Prince Harry’s “cruelties” will be “remembered by history”

Protest and condemnation follow revelations that the British royal killed 25 Afghans while on tour with the military 

January 11, 2023 by Peoples Dispatch
Prince Harry crimes in Afghanistan
Helmand University staff in a protest meeting asked the international community to try Prince Harry for his crimes committed in Afghanistan. (Photo: Afghan Press Club/Twitter)

The revelation that British royal prince Harry killed 25 Afghans while on his second tour with the British military has led to widespread international criticism, as well as protests within Afghanistan. 

Harry, now the Duke of Sussex, has admitted in his forthcoming memoir Spare that while serving as an Apache helicopter co-pilot and gunner in Afghanistan he killed 25 Afghans, and that while it “wasn’t a number that gave [him] any satisfaction,” neither “was it a number that made [him] feel ashamed.”  

The prince recounted thinking of those he had killed as “chess pieces removed from the board” or “Bads taken away before they could kill Goods.”

Thousands of Afghans were brutally killed in the decades of violence that followed the US and NATO’s invasion in 2001. As per one estimate, close to 47,000 civilians were killed between 2001 and 2021.

In 2021, UNICEF claimed that at least 28,500 children had been killed in Afghanistan since 2005, which, as per its press release, accounted for “27 percent of all verified child casualties globally.” 

A report by UK-based human rights group Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) in November 2022 revealed that the British forces alone were responsible for—and had admitted their culpability in—the killings of somewhere between 64 and 135 Afghan children in the nine years between 2006 and 2014. This period also covers the time that prince Harry was deployed to Afghanistan.

Read more: Investigation finds evidence of war crimes by UK special forces in Afghanistan 

On Sunday, January 8, a number of university students and staff led a protest in Helmand—the province to which Harry was deployed, and which saw a great deal of US and British troop activity—against both prince Harry and the imperial violence of the war in Afghanistan.  

While carrying posters denouncing him, the protesters stated that the prince’s actions in Afghanistan were “against all norms of humanity,” as per the Mirror. The protesters claimed that the cruelties perpetrated by prince Harry and other troops in Helmand and elsewhere across Afghanistan were not “only cruel” but also “unacceptable” to all segments of Afghan society, and that he should be “put on trial.”

As per the Mirror’s reporting, a teacher at the university, Sayed Ahmad Sayed, said that the “cruelties” committed by Harry and others in Afghanistan would be “remembered by history.”