The Hague: International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutors said that there were preliminary grounds to believe that US military forces committed war crimes in Afghanistan.
In a report published on Monday evening, the prosecutors said that after a thorough inspection, the US forces were found to have committed war crimes through torture and other types of abuse at secret detention camps, Efe news reported.
According to the ICC, these detention centres were run by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and war crimes took place ‘mostly between 2003-2004’ although ‘in some cases continued until 2014’.
The crimes would have been committed in all 34 provinces of Afghanistan although Kandahar and Helmand seem to be the most affected provinces, the report said.
The report added that ‘members of the US military appear to have subjected at least 61 detained persons to torture’ and that CIA officials allegedly tortured another 27 detainees.
The ICC prosecutors said they also have good reason to believe that the Taliban and its allies, belonging to the Haqqani Network, have also committed ‘crimes against humanity and war crimes’, while war crimes and torture would also have been carried out by the Afghan government, particularly by thr National Directorate for Security intelligence agency and the Afghan National Police.
The ICC prosecution office said it will decide whether to carry out a full investigation into the Afghan issue and, according to the results, could press charges against individuals and even issue arrest warrants.
The ICC was established in 2003 to prosecute serious war crimes and crimes against humanity, but the US under former President George W. Bush was strongly opposed to the establishment of the court, of which the US is not a member.
First Published | 15 November 2016 10:54 AM