The Arab Organization for Human Rights (AOHR) urged the Afghan government to refer the issue of Afghan militias fighting alongside the Assad regime to the International Criminal Court (ICC) “in light of the fact that militias have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in direct contravention to the Rome Statute of the ICC.”
In a letter addressed to the Afghan president, the UK-based Organization pointed out that Afghanistan ratified the Rome Statute of the ICC on 10 February 2003, rendering the crimes committed on Afghan soil or by Afghan citizens subject to the jurisdiction of the ICC starting 1 May 2003.
AOHR invoked article 12 of the Rome Statute which stipulates that the court may exercise its jurisdiction if a crime is committed by the citizens of Afghanistan regardless of where these crimes are perpetrated.
Neither Iran nor the Assad regime have denied the existence of these militias and have organized funerals for those Afghans killed in Syria, AOHR added. The funerals are often broadcast on state-owned channels.
The Organization also revealed that many of these Afghans and their families have been granted the Syrian citizenship. On May 2016, the Iranian Shura council ratified a law that grants the Iranian citizenship to the parents, wives and children of fighters killed in wars fought by Iran in the region.
AOHR stressed the need to bring Afghan criminals of war to justice and ensure they do not avoid punishment “in light of the heinous crimes committed in Syria and the failure of the international community to protect civilians.”
According to AOHR, these militias were initially under the command of Iraqi and Lebanese Shiite leaders and carried out attacks against Syrians before a special Afghan Shia militia, the Fatemiyoun Division, was formed in 2014. The Division has carried out many attacks around Damascus and Aleppo. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)