2022 | The Netherlands District Court of The Hague, Chora plaintiffs vs The Dutch State

On 23 November 2022, The District Court of The Hague ruled that the bombing by Dutch military of a Quala – an enclosed residential compound - in the district of Chora, Afghanistan in 2007, was unlawful and that the State must pay compensation to (the relatives of) the victims. The Chora case had been brought against the Dutch State for alleged violations of International Humanitarian Law during a battle for the town of Chora, Afghanistan in 2007 which resulted in the death of between 50-80 civilians. This civil case was initiated by four Afghan relatives of victims who were represented by lawyer Liesbeth Zegveld, who were seeking to hold the Dutch State accountable for the civilian deaths caused by the bombing of Chora by Dutch military forces.

To read the case summary in English, click here.

To read the full ruling in English, click here.

To read the full ruling in Dutch, click here.

To read the Writ of Summons from 2019, click here.

In her letter (in Dutch) of February 3rd, 2023, the Dutch Minister of Defence informed the members of  the Dutch Parliament of her decision not to file an appeal against the District Court’s decision. The Minister points out that there must have been intelligence identifying the quala as a military target, but that the Dutch State was unable to substantiate this claim with concrete intelligence. Furthermore she writes that the Dutch State will pay compensation to the victims and, apparently drawing from lessons learned, that she wants to improve the military's support for recording decision-making during complex circumstances in future missions.

To read the letter publishes by the Department of Defence, click here.