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Amnesty International is also urging delegates to this weekend's Labour Party conference in Brighton to seek firm commitments about any military intervention's respect for international humanitarian law, and the crucial role of British forces in safeguarding the lives of civilians, including refugees.

Amnesty International UK Director of Communications Richard Bunting:

'Delegates to Conference can use their democratic right to ask ‘searching questions' of Government over what UK troops may be asked to do in any operations in or around Afghanistan.

'Conference delegates should go beyond the ‘no blank cheques' argument by asking the Government what concrete measures for protecting lives ‘Operation Enduring Freedom' is implementing.

'Any Coalition mission which dispenses with the safeguards of humanitarian law risks not only committing or allowing war crimes, but also fuelling grievances amongst armed groups able to commit acts of international outrage.

'Let it not be forgotten that the victims of the dreadful assaults on the United States deserve a response that honours their memory by pursuing justice according to the highest standards of international humanitarian law.'

Amnesty International reminds Conference that people in and around Afghanistan – many of whom are victims of terrible human rights violations living in circumstances of great distress – need the international community's reassurance that the highest standards of justice will prevail in the search for the perpetrators of 11 September's crimes.

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