Inside Story

How can the ICC investigate possible war crimes in Afghanistan?

The International Criminal Court has cleared the way for an inquiry into allegations of atrocities, angering the US.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has authorised an investigation into accusations of war crimes in Afghanistan.

Following an appeal by the ICC’s chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, which was approved after being rejected last year, allegations of atrocities committed by US soldiers, the Taliban and Afghan forces will be investigated.

The torture of prisoners, sexual violence and the indiscriminate mass killing of civilians are among the claims the ICC wants to look into.

However, the US does not recognise the court’s authority and the White House has even imposed a travel ban on its judges.

So, can justice be done in the war-torn country? And is politics at play?

Presenter: Peter Dobbie


Mushtaq Rahim – founding member of think-tank Afghanistan Affairs Unit

Shafiq Hamdam – former adviser to NATO’s senior civilian representative in Afghanistan

Kevin Jon Heller – law professor at the University of Amsterdam and the Australian National University