November 17, 2016 No.

Egyptian Daily: U.S. Should Be Held Accountable For Its Crimes In Iraq And Afghanistan

On November 14, 2016, prosecutors at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague published a report stating that there is "a reasonable basis to believe" that "war crimes of torture and related ill-treatment" were committed by "U.S. military forces deployed to Afghanistan and in secret detention facilities operated by the Central Intelligence Agency," mainly in 2003 and 2004 but also "allegedly continuing in some cases until 2014." The report alleges that the forces tortured 61 or more detainees, and that CIA officials tortured 27 others.[1]

Following the publication of the report, the November 16, 2016 editorial of the official Egyptian daily Al-Ahram called for holding the U.S. accountable for war crimes it committed as part of its military intervention in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other locations around the globe.


The following are excerpts from the article:

"For many years, the U.S. intervened militarily in many areas, on various pretexts. It carried out many crimes for which it has not been held accountable. Therefore, it is not surprising that the ICC announced that there is a  reasonable basis to believe that U.S. forces committed war crimes in Afghanistan and in secret detention facilities in other areas in 2003 and 2004.

"A report by the ICC prosecutors stressed that these crimes were not abuses of a few isolated individuals but appear to have been committed as part of approved interrogation techniques in an attempt to extract intelligence [from detainees].

"In truth, this report reminds us of what the American forces did in Iraq - that is, the scandal at Abu Ghraib prison. [It reminds us] of the variety of despicable torture methods used by the American forces against Iraqi detainees, such as siccing dogs [on them] while they were completely naked, and of other crimes committed by the U.S. Army in many [other] areas, for which it should be held accountable because they reached the level of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

"The annual report on the preliminary examination activities [regarding possible American war crimes], that is, the phase that precedes an ICC prosecutorial investigation, proves that the number of crimes committed by U.S. forces in Afghanistan was not small. Moreover, the report explicitly states that there is a 'reasonable basis to believe these alleged crimes were committed in furtherance of a policy or policies aimed at eliciting information through the use of interrogation techniques involving cruel or violent methods.'

"In conclusions, we are facing the systematic policy of a state, and the behavior of American forces and other elements in Iraq proves this. Therefore, there is no way out of holding [it] accountable, assertively, effectively, and decisively, in light of these horrid crimes, so that they are never repeated..."[2]





[2] Al-Ahram (Egypt), November 16, 2016.