International Criminal Court Says U.S. and CIA ‘Appear’ to Have Committed War Crimes

U.S. Army soldiers in Afghanistan in 2004. (Flickr / CC 2.0)

In an astonishing report released this week, the International Criminal Court stated that the United States and the CIA appear to have committed war crimes in Afghanistan in the early 2000s.

“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,” the report states, as per the Associated Press.

AP continued:

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, the report said.

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

Before deciding to open a full-scale investigation, ICC prosecutors have to establish whether they have jurisdiction and whether the alleged crimes are [already] being investigated and prosecuted in the countries involved. The ICC is a court of last resort that takes on cases only when other countries are unable or unwilling to prosecute.

The U.S. is not currently a member of the international tribunal, but American citizens could still be prosecuted. “Americans could still face prosecution at [ICC] headquarters in The Hague if they commit crimes within its jurisdiction in a country that is a member, such as Afghanistan, and are not prosecuted at home,” the AP explained. “Prosecutors say investigations also are reportedly underway in Poland, Romania and Lithuania—all signatories to the Rome Statute—into possible crimes at CIA detention facilities in those countries.”

Read the full story here.

—Posted by Emma Niles

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