Posted by Wordsmith on 16 November, 2016 at 10:43 am. 1 comment.


US armed forces and the CIA may have committed war crimes by torturing detainees in Afghanistan, the International Criminal Court (ICC) has said in a report.

“Members of US armed forces appear to have subjected at least 61 detained persons to torture, cruel treatment, outrages upon personal dignity on the territory of Afghanistan between 1 May 2003 and 31 December 2014,” says the report issued on Monday by Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda.

The report added that CIA operatives may have subjected at least 27 detainees in Afghanistan, Poland, Romania and Lithuania to “torture, cruel treatment, outrages upon personal dignity and/or rape” between December 2002 and March 2008.

Most of the alleged abuse happened in 2003-2004, and was allegedly part of “approved interrogation techniques in an attempt to extract ‘actionable intelligence’ from detainees”.

Prosecutors said they would decide “imminently” whether to seek authorisation to open a full-scale investigation in Afghanistan that could lead to war crimes charges.

State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau said the US does not believe an ICC investigation is “warranted or appropriate”.

“The United States is deeply committed to complying with the law of war, and we have a robust national system of investigation and accountability that more than meets international standards,” Trudeau said.

A Pentagon spokesman, Navy Captain Jeff Davis, said officials were awaiting more details about the ICC findings before commenting.

If an investigation into the US army and the CIA goes ahead, it would be a very significant move by the ICC, according to David Bosco, who wrote a book about the ICC’s role and function in global politics.

“This would be the first time that the ICC has set its sights on US personnel and it does look like they are going to be focusing on the activities of the CIA in Afghanistan in 2003, 2004, which makes it a serious investigation of CIA interrogation practices in the wake of 9/11,” he told Al Jazeera.


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