Wednesday, January 15

Iraq: “Devastating” Dossier Alleging British War Crimes Lodged with the International Criminal Court

Tony Blair meets troops in Iraq in 2003. A dossier alleging "systematic" war crimes by British forces - sent to Iraq by the former Prime Minister - has been presented to the International Criminal Court (PA)

Source: The Independent.
By Jonathan Owen, 12 January, 2014

Excerpts:
"A devastating 250-page dossier, detailing allegations of beatings, electrocution, mock executions and sexual assault, has been presented to the International Criminal Court, and could result in some of Britain's leading defence figures facing prosecution for "systematic" war crimes.
General Sir Peter Wall, the head of the British Army; former defence secretary Geoff Hoon; and former defence minister Adam Ingram are among those named in the report, entitled "The Responsibility of UK Officials for War Crimes Involving Systematic Detainee Abuse in Iraq from 2003-2008".

The damning dossier draws on cases of more than 400 Iraqis, representing "thousands of allegations of mistreatment amounting to war crimes of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment".

They range from "hooding" prisoners to burning, electric shocks, threats to kill and "cultural and religious humiliation". Other forms of alleged abuse include sexual assault, mock executions, threats of rape, death, and torture."

"The complaint being considered by the ICC presents evidence of the "systematic use of brutal violence, that at times resulted in the death of detainees, while in the custody of UK Services Personnel". And it claims "there is evidence of brutality combined with cruelty and forms of sadism, including sexual abuse, and sexual and religious humiliation". It points to the widespread use of "hooding", forcing people to remain in painful "stress positions", sleep deprivation, noise bombardment and deprivation of food and water. These interrogation techniques were used by British soldiers in Northern Ireland before being banned in 1972. There are "clear patterns" of the banned techniques being used "in a variety of different UK facilities [in Iraq] ... from 2003 to 2008," says the complaint. And evidence "suggests that failures to follow-up on or ensure accountability for ending such practices became a cause of further abuse. The obvious conclusion is that such mistreatment was systematic.""

read entire article here.


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