Sunday, June 23, 2024

Probe into alleged British war crimes in Afghanistan delayed post-UK elections

Immigration News

Fidel Rahmati
Fidel Rahmati
Fidai Rahmati is the editor and content writer for Khaama Press. You may follow him at Twitter @FidelRahmati

British media have reported that the investigation into potential war crimes by UK forces in Afghanistan, including the examination of evidence presented by the former British Defense Secretary, has been delayed until after the country’s general elections.

The UK’s Standard newspaper published a report on Wednesday, May 28, citing a spokesperson for this investigative case as writing that Sir Charles Haddon-Cave, the head of the investigation, has concluded that his decision should be postponed until the pre-election period.

He also decided to postpone the review of documents by Ben Wallace, the former British Defense Secretary, which was scheduled to be examined by the inquiry’s lawyer on Monday.

This investigative case at the UK Ministry of Defense was progressing on several fronts, including hearings with officials involved in Afghanistan affairs and efforts to identify those who had previously confirmed war crimes in Afghanistan.

According to reports, investigations on both sides have been halted. The Standard reported that the decision on whether Johnny Mercer (a former soldier who had confirmed war crimes in Afghanistan based on testimonies from British soldiers) can continue to keep secret the names of those who spoke to him about alleged killings by British special forces in Afghanistan has been postponed until after the general elections.

It is worth mentioning that earlier, British media reported that the process of addressing potential war crimes committed by British soldiers in Afghanistan may be delayed until 2025, while a former top military official in the British government during a Ministry of Defense hearing confirmed war crimes by British soldiers in Afghanistan.

The Guardian newspaper, in a report published last month, had mentioned the possibility of delaying the investigation into the commission of war crimes by British soldiers in Afghanistan and highlighted the difficulties encountered in the Ministry of Defense’s hearings, which were responsible for investigating this case.

Investigations by a British legal organization called “Leigh Day” indicate that British special forces (SAS) may have killed at least 80 Afghan civilians between 2010 and 2014. A letter from “Phil Shiner,” a public inquiry lawyer about these killings, which The Guardian has seen, indicates that these killings were carried out with “cold-bloodedness.”

The Guardian reported based on this letter that even if the British Ministry of Defense hires additional legal staff and purchases specialized software during the investigation, document submission may not be possible until October or November of this year; Therefore, Ministry hearings may be delayed until March 2025.

This is while Johnny Mercer, a former top military official in the British government, confirmed war crimes by British soldiers in Afghanistan in late March of this year and received an order from the Ministry of Defense to provide documents to prove this claim.

The issue of the “killing of Afghan civilians by British special forces in Afghanistan” has been a hot topic in the media of both countries for the past two years. Since then, separate investigations have been conducted to prove or refute this claim, but the British government has not officially confirmed it.

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