Human rights organizations in both the United States and Afghanistan are now sharply criticizing the International Criminal Court in The Hague for deciding not to investigate war crimes committed in Afghanistan.
The court itself refers to practical problems but has also been subjected to strong pressure from the United States which opposed the investigation.
The investigation would have been about whether one of the parties in the war in Afghanstan committed war crimes. Even since 2006, the court has gathered evidence of crimes that may have been committed by both Taliban, warlords, Afghan government forces – and US military in front of all of how they detained suspected terrorists.
First in 2017, Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda initiated a formal investigation, something that the United States immediately opposed. In March, Trump’s security advisor Johan Bolton said that the United States would withdraw or refuse visas to staff from the international court who investigated Americans in the Afghan case and a few weeks ago Fatou Bensouda received his visa withdrawn. And yesterday, the court announced that it does not proceed with the investigation with the explanation that it is too complicated and costly to continue.
US President Donald Trump calls the Court’s decision for an international victory. But for human rights organizations in Afghanistan, the message is shocking.
“We Afghans have suffered so long and the court was our last hope because we live in a country where no justice is being passed,” said representatives of the Afghanistan Human Rights and Democracy Organization to the news agency Reuters.
American human rights organizations are also critically critical.
Trump administration’s bullying tactics may help the US out of justice this time around, but it is a dangerous game that will hit the United States, writes one of the chiefs of the American civil liberties union who would host several detainees and appear to have been tortured in US custody In Afghanistan, something that was part of the ICC investigation that has now been stopped.