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 killed 16 Afghan civilians in the villages near the military camp where he was based.

Lela Ahmadzai traveled to Afghanistan and spoke to the survivors who lost their closest relatives in the night of Bales' rampage. 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 court sentenced Sgt. Bales to a life sentence without parole. On June 5, 2013, Bales had pleaded guilty to 16 murders and 6 attempted murders in a deal to avoid the death penalty — much to the disappointment of many survivors and their relatives.

For details on the Bales court-martial and other important events connected to the massacre, feel free to visit the Kandahar Massacre chronology put together by 2470media, the group of which Lela Ahmadzai is a part.

—LensCulture


Editor's Note: 
Ahmadzai's work was also recognized by World Press Photo, taking 2nd Prize in the online short category.

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