On December 23 local time, the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement saying that US President Trump’s amnesty to the shooting and killing of Iraqi civilians in the “Nisour Square” on the 22nd was a disregard for the dignity of the victims and the rights of their relatives.
On September 16, 2007, four armed men from the private security company Black Water of the United States opened fire on civilians without reason near Nisul Square in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, killing 14 civilians, including two children, and injuring 18.
All four were found guilty of homicide by a federal jury, but only one of them was sentenced to life imprisonment, and the other three were limited to detention during the trial. On December 22, 2020, U.S. President Trump used the “amnesty power” granted to the president by the U.S. Constitution to pardon four people.
The Iraqi Foreign Office believes that Trump’s decision does not take into account the seriousness of the four-person crime, runs counter to the values of “human rights, justice and the rule of law” touted by the United States, and completely ignores the dignity of the victims and the rights of their family members.
The Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs will urge the United States to re-examine this decision through diplomatic channels.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights also expressed deep concern about this matter.
OHCHR spokesman Urtado said that pardoning these people exacerbates “unpunishment” and will also have the effect of making others more courageous to commit similar crimes in the future. He called on the United States to re-enger its duties to ensure that such crimes can be held accountable.