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Trump Pardon Sparks Reaction in Afghanistan

17 Nov 2019 Tolo News

The Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) warned on Sunday that Trump's decisions to pardon two American soldiers accused of war crimes in Afghanistan will cause the repeat of such crimes.

On Nov. 14, Trump granted clemency to two US Army officers convicted of or charged with war crimes in Afghanistan.

A full pardon was granted to Lieutenant Clint Lorance, who had ordered soldiers under his command to open fire on three men who were moving toward them on a motorcycle “with unusual speed,” according to a White House statement mentioned in a report by Bloomberg news. Lorance was originally convicted of killing two men in that incident. 

Trump also pardoned Major Matthew Golsteyn, a Green Beret who was charged with an unlawful killing in Afghanistan and was facing a court-martial, the White House statement said.

According to the statement, Golsteyn had shot a man suspected of making a bomb that had killed two Marines “because he was certain that the terrorist’s bombmaking activities would continue to threaten American troops and their Afghan partners, including Afghan civilians who had helped identify him.”

Naeem Nazari, the deputy of the Afghanistan Human Rights Commission, called on the Afghan government to not be silent over the decision and to demand clarification. 

“The (Afghan) government should demand more clarity on the issue from the US,” he said. 

TOLOnews tried to reach government officials for a comment, but could not succeed.

Meanwhile, the issue sparked reactions from Afghanistan’s parliament.

“The issue is under our authority and we can make decisions legally, but the security and political necessity require us to accept this,” said Mohammad Alam Azidyar, the first deputy speaker of Meshrano Jirga, the Upper House of Parliament.

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