ICC to no longer investigate alleged war crimes in Afghanistan, a week after US issues visa threat
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has rejected a request to investigate alleged war crimes in Afghanistan – a week after the US revoked the entry visa of ICC prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, for looking into the selfsame issue.
Announcing the decision, ICC judges cited Afghanistan’s instability and difficulties faced by investigators in the country.
US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, had warned that America might refuse visas to ICC staff involved in such probes.
He said earlier this month: “If you’re responsible for the proposed ICC investigation of US personnel in connection with the situation in Afghanistan, you should not assume that you will still have or get a visa, or that you will be permitted to enter the United States.”
Reprieve Deputy Director Katie Taylor said: “Today’s decision will be a grave disappointment for survivors of war-on-terror era torture who have waited nearly two decades for justice.
“As yet another avenue for accountability closes, we must remember that in July 2018 the UK Government pledged to announce within 60 days whether it would launch a judge-led inquiry with scope to investigate these abuses and others like them.
“It has been 285 days since that pledge was made, six months since that deadline was missed, and 18 years since many of these abuses took place. Survivors deserve better.”