, are behind the arrest of the aid workers, Reuters reports. “There is a very serious chance countries in the coalition were involved, at least at the level of taking the decision,” Gino Strada, founder of the Milan-based charity, said. “How does the English government dare to send armed soldiers into a hospital run by an Italian NGO? What would have happened if Italian soldiers had burst into a hospital run by an English NGO?” The U.K. Defense Ministry has denied the accusation but clarified that British forces were “deployed to the hospital … at the request of the provincial governor’s office” after the arrests to secure the location.

About the author

  • Ma. Rizza Leonzon

    As a former staff writer, Rizza focused mainly on business coverage, including key donors such as the Asian Development Bank and AusAID.