Introduction: The Trump administration has threatened judges and their families but the investigation against both the Taliban and US military will continue despite a lower ruling which has been overturned.
The US military and CIA are accused of widespread use of rape and torture and the murder of thousands of prisoners. It is believed that thousands of Americans who served in Afghanistan may eventually be under scrutiny including and especially civilian contractors.
The ICC investigation will look at actions by US, Afghan, and Taliban troops. It is possible, however, that allegations relating to UK troops could emerge in that process.
The US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, said at the time that Washington would revoke or deny visas to ICC staff seeking to investigate alleged war crimes and other abuses committed by US forces in Afghanistan or elsewhere. Bensouda later confirmed that her US visa had been revoked.
She has said there is information that members of the US military and intelligence agencies committed acts of torture, cruel treatment, outrages upon personal dignity, rape and sexual violence against conflict-related detainees in Afghanistan and other locations, principally in the early years of the conflict.
“This is the first time the US will be held to account for its actions, even though it tried to bully the ICC into shutting this investigation down. That the ICC did not bow to that pressure and instead upheld victims’ right to accountability, gives us hope that no one is beyond the reach of justice.”
Ahmed Rabbani, a Pakistani taxi driver who was rendered to Afghanistan and tortured for 540 days by US personnel, was among the victims who supported the appeal. He has been held in Guantánamo since 2004 without charge or trial. Read more…
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