Human Rights Watchdog Disappointed With ICC’s Failure To Investigate War Crimes in Afghanistan
A South Asia human rights organisation in a strongly worded press release, expressed frustration with the International Criminal Court (ICC) for its failure to investigate war crimes and other human rights violations in Afghanistan committed by the Taliban, US, Afghan and other international forces.
“South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR), a regional network of human rights defenders, is disappointed of the decision taken by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on 12 April 2019 to not investigate the situation in Afghanistan, pursuant to Article 15 of the Rome Statute, concluding that an investigation at this stage would not serve the interests of justice, thereby rejecting the Prosecutor’s request,” the press release stated.
The human rights group notes that a large number of victims had risked their lives by coming forward and the court despite finding sufficient information that war crimes and crimes against humanity were committed, decided to not undertake national proceedings in this regard, citing non-cooperation of relevant parties and budgetary constraints.
The release also implied that ICC took this decision fearing retaliation from US officials. “Prior to the decision, the media reported statements by US officials of measures to be taken against the ICC officials if such an investigation proceeded.”
The human rights group states that it believes that this decision will not only deny suffering of the victims who have no national platform to seek justice but it also goes against the ICC mandate.
“International mechanisms such as the ICC exists for ensuring justice for the victims of grave and heinous crimes. SAHR believes that this decision also questions the Court’s future and its credibility by abandoning the rights of victims to seek justice,” the release concludes.