Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, January 21st, 2019

No Justice for Afghan Civilians Murdered in Cold Blood

The American sergeant Calvin Gibbs has been sentenced to life imprisonment for killing innocent civilian Afghans by a military jury in the US. Gibbs was leader of a US Army unit called "Kill Team" that was exposed for brutal murder of three civilians including a young boy. Their fingers were cut and kept as war trophies by these soldiers. The victims were picked randomly and shot, while the American soldiers posing photos with them that were leaked in media later.

Three other members of the "Kill Team" unit were also sentenced. However, they will be able to come out after 10 years as the verdict allows them to come out on parole, and who knows if they will be pardoned after 10 years. It's indeed a shameful sentence which raises serious questions about the trial.

The Kill Team was responsible for deaths of several innocent Afghans. Not only they were shot without any reason, their fingers were cut and soldiers posed for pictures with corpses of the Afghan civilians, taking up their body parts as trophies.

After a strong proving of such a war crime, it would have been fair, if the military jury had announced death sentence for the members of the Kill Team. We expected the American military jury to do justice by making it a lesson for all such rogue soldiers who do not hesitate from committing a war crime that horrifies the very sense of being a human.

But unfortunately, the sentence has not met the expectations of those Afghans who still held the belief that justice was equal for all, and not just for 'terrorists', but also those who kill innocent people in the uniform of civilization and superiority, who claim to protect lives of Afghan civilians.

This sentence will further mark serious doubts in the minds of hopeful Afghans who have tied their hopes for peace and justice to prevail. What is the difference between Taliban suicide bombers who blow up among innocent civilians, and a soldier who cuts fingers of teenage boy and keep it as trophy?

The only difference is our hope on a civilized system where we expected there will be justice and these soldiers will receive deserving punishment, but all in vain. After 8 years behind bars, the members of Kill Team would be able to go on parole and eventually get pardoned. This is no justice!