The need for impartiality in war crime investigations

Sunday, 09 July 2017 03:14 Written by  Heart of Asia Read 264 times

The issue of war crimes and transitional justice has once again become a hot topic. The fresh discussions about war crimes came after the International Criminal Court (ICC) in Hague said the Afghan government has shared new information with it regarding the issue. The court has said that it was due to launch probe into war crimes in Afghanistan last November, but the start of investigations has now been delayed because of the new information.

 

The International Criminal Court has previously stated that it would investigate the war crimes occurred post 2003. The Afghan government has also confirmed that it has refered the criminal cases of some Taliban commanders, including Anas Haqqani, the son of the leader of the dreaded Haqqani terrorist network, to ICC. 

As a war-stricken nation, the news about investigation of war crimes is a promising development to Afghans; however, there are still some concerns and questions about it. If there is any talk about the investigation of war crimes and implementation transitional justice, all sides involved in the conflict should be equally dealt with. 

Both the International Criminal Court and Afghan government should transparently investigate all violations of human rights and laws of war that constitute war crimes. In additional to the Taliban, pro-government forces, including their western allies, have also committed actions that constitute war crimes, so turning a blind eye to them itself is an injustice. 

Moreover, some senior Afghan officials have been accused of war crimes, and the Afghan government should also have referred, or refer their cases to The Hague like cases of some Taliban commanders.  Although it is not expected The Hague will implement its verdicts on NATO and American troops, their activities should not be excluded from the probe. Only full impartiality can pave the way for justice in war crime investigation, and protect the oppressed Afghan people from becoming victims of such crimes in the future.