“This pardon is an insult to justice and an insult to the victims who waited so many years to see some measure of justice,” Sarah Holewinski, Washington director at Human Rights Watch, told Al Jazeera on Friday.
Trump on Tuesday pardoned the four guards – Paul Slough, Evan Liberty, Dustin Heard and Nicholas Slatten – who were part of an armored convoy that opened fire indiscriminately on a crowd of unarmed people in Nisour Square in Baghdad.
In 2014, Slatten, who was the first to start shooting, was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison, while the other three were convicted of voluntary and attempted manslaughter and sentenced to 30 years in prison each.
Holewinski said two boys below age 12 were among the victims in Nisour Square on September 16, 2007.
“When the US Justice Department prosecuted these men, we saw the rule of law at work. Now Trump’s contempt for the rule of law is on full display,” she said.