WASHINGTON – The Pentagon rejected on Tuesday the International Criminal Court’s decision to ask for an investigation about alleged war crimes which could have been committed by soldiers of the United States and the CIA in Afghanistan, saying it lacks the necessary safeguard.
The United States has tried to downplay the issue after The Hague prosecutor Fatou Bensouda sought permission to start an investigation about alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in Afghanistan.
Laura Seal, a spokesperson for the US Department of Defense, told EFE that the department believes that an ICC enquiry with respect to US personnel in Afghanistan would not have safeguard and will be inappropriate.
The ICC prosecutor aims to probe war crimes committed by either side in the Afghan War, an issue that has long been flagged by international organizations.
Human Rights Watch on Monday supported the ICC decision to seek a large-scale investigation, which could include alleged acts of torture by the US armed forces and the CIA against terror suspects in custody in Afghanistan.
The investigation would also cover alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Taliban or the Afghan security forces, including its intelligence service and the police force.
Bensouda had also warned that her request could result in investigations of crimes committed in other states – which are part of the Rome Statute (treaty which created the ICC) – linked to the Afghan War.
One of the main challenges for the investigators is the fact that the US does not acknowledge the ICC’s jurisdiction over its citizens, as highlighted by Seal, who said any enquiry would have to be carried out by the US authorities.
The spokesperson said that the US took any accusation of inappropriate conduct by its troops seriously and had a solid history of investigating and finding those responsible for any violation of laws.