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Foreign forces abused detainees in Afghanistan: ICC

AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: The International Criminal Court (ICC) said that it had evidence suggesting that the US-led coalition forces in Afghanistan have abused detainees.

The ICC said the other day that inmates in the war-hit Afghanistan were subjected to psychological and physical abuse.

According to Reuters, an international news agency, the court has been investigating alleged crimes committed since 2003 by all parties to the conflict in Afghanistan, including the Afghan insurgents and foreign forces.

In the early reports on the status of its inquiry, the ICC has been very cautious about the alleged crimes and the damage caused.

The court in its recent report on the many preliminary examinations it has open, the ICC’s Office of the Prosecutor said that the US investigations of alleged crimes by its troops had not yielded convictions or risen high up the chain of command.

For the US which is not a member of the ICC and has opposed the court openly and loudly in the past, the determination marks a momentous escalation of the court’s long-running investigation.

The prosecutors wrote, “The infliction of ‘enhanced interrogation’ techniques’ … would have caused serious physical and psychological injury.”

The prosecutors said that though the evidence suggests violations committed by the Taliban and pro-Afghan government forces but neither had seriously probing the allegations against its own side.

Reuters adds that Up to 37,000 civilian casualties had been attributed to anti-government forces since 2007, and pro-government forces appeared to have meted out “gruesome” treatment to some 5,000 detainees, prosecutors said.

They were still trying to determine the gravity and scale of any violations committed by international and U.S. forces, they said.

All NATO members contributed to the International Security Assistance Force mission to Afghanistan that ran from 2001 until last year. Forces from the U.S. and other countries remain in the country on a NATO training exercise.

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