The United Nations has called President of United States Donald Trump's decision to pardon three US service members accused of war crimes as a 'disturbing signal' for the forces worldwide on November 19. UN rights office spokesperson Rupert Colville told the reporters that those three cases had involvement of 'serious violations' of international humanitarian law, both proven as well as alleged. The violations of rights also included the shooting of a group of civilians and the execution of a captured member of an armed group. President Trump had excused a former soldier convicted of murder and a Green Beret who was charged with the killing of a suspected bomb-maker of Taliban on November 15.
Ignoring all the warnings that his decision would be an abuse of powers under the US constitution, President Trump dismissed a second-degree murder conviction against Clint Lorance, Army First Lieutenant. Lorance has been sentenced in jail for 19 years for ordering soldiers to fire on three Afghan men in 2012, two of them died. The US President also granted clemency to West Point graduate Matt Golsteyn, a former member of the Army Green Berets who was charged with premeditated murder in the shooting death and alleged bomb-maker from the militant group in 2010. In addition to that, President Trump also revoked the demotion of a 15-year Navy Seal, Edward Gallagher accused of stabbing a wounded teenage Islamic State prisoner to death in Iraq and killing all other civilians.
The UN spokesperson found these pardons as 'very troubling' as Gallagher was cleared of most serious charges in July but was convicted of posing with the dead body the fighter in a group picture along with other SEALs. Colville also said he can not recall these type of pardons in the US since the Vietnam war. According to the international humanitarian law, it is an obligation to investigate violations and prosecute war crimes and the US had been complying to these obligations until these pardons. President Trump's recent decision runs against the letter and the spirit of the international law which demands accountability.
(With agency inputs)