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ICC Seeks Inquiry Of Rape, Torture By US Military And CIA In Afghanistan

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The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has requested judicial permission to investigate alleged atrocities committed by US troops and members of the CIA in Afghanistan.

The decision by ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, seeking authorization from the Court's Judges to initiate an investigation into alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity, is likely to anger the US administration.

The predominant sentiment in Afghanistan is for the US troops to withdraw from the country, but President Donald Trump in August had ruled out an immediate withdrawal.

The ICC has international mandate to prosecute war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, but major powers such as the United States, Russia and China have not signed up to the Rome Statute that established the Court.

Thus far, there have been 25 cases before the Court, headquartered in the Dutch city of Hague. Nine people were convicted and one acquitted after trial.

Based on the evidence collected in the investigation, the Prosecutor can request ICC Judges to issue either summons to appear or arrest warrants to the perpetrators, the Curt said in a statement.

The Situation in Afghanistan has been under preliminary examination by the Office of the ICC Prosecutor since 2006.

The Prosecutor says there is a reasonable basis to believe that members of the US armed forces and the Central Intelligence Agency have committed war crimes in secret detention facilities in Afghanistan, mainly during 2003-2004.

The Hague will also look into crimes against humanity and war crimes committed by the Taliban, their affiliated Haqqani Network, Afghan National Security Forces, members of the National Directorate for Security and the Afghan Police in the war ravaged country from May 2003.

The Prosecutor has notified victims or their legal representatives that they have until 31 January 2018 to submit representations to the Judges of Pre-Trial Chamber III.

by RTT Staff Writer

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