The International Criminal Court’s (ICC) chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, has announced that the US military and the CIA may be guilty of carrying out war crimes in Afghanistan.
Bensouda made the announcement while unveiling the results of a preliminary probe launched into the US’s actions in the country, which mainly occured between 2003 and 2004 during the “cruel and violent” interrogation of prisoners.
There is “reasonable basis to believe that, in the course of interrogating these detainees … members of the US armed forces and the US Central Intelligence Agency resorted to techniques amounting to the commission of the war crimes of torture, cruel treatment, outrages upon personal dignity, and rape,” she said.
“Members of US armed forces appear to have subjected at least 61 detained persons to torture,” said the ICC, adding that CIA personnel seem to have tortured a further 27 prisoners. It added that it is yet to decide if it will launch a full investigation into the case.
“These alleged crimes were not the abuses of a few isolated individuals,” said the report. “They appear to have been committed as part of approved interrogation techniques in an attempt to extract ‘actionable intelligence.’”