Amnesty slams ICC decision not to probe alleged crimes in Afghanistan

BRUSSELS, Amnesty International condemned the International Criminal Court’s decision not to authorize an investigation into alleged crimes committed in Afghanistan, saying the ICC has acted on political rather than legal considerations.

The ICC’s decision comes just days after the US, which had already issued threats to the court, revoked the chief prosecutor’s visa because the investigation involved crimes committed by US forces, including economic sanctions and even prosecution, according to Amnesty in a press release.

“Afghanistan has been witness to heinous crimes committed with near-absolute impunity, across the country, for more than a decade and a half. The ICC’s decision today is a shocking abandonment of the victims which will weaken the court’s already questionable credibility,” said Biraj Patnaik, South Asia Director at Amnesty International.

“None of the reasons given by the ICC judges justifies this decision. The gravest crimes can only ever be investigated in trying circumstances. If anything, the court’s reluctance to proceed with investigations in the face of such constraints only reveals its overreach and signals its weak resolve,” said Patnaik.

“The court has a moral and legal duty to reach out to the victims of crimes in Afghanistan and explain this decision,” he added.

Earlier today, the ICC based at the Hague , in a press release said the pres-trial chamber of the ICC “rejected unanimously the request of the Prosecutor to proceed with an investigation for alleged crimes against humanity and war crimes, on the territory of in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.” “The judges decided that an investigation into the situation in Afghanistan at this stage would not serve the interests of justice,” it added.

Source: Kuwait News Agency