Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, December 15th, 2017

ICC Set to Probe War Crime Cases in Afghanistan

ICC Set to Probe  War Crime Cases  in Afghanistan

KABUL - The International Criminal Court's (ICC) chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has said that the international judicial body is preparing to officially investigate war crimes cases in Afghanistan.
The ICC has given victims and the families of victims two months to file complaints.
Meanwhile, civil society institutions in Afghanistan have called on the Afghan government to act responsibly and to pave the way for ICC prosecutors to launch their investigations in the country.
Afghanistan became a member of the ICC in 2003 but this is the first time that the ICC has moved to investigate alleged war crimes in the country.
On Sunday, a gathering was held by The Transitional Justice Coordination Group (TJCG) in support of the ICC’s decision. TJCG members called on the National Unity Government (NUG) under president Ashraf Ghani and CEO Abdullah Abdullah to abide by their commitments regarding the investigation of war crimes.
“This decision by the court (ICC) has raised hopes among the victims of war crimes and crimes against humanity, human rights activists and the people of Afghanistan. We hope that with the engagement of this court, solid actions are taken to maintain justice, boost longstanding peace and ensure just access for victims to their legitimate rights ,” said Naeem Nazari, TJCG member.
Meanwhile, a human right’s researcher at Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN) said that investigations show that there are three categories of people who are accused of war crimes in Afghanistan.
“Based on the ICC investigations, four groups so far have been identified who are allegedly involved in violation which include the Taliban group; second the Haqqani network, a few members of the Afghan security forces particularly from the national directorate of security and some from the Afghan police while the fourth group belongs to the central intelligence agency (CIA) and the US army; however the scale and nature of their actions are different,” said Ehsan Qane, AAN researcher.
AAN said that the Afghan government does not have the capacity to ensure the trial of those accused of having roles in war crimes.
According to TJCJ, the ICC decided to conduct investigations into war crimes in Afghanistan after the Afghan government failed to provide convincing reasons over not probing the case.
On 20 November 2017, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court ("ICC"), Fatou Bensouda, requested authorization from Pre-Trial Chamber III to initiate an investigation into alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in relation to the armed conflict in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan since 1 May 2003, as well as regarding similar crimes that have a nexus to the armed conflict in Afghanistan and are sufficiently linked to the Situation and were committed on the territory of other States Parties to the Rome Statute since 1 July 2002 ("Situation in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan"). The Prosecutor issued a Public Notice on the same date.
As per the ICC's legal framework, the victims of the alleged crimes committed in the Situation in Afghanistan have the right to submit "representations", i.e. to provide their views, concerns and expectations, to the ICC Judges that are considering the Prosecutor's request. To help facilitate this process, the Victims Participation and Reparations Section ("VPRS") of the ICC Registry has prepared a template PDF representation form which is available for download below in English, Pashto and Dari.   (Tolonews)