The Transitional Justice Coordination Group (TJCG) on Tuesday called on the Afghan government to prepare the ground for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to work in Afghanistan.
Members of the group said at an event that the International Criminal Court has mentioned in one of its reports that at least 112 complaints have been lodged with them from Afghanistan since 2003. Most of the complaints are about crimes against humanity and war crimes.
According to the group, the complaints have lodged with the court by human rights organizations in Afghanistan.
One member of TJCG Wadud Pedram said: “Kangaroo courts and targeting civilians are examples of the crimes that have happened in Afghanistan.”
“We hope that the Afghan government provides the needed facilities as soon as possible and enables the ICC to operate in Afghanistan,” he said.
Going into details about the complaints lodged in the court, Pedram said: “The incidents that have happened after 2003 will be included in Rome’s articles of association. They should come and follow the cases in order to send them to the court and address the requests of the people and the victims.”
The presence of alleged war criminals within government has been criticized several times but the TJCG says the existence of such figures in the Afghan government can hamper the lodging of complaints.
“The National Unity Government should learn from the experiences of the previous government [under former President Hamid Karzai], and it should bear in mind that peace cannot be established, violations cannot be stopped and people’s trust cannot be gained if the legal requests of victims are ignored or if there was compromise and if the law was violated,” said Rahim Jami another member of the group.
Yet another member of TJCG Ahmad Shah Stanikzai claimed that a number of alleged criminals are working in the government.
“[Alleged] criminals are working in government organizations and offices. This situation will prevent the government from taking a proper step in this regard,” he added.
“ICC wants to start investigations. The Foreign Affairs Ministry should prepare the needed facilities for them so that they can come to Afghanistan and start their work,” TJCG member Ahmad Shuja said.
The group also said the ICC has several times asked the Afghan government to pave the way for the court but Kabul has not cooperated with them in this regard.