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Silent Night: Interview Hekmatullah

Hekmatullah (10) is the oldest son of farmer Mohammad Dawood - the last of the 16 victims. Pretending he was asleep, he survived the fatal night.

Hekmatullah and his mother Massouma have both testified in various interviews that they had seen two soldiers at their home the night of the massacre. Later, Hekmatullah's uncle Mullah Baraan, who testified at the Bales Article 32 hearing on November 10, 2012 in Massouma's place, insisted that she told him only one soldier attacked her home.

Silent Night: Interview Hekmatullah

by Lela Ahmadzai

Story Website

The Kandahar Massacre

The Kandahar massacre is considered the deadliest war crime blamed on a single member of the U.S. Armed Forces since the war in Vietnam. In the early morning hours of March 11, 2012, U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales admittedly killed 16 Afghan civilians in villages near the military camp where he was based.

2470media's Lela Ahmadzai travelled to Afghanistan and spoke to the survivors who lost their closest relatives in the night of Bales' riot. The product of her journey is a documentary that moves the focus away from the suspect and tells the story of the victims whose voices, so far, have remained publicly unheard.

Meanwhile, on August 23rd, 2013, a military sentenced Sgt. Bales to a life sentence without parole during a court-martial at Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Seattle. On June 5, 2013, Bales had pleaded guilty to 16 murders and 6 attempted murders in a deal to avoid the death penalty - to the disappointment of many survivors and their relatives.

For details on the Bales court-martial and other important events connected to the massacre, please visit our Kandahar Massacre chronology.

Ed Kashi on 'Silent Night: The Kandahar Massacre' from World Press Photo on Vimeo.