Professor and Associate Dean Milena Sterio’s op-ed article, “Polish Soldiers Acquitted of War Crimes for Nangar Khel Incident,” was published by JURIST, in its Academic Commentary Section. JURIST is a web-based legal news and legal research service based at the University of Pittsburgh Law School; its Academic Commentary Section includes op-ed articles contributed by law professor and special contributors. Professor Sterio was asked by JURIST editors to provide the above-mentioned op-ed article, in light of her expertise in the area of international criminal law.
In her op-ed article, Professor Sterio discusses the recent decision by a Polish military court in Warsaw to acquit a group of Polish soldiers of charges of war crimes (the soldiers were nonetheless convicted of lesser crimes). The soldiers had been accused of deliberately killing civilians at the Nangar Khel village in Afghanistan back in 2007; the Polish soldiers were fighting in Afghanistan as part of a larger United States-led coalition against the Taliban and Al Qaeda forces. The soldiers’ prosecution in Poland was particularly significant because it represented the first modern-day prosecution for war crimes charges.