Eight months after his killing in Afghanistan’s Spin Boldak at the hands of the Taliban, the parents of Reuters photojournalist Danish Siddiqui have approached the International Criminal Court to file a complaint against key figures in the Taliban, including the Supreme Commander, on grounds of crimes against humanity.
In a press conference organised Tuesday on behalf of parents Akhtar Siddiqui and Shahida Akhtar, lawyer Avi Singh and Danish Siddiqui’s brother Omar named six individuals in the complaint, and revealed details on the circumstances of Siddiqui’s killing on 16 July, corroborated by “sufficient independent sources”.
Addressing a press conference, Singh said the formal complaint has been sent and filed against Taliban commanders, including acting prime minister of Afghanistan Mohammad Hassan Akhund and acting first deputy prime minister Abdul Ghani Baradar. Singh said they will also be seeking help from the Indian government in the matter.
“The Taliban targeted and killed Danish because he was a journalist and an Indian. That is an international crime. In the absence of rule of law in Afghanistan, the ICC has jurisdiction to investigate and try the perpetrators of Danish’s murder,” said Singh.
In a statement, Siddiqui’s family said, “On 16 July, 2021, Danish Siddiqui…was taken to a mosque, historically a place of refuge, for medical treatment. The mosque was attacked by the Taliban, and Danish was taken into custody, tortured and murdered. Reports say that he was attacked by the Red Unit of the Taliban. After his killing, his body was mutilated, including being run over by a heavy vehicle in public. His body revealed marks of brutal torture and 12 bullet entry and exit points. These were received after his capture, as his bulletproof jacket has no bullet marks. From multiple accounts, it is clear he was tortured and killed because he was a journalist and an Indian.”
(With inputs from agencies)