Trump’s Pardon of Blackwater Iraq Contractors Violates International Law

Trump’s pardon of four men convicted of killing Iraqi civilians in 2007 violated the U.S. obligations under international law, according to a U.N. human rights expert.

Nicholas Slatten was convicted of first-degree murder, while Paul Slough, Evan Liberty and Dustin Heard were convicted of voluntary and attempted manslaughter, when the four contractors opened fire in Baghdad square killing 14 unarmed civilians.

The four contractors worked for Blackwater, headed by Erik Prince, brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and were pardoned before Christmas.

“Pardoning the Blackwater contractors is an affront to justice and to the victims of the Nisour Square massacre and their families,” said Jelena Aparac, chair of the U.N. working group on the use of mercenaries, said in a statement. These pardons violate U.S. obligations under international law and more broadly undermine humanitarian law and human rights at a global level.”

The Geneva Conventions oblige states to hold war criminals accountable for their crimes.

See Reuters.