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Official: Lack of Afghan war crime trials shows 'double standard'

Official: Lack of Afghan war crime trials shows 'double standard'

An Afghan official said Saturday that Saddam Hussein's trial and execution show a double standard in the international community, as no one in Afghanistan has been prosecuted for atrocities from the country's 25 years of war.
Ahmad Nader Nadery, an official with the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, said war crimes trials would end the impunity enjoyed by Afghan warlords.
"This is something we need in Afghanistan, and it's something the international community has forgotten to do here," Nadery said.
He said Saddam's execution signals a double standard "in terms of dealing with the past atrocities in Iraq, but ignoring Afghanistan."
Afghan President Hamid Karzai said the killing of Saddam was "the work of the Iraqi government" and would have "no effect" on Afghanistan.
However, he appeared to criticize the execution's timing.
"We wish to say that Eid (a major Islamic religious festival) is a day for happiness and reconciliation. It is not a day for revenge," Karzai told reporters at the presidential palace after offering an Eid prayer at Kabul's main mosque early Saturday.
Karzai did not comment on whether Afghanistan should have war crimes trials.
Nadery said that high-profile figures like fugitive Taliban leader Mullah Omar and al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden should be put on trial, and that other fighters from the war with the Soviets, the country's 1990s civil war and from the Taliban regime should also face justice.
An estimated 50,000 civilians died during the 1992-96 war, a time of anarchy that gave rise to the Taliban.
Many commanders from that era now hold positions of power in the Afghan government.
Earlier this month Afghanistan launched an Action Plan on Peace, Reconciliation and Justice, which the U.N. labeled a first step in coming to terms with decades of human rights violations.
U.N. spokesman Aleem Siddique said at the time that countries in post-conflict situations need to document the past "and acknowledge the suffering of people."
Siddique said that perpetrators of abuses in Afghanistan would "eventually be held to account," though he said that it was too early to say how that would play out, and that he did not know if it would involve charging people in court with crimes against humanity.


Updated : 2021-03-02 10:03 GMT+08:00