Afghanistan president signs war crimes amnesty bill into law Caitlin Price at 2:32 PM ET
[JURIST] A revised version of a controversial bill granting amnesty to groups that allegedly committed war crimes [JURIST news archive] was signed into law Saturday by Afghan President Hamid Karzai [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] after being approved [JURIST report] earlier in the day by the Afghan parliament, which includes many former militia leaders. The resolution bars the state from independently prosecuting individuals for war crimes absent accusation from an alleged victim. It also extends immunity to all groups involved in pre-2002 conflicts, as opposed to only leaders of various factions alleged to have committed war crimes during the 1980s resistance against Soviet forces and war crimes committed during the country's civil war [CNN backgrounder]. The Taliban and other human rights violators active before the establishment of the December 2001 Interim Administration in Afghanistan are protected under the bill. Critics say the law may violate Afghanistan's constitution [text] as well as certain international human rights treaties. MPs opposing the bill reportedly were threatened by former militiamen in the national assembly.
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