Afghan human rights organizations demand ICC investigation despite Afghan government assurances
December 06, 2019, The Transitional Justice Coordination Group (TJCG) is
calling on International Criminal Court (ICC) to open an investigation in
Afghanistan. While the Afghan Government has appeared before the Appeals
Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC), and has asked the ICC to not
open an investigation into the many war crimes and crimes against humanity in
Transitional Justice Coordination Group (TJCG), composed of 26 Afghan human
rights organizations based in Afghanistan, strongly disagrees with the Afghan
Government’s position. TJCG calls on all State Parties to fulfill their state
cooperation obligations and to ensure that an investigation occurs under the
current circumstances in Afghanistan.
Government contends that it has the intention and capacity to pursue domestic
prosecutions and that ICC intervention is not in the interests of peace in
Afghanistan and should be rejected.
“The Afghan Government says it can effectively
arrest and prosecute war crimes in Afghanistan. But it has not done so for the
last 40 years, and the changes it points to do not go to the heart of the matter.
The Afghan government lacks capacity to do what it says it wants to do. The ICC
is the last resort for Afghan victims, we ask that we not be abandoned,” said Horia
Mosadiq of TJCG.
Moballegh of TJCG said “The Afghan Government says justice will come after
peace. This has been a justification by previous governments to avoid justice
and accountability but, we are not willing to wait longer for an impossible
note that despite the rosy picture painted by the Afghan Government, the
reality on the ground in Afghanistan is that Afghans continue to suffer and are
being denied both peace and justice. The TJCG believes that the prevailing
impunity status enjoyed by perpetrators is the direct result of ignoring
justice for the many Afghan victims.
the proceedings before the Appeals Chambers today was the suggestion that
reviewing the Afghanistan situation is costing the ICC too much money. It would
be a travesty of justice, with justice being the very mandate of ASP and the
ICC, if monetary concerns destroyed the ability for Afghan victims an
opportunity for some measure of justice.
“We call on
the Assembly of State Parties to address any budgeting concerns by allocating
funds for an investigation in Afghanistan. Monetary concerns that can be
addressed should not be used to take from Afghans the benefit of the Rome
Statute,” said Ehsan Qaane of TJCG.
government, does not have the capacity to deliver justice and the Afghan people
should not have to wait another 40 years for justice, it is in the hands of
State Parties to ensure that the mandate of the ICC be fulfilled,” said Aziz
Rafiee of TJCG.