[QODLink]
Central & South Asia
US soldiers charged in Afghan urination case
Marine Corps punishment for incident, a video of which was circulated on internet, falls short of criminal prosecution.
Last Modified: 24 Sep 2012 23:50
Shortly after the release of the footage, Afghanistan was engulfed by anti-US Quran-burning protests [Reuters]

Two US soldiers are to face criminal charges for urinating on the bodies of dead Taliban fighters in Afghanistan, the Marines Corps has said.

The criminal charges are the first faced by anyone over the incident, a video of which was widely circulated on the internet, prompting protests in Afghanistan earlier this year.

At the time, Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, called the Marines' actions "inhumane".

Staff Sergeants Joseph Chamblin and Edward Deptola were also charged with "posing for unofficial photographs with human casualties" the Marine Corps said, and will face a court martial.

The Marine Corps' investigation showed that although the video was only circulated on the internet in January, the incident actually took place on or around July 27, 2011, during an operation in Helmand province.

The Marine Corps said on August 27 that three soldiers had pleaded guilty to charges over the video. Their punishment, however, fell short of criminal prosecution.

Chamblin and Deptola also face a series of charges related to being in dereliction of their duties, including failing to supervise junior soldiers. The charges also include failing to report the "negligent discharge" of a grenade launcher.

Deptola is also charged with failing to stop the unnecessary damaging of Afghan compounds.

The Marine Corps said there were other pending cases in the video investigation. They declined to elaborate on the incident in which the negligent actions took place.

226

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.