ICC Prosecutor Calls For Afghanistan War Crimes Investigation : The Two-Way : NPR

ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda stated she has determined to request authorization to open a proper investigation of battle crimes in Afghanistan.

Peter Dejong/AP


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Peter Dejong/AP

ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda stated she has determined to request authorization to open a proper investigation of battle crimes in Afghanistan.

Peter Dejong/AP

The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court is asking for an investigation into potential battle crimes and crimes towards humanity in Afghanistan.

The scope of such an investigation is not clear, however it might have the potential to contain U.S. troops. Fatou Bensouda stated in a press release that she has determined to request authorization to open a proper investigation. ICC judges would then resolve whether or not the state of affairs meets the court docket’s standards.

Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon advised NPR: “Our view is clear: An ICC investigation with respect to U.S. personnel would be wholly unwarranted and unjustified. More broadly, our overall badessment is that commencement of an ICC investigation will not serve the interests of either peace or justice in Afghanistan.”

Bensouda stated the court docket’s jurisdiction for crimes dedicated in Afghanistan extends to May 1, 2003.

Friday’s badertion would not title particular events or incidents that might doubtlessly be investigated. But a report launched by the prosecutor’s workplace final 12 months says there’s a “reasonable basis” to imagine the next crimes have occurred:

  • “Crimes towards humanity and battle crimes by the Taliban and their affiliated Haqqani Network;
  • “War crimes of torture and badociated ill-treatment by Afghan authorities forces, particularly the intelligence company (National Directorate for Security), and the Afghan National Police;
  • “War crimes of torture and related ill-treatment, by US military forces deployed to Afghanistan and in secret detention facilities operated by the Central Intelligence Agency, principally in the 2003-2004 period, although allegedly continuing in some cases until 2014.”

According to Bensouda’s badertion, the investigation would additionally embrace “war crimes closely linked to the situation in Afghanistan allegedly committed since 1 July 2002 on the territory of other States Parties to the Rome Statute,” the worldwide treaty that established the ICC.

A probe into Afghanistan can be a primary for the court docket, which was established when the Rome Statute took impact in 2002. Previous ICC instances have targeted on defendants from African international locations, a supply of criticism for the worldwide authorized physique. The ICC can be investigating the armed battle in Georgia.

The U.S. initially signed the Rome Statute beneath the Clinton administration however by no means ratified it, citing considerations that it might be used to prosecute U.S. residents unfairly.

However, the ICC would nonetheless be capable to examine, the BBC provides, as a result of “Afghanistan is a member, and the court’s jurisdiction covers crimes committed on any member state’s territory regardless of the nationality of the perpetrator.”

At the identical time, “legal experts have said the chances of American service members being charged and sent to face justice at the ICC are remote,” in line with The Associated Press.

Bensouda’s report final 12 months acknowledged that there’s a “reasonable basis to believe” that U.S. armed forces members subjected “at least 61 detained persons to torture, cruel treatment, outrages upon personal dignity on the territory of Afghanistan between 1 May 2003 and 31 December 2014.” It added that it has motive to imagine that CIA members carried out comparable acts towards at the least 27 detained individuals “on the territory of Afghanistan and other State Parties to the Statute (namely Poland, Romania and Lithuania) between December 2002 and March 2008.”

The report additionally blamed the Taliban and different anti-government armed teams for “more than 17,000 civilian deaths in the period between January 2007 and December 2015.”

Pahon stated the U.S. helps accountability for crimes dedicated by the Taliban and “other serious crimes in Afghanistan.” He added: “However, we have long believed and stated that justice is most effective when it is delivered at the local level.”


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