Afghanistan war crimes victims appeal to ICC

Afghan army

Victims of war crimes in Afghanistan filed an appeal June 10 with the International Criminal Court (ICC) challenging the court’s recent decision not to pursue a war crimes investigation in Afghanistan. The appeal was filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York and the Global Justice Clinic at the New York University School of Law, among others, on behalf of the victims. The victims claim that significant war crimes have taken place in Afghanistan and┬áthat failure to investigate┬áwill deny the victims justice, while allowing the perpetrators to escape justice. The victims further claim that the perpetrators will be free to continue committing war crimes and that the mandate of the ICC will be severely damaged if justice is not served. The victims specifically highlighted that top officials in the US government have failed to comply with the court’s requests and, as such, have interfered with the effectiveness of the investigation and the ICC as a whole.

It is not specifically alleged who exactly committed the war crimes, but it is likely related to several alleged war criminals for whom President Donald Trump is reportedly considering pardons. The Trump administration has refused to cooperate with any ICC investigation of the War on Terror and has threatened consequences if the ICC does pursue an investigation.

From Jurist, June 13. Used with permission.

Note: Trump last month granted a full pardon to former Army 1st Lt. Michael Behenna, who was convicted by a military court in 2009 for killing an Iraqi prisoner. He has since suggested that more such pardons are imminent.

Photo: Army Amber via Pixaby