Afghans want Prince Harry to be prosecuted for the deaths of those he killed while fighting in Afghanistan for the UK military.
Harry, in his much-anticipated book Spare, reveals that he killed 25 fighters. He says that he didn’t consider them “people”, but rather “chess pieces” which had been removed from the board.
The Duke of Sussex was a military veteran and served two tours in Afghanistan, one as a co-pilot gunner for Apache attack helicopters.
Mullah Abdullah (a relative of a victim in an airstrike that was claimed to have been carried by British forces in 2011) was one of those who suggested Harry should be tried.
According to him, he lost nine family members when his house was struck by an airstrike in Nahr-E-Saraj’s Yakhchal village.
From the graveside of his father, he told the AP news agency: “We ask for the international community (Prince Harry), to bring this person to trial and that we receive compensation for our losses.
“We lost our home, our lives, and our family members. We also lost our livelihood, as well as our loved ones.”
A group of Taliban officials from Helmand province where British forces were based between 2006-2014 echoed the calls as protestors gathered in Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital.
Hameedullah Hameedi was a member in Helmand of the provincial council. He said to Sky News that Harry thought he was a civilized person and that (he had killed 25 people).
“And it’s an even greater shame for him to speak about it proudly, as an illiterate member of a poor community with no education.
“We demand that he is prosecuted by the international court and that the international community immediately punish him.”
He said, “It will certainly have an impact upon British-Afghan relations since people are aware it is a British Officer belonging to the Royal family – Prince Harry – who has martyred 25 Afghans.
Samiullah Sayed (Deputy Director of Education in Helmand) said: “As Harry has admitted, he had martyred 25 people. Harry and all of the other invaders in Afghanistan committed the same crimes.
“As an independent nation we will never forget the cruelty, brutality and savagery they committed against our nation and our citizens.”
Some posters were held up by protesters and featured Harry’s picture with a red cross through it.
Harry wrote in his book that although the killing of 25 Afghans was not something that gave him satisfaction, he wasn’t ashamed.
Many members of the British army took exception to the duke making public the number of his victims.
Sky News’ rear admiral Chris Parry, a retired Royal Navy officer, said that he has never heard a fellow serviceman “say their score” in his 35-years of service.
He said, “I am afraid to say that it’s clumsy and tasteless and doesn’t afford respect to those who have been murdered.”
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Former senior army officer Colonel Richard Kemp stated that Harry’s comments were “ill-judged”, and could lead to an attack on British soldiers.
Dominic Waghorn, Sky’s international affairs editor, said Harry’s description of what he did was “a propaganda and recruitment godsend for the country’s enemies” as borne out in the reaction to Taliban and other extremist social networks.
Philip Ingram, a retired senior intelligence officer, said he recognized in Harry signs of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and that he should be protected rather than being further criticised.