Army investigating desecration reports

The Army is investigating reports from Afghanistan of soldiers desecrating or mishandling the bodies of enemies combatants killed in battle. The kinds of actions they are investigating have been at worst condoned or at best ignored by armies throughout history. That the US Army prohibits these actions and takes the problem so seriously is a testament to the professionalism and high standards of the vast majority of US service members.

October 19, 2005
Release Number: 05-10-72

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

U.S. INVESTIGATES ALLEGATION OF LAW OF WAR VIOLATION

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – The Army Criminal Investigation Division has initiated an investigation into alleged misconduct by U.S. service members, including the burning of dead enemy combatant bodies under inappropriate circumstances.

“This command takes all allegations of misconduct or inappropriate behavior seriously and has directed an investigation into circumstances surrounding this allegation,” said Maj. Gen. Jason Kamiya, Combined Joint Task Force-76 Commander. “If the allegation is substantiated, the appropriate course of action under the Uniform Code of Military Justice and corrective action will be taken.”

Service members are expected to abide by the highest standards of behavior and the law, he said.

“This command does not condone the mistreatment of enemy combatants or the desecration of their religious and cultural beliefs,” Kamiya said.

“This alleged action is repugnant to our common values, is contrary to our commands approved tactical operating procedures, and is not sanctioned by this command. Our efforts to thoroughly investigate this allegation are a reflection of our commitment to the Government of Afghanistan and the Afghan people.”

October 19, 2005
Release Number: 05-10-71

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CENTCOM CONDEMNS ALLEGATIONS OF DESECRATION

MacDill AFB, FL — Recent media reports out of Afghanistan have alleged that U.S. forces were involved in an incident involving the desecration of the bodies of deceased enemy combatants.

Under no circumstances does U.S. Central Command condone the desecration, abuse or inappropriate treatment of enemy combatants. Such actions are contrary to U.S. policy as well as the Geneva Convention.

The Army Criminal Investigation Division has initiated an investigation into the alleged misconduct. Should that investigation uncover actions by U.S. personnel that were contrary to the Geneva Convention and U.S. policy, legal and disciplinary action will be taken in accordance with the U.S. Code of Military Justice.

Source: US Central Command

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