This is a video of Abu Ghraib, Iraq, torture photos.
Mercenary crimes unchecked: UN
Saturday May 19, 2007
“It is very concerning because there is no accountability and what happens is that these private contractors, if they commit a crime, there is no way of going before a court,” he said.
The UN working group is on a fact-finding mission to Fiji to access the growing phenomena that has lured thousands to ex-Fiji military personnel and civilians to work as security guards and as contractors in Iraq.
Gomez del Prado said there are daily violations and crimes committed by private contractors, “but these rarely come to light.”
“When they (private contractors) commit a violation, they are sent away from Iraq, but if they leave in a plane and maybe in 24 hours later they return as contractors for another company,” he said.
“The companies, who know about crimes committed by their employees, keep these violations very quiet and don’t report it to the authorities.
“If these atrocities are reported to the military authorities, they say that it is not their responsibility because they are only responsible for the actions of their military.
“They say that they are not responsible for the civilians who are working in Iraq as private contractors.”
Gomez del Prado said some private military contractors have being investigated for their role in torture allegations at the Abu Ghraib prison.
He said these private contractors went before a military tribunal “but nothing has happened to them.”
This has been confirmed by a 2005 Pentagon report that acknowledged that no private contractor has been persecuted for offences at the Abu Ghraib prison.
“This is just one of the cases that has come out in the open but there are many other cases like this,” Gomez del Prado said.
“Such violations do happen in Iraq every day.
“These violations are really without any control. They are not controlled by the military.
“The only control are reports of crimes to the supervisor of these private security companies but they have their own rules and regulations but not to an authority.”
It is estimated that there may be as many as 50,000 mercenaries working in Iraq, making it the second largest force in the “coalition of the willing.”