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Expedite probe into Afghan war crimes: Human Rights Watch

IANS | Last Updated: Sunday, December 1, 2013 - 16:36

Brussels: The prosecutor`s office of the International Criminal Court (ICC) should expedite its preliminary inquiry on grave international crimes committed in Afghanistan, Human Rights Watch said Sunday.

In its November Report on Preliminary Examination Activities, the ICC prosecutor`s office found that "(w)ar crimes and crimes against humanity were and continue to be committed in Afghanistan".

ICC said it would examine whether the government was taking sufficient action to investigate and prosecute these crimes.

"The ICC prosecutor`s finding that war crimes and crimes against humanity are still being committed in Afghanistan should kick-start a full inquiry to spur justice in the country," said Richard Dicker at Human Rights Watch.

"This would signal to human rights abusers in Afghanistan that they can`t evade justice forever."

Afghanistan has been a "situation under analysis" since 2007, in which the prosecutor considers whether to open formal investigations into alleged crimes in violation of international law.

The prosecutor`s office should expedite a fact-finding mission to Afghanistan to collect testimony and improve its information exchange with Afghan organisations, government bodies and relevant international entities, Human Rights Watch said.

The ICC prosecutor`s inquiry has continued for six years, longer than any other publicly pending ICC inquiry in such an early phase of examination, Human Rights Watch said.

Afghanistan joined the ICC in 2003.

First Published: Sunday, December 1, 2013 - 16:36
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