November 14, 2016

Int'l Criminal Court Says CIA, US Forces in Afghanistan Committed Torture

Evidence suggests that the CIA and US forces in Afghanistan committed torture and other war crimes during interrogations, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Fatou Bensouda said Monday. 

"The information available provides a reasonable basis to believe that, in the course of interrogating these detainees, and in conduct supporting those interrogations, members of the US armed forces and the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) resorted to techniques amounting to the commission of the war crimes of torture, cruel treatment, outrages upon personal dignity, and rape," the prosecutor said in her annual Report on Preliminary Examination Activities. Alleged US war crimes also reportedly extended to secret detention facilities in Eastern Europe.

According to the report, the crimes seemed to be the result of "approved interrogation techniques," rather than isolated incidents. The ICC prosecutor did not indicate whether the court would definitely pursue a full investigation. Moscow would welcome an investigation into possible war crimes in Afghanistan, allegedly committed by the US military, a RIA Novosti source in the Russian Foreign Ministry reported. 

US troops entered Afghanistan following the September 11, 2001 attacks, to overthrow the Taliban regime and to fight the al-Qaeda terrorist group, which took refuge in the country. It was originally planned that the troops would be withdrawn in full in 2014, but the country's current leadership has asked that part of the contingent remain to this day to help local security forces.

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