United States forces are being investigated by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague as prosecutors there believe that there are sufficient grounds to believe that the US committed war crimes in Afghanistan in 2003-2004.
Prosecutors believe there was a “reasonable basis” that U.S. forces had tortured prisoners in Afghanistan and at Central Intelligence Agency detention facilities elsewhere in 2003 and 2004.
“Members of US armed forces appear to have subjected at least 61 detained persons to torture,” the prosecutors’ office, wrote. It added that CIA officials appeared to have tortured another 27 detainees.
The prosecutors’ office, headed by Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, said it would decide imminently whether to pursue a full investigation.
Monday’s finding marks a significant step forward in the court’s decade-old examination of conflicts in Afghanistan and could draw a sharp response from a U.S. administration that is set to become less internationalist under President-elect Donald Trump.
“These alleged crimes were not the abuses of a few isolated individuals,” the report said. “They appear to have been committed as part of approved interrogation techniques in an attempt to extract ‘actionable intelligence.’”
The prosecutors believe that all belligerents including the Afghan government and the Taliban are also guilty of crimes against humanity as well. They specifically said that CIA sites in Poland, Romania, and Lithuania may have also been scenes of war crimes as this is where detainees were taken to and interrogated.
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