Afghan activists blast feeble ICC outreach

30 January 2018 by Stephanie van den Berg

Judges at the international Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague are set to consider whether the prosecutor Fatou Bensouda will be allowed to open a case into alleged war crimes in Afghanistan after she filed her request last November. With her request the court also opened the procedure for victims’ representation where those who may be directly concerned by the specific situation can register to have their views and concerns regarding a possible investigation heard. But on the eve of January 31 – the deadline for such submissions – victims’ organizations and observers on the ground say the court is not doing enough to reach the thousands of people affected.

  Boys playing with toy guns run into a village alley in Bagram, Afghanistan, 2009 (Photo: Flickr/UN Photo/Eric Kanalstein)
Image caption: 
Boys playing with toy guns run into a village alley in Bagram, Afghanistan, 2009 (Photo: Flickr/UN Photo/Eric Kanalstein)

“There is a massive information gap,” says Horia Mosadiq, a journalist and human rights activist. During her recent visits to Afghanistan she met with a number of people and organizations who were not aware of the ICC procedure and the deadline. 

“These were high-profile individuals and human rights organizations and they were not aware of the ICC deadline (this week). If this is the situation in Kabul how is it in the provinces where the majority of the victims live, many of whom cannot read or write?” she asked in an interview with IJT.

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