ICC Prosecutor
Left to right: Fazal Ahmad Manawi Minister of Justice of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor of the ICC, and Mohammad Haneef Atmar, Minister of Foreign Affairs at the Seat of the Court in The Hague, The Netherlands.

ICC prosecutor pledges to work with Afghan government to achieve justice

The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has pledged to work with the Afghan government to investigate cases of war crimes and genocide in Afghanistan, said a statement issued by the Office of the ICC Prosecutor.

The statement by the prosecutor’s office came days after a high-level Afghan delegation, chaired by the Afghan foreign minister, Mohammad Haneef Atmar, paid a full-day visit to The Hague and met with Fatou Bensouda, the ICC prosecutor.

“The meeting was organized in the context of the Government of Afghanistan’s March 2020 request for the Office to defer its investigation pursuant to article 18(2) of the Rome Statute. At the meeting, detailed presentations provided further insights into investigative steps taken or planned by the national authorities in Afghanistan and an opportunity for the Office to seek clarifications on a number of discussion points,” read the statement.

Fatou Bensouda stressed the importance of a victim-centered approach. “I have great admiration for the courage and resilience of the people of Afghanistan who have withstood tremendous adversity through decades of conflict and violence. They deserve tangible justice without delay”, stated Prosecutor Bensouda. “I look forward to continuing our constructive exchanges with the Government of Afghanistan, which was exemplified by today’s discussions, as we work towards determining how justice may best be served through joint collaborative efforts with full commitment to our respective independent duties and responsibilities under the Rome Statute”, the Prosecutor said in her meeting with the Afghan delegation.

Afghanistan’s justice minister and Attorney General were also present at the meeting.

The Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC conducts independent and impartial preliminary examinations, investigations and prosecutions of the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression. Since 2003, the Office has been conducting investigations in multiple situations within the ICC’s jurisdiction.