‘Cover-up of Dutch soldier’s killing of Iraqi’


This video says about itself:

WikiLeaks Iraq War Logs: Torture, civilian death toll revealed in latest leak

23 Oct 2010

U.S. commanders in Iraq ignored evidence of torture and often failed to investigate the killing of civilians. These are the major findings from the leak of 400,000 secret American military files from the whistleblowing website, WikiLeaks. The data describes widespread brutal torture of detainees by Iraqi troops – with some documents showing American authorities often turned a blind eye. The files also reveal that 66,000 civilians were killed in Iraq since the U.S. invaded – even though Washington had denied it kept any such record.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

“Public prosecutor protected soldier in Iraq case”

Updated: Wednesday, 12 Feb 2014, 23:33

The public prosecutor has deliberately withheld crucial testimony about a fatal shooting incident in Iraq. This said attorney Ms Zegveld in Nieuwsuur TV program.

In 2004, an Iraqi was shot dead as he drove through a roadblock. A Dutch lieutenant fired on the car of the man. He said that Iraqi soldiers had also opened fire on the car.

Iraqis later stated that they did not shoot, but those documents were not included for the court in Arnhem. The prosecution considered the case closed because supposedly it was not clear who had fired the fatal shot.

This is perjury by the public prosecutor in the case of the killing of Iraqi Azhar Jaloud, Ms Zegveld says.

The horrific legacy of the invasion of Iraq: here.

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British torture and murder in Iraq accusations


This video is called UK Al Sweady Inquiry into Iraqi Prisoner Deaths Reveals Evidence of Torture.

From daily News Line in Britain:

Thursday, 6 February 2014

IRAQIS ACCUSE UK OF TORTURE AND MURDER AT CAMP ABU NAJI BASE

A former British Army officer has denied that he or his troops were ‘deliberately uncooperative’ with the Al-Sweady investigation into allegations of systematic torture and murder by British troops in Iraq.

Appearing before the Al-Sweady Public Inquiry on Monday, Matthew Maer claimed that he did not order the destruction of photos of dead Iraqis.

The inquiry is investigating accusations by Iraqi detainees that they were beaten, tortured and some of them killed at a British base after a battle in 2004.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) denies the accusations.

The Al-Sweady Inquiry is considering allegations that soldiers from the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment, following a three-hour gun battle known as the ‘Battle of Danny Boy’, had taken the Iraqi dead as well as the injured back to the British Camp Abu Naji.

The Iraqis accuse the British of torture and murder at Camp Abu Naji as well as later on at Shaibah Logistics.

Former brigadier Maer, who was commanding officer of First Battalion the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment (1PWRR) at the time, left the Army in 2012.

Lawyers acting for several Iraqi clients claim some were taken alive following the battle and mistreated or unlawfully killed at the nearby Camp Abu Naji (CAN) base.

The MoD has claimed that all deaths occurred on the battlefield.

It remains unclear who ordered the unusual decision of taking bodies as well as the injured from the battlefield back to the CAN base.

The British army claims it wanted to check whether one of the dead Iraqis was an insurgent thought to have been involved in the killing of six Royal Military Police officers in 2003.

Maer claimed to the inquiry that he thought the order had come from brigade headquarters in Basra, but had focused on dealing with its potential consequences rather than questioning it.

‘I was concerned because it was a sensitive issue in a number of ways, not least of which was religion which was the need to have the dead buried before sunset the following day.

‘So there were cultural and religious sensitivities as well,’ he said.

Maer said there ‘was no policy whatsoever’ to not make witnesses available to the Royal Military Police (RMP), which was conducting the investigation into allegations of wrongdoing.

He also said he did not remember giving an order to a fellow officer, Captain James Rands, to make sure any inappropriate photograph of enemy dead, wounded or prisoners were destroyed.

In a statement to the inquiry, dated November 2013, Maer said the allegations were a ‘slur’ on British troops.

‘Had the alleged mistreatment and murder taken place, I have no doubt that the truth would have come out by now,’ he claimed.

‘Otherwise, there would have to be a massive conspiracy amongst a very large number of people, holding for over nine years now, despite the RMP and the judicial reviews proceedings and this inquiry.’

Set up in 2010, the inquiry is named after one of the Iraqi men, 19-year-old Hamid al-Sweady, who is alleged to have been unlawfully killed while being held after the so-called Battle of Danny Boy.

Appearing before the inquiry in January, a former British soldier denied firing shots or hitting Iraqi detainees while questioning them after they were captured.

The soldier told the inquiry he ‘categorically denied’ hitting or physically threatening any of the nine detainees he interrogated.

The soldier, who is appearing under a secrecy deal, is called M004.

He claimed to the inquiry that although he did use a 1ft-long (30cm) pointed metal tent peg to bang on a table top and shouted and screamed at detainees as part of his ‘tactical questioning’ technique, he did not see this as excessive, although he was now aware from other public inquiries that it was unlikely that using a tent peg in this way would be ‘viewed as permissible’.

The inquiry has heard claims from several Iraqi detainees that M004 had a pistol with him and fired two shots into the ground while they were being questioned in a tent at the British army camp.

There were also allegations by a detainee that the interrogator beat him with a metal pipe.

But M004 claimed there was ‘no feasible way’ that a shot could be fired in the tent without someone hearing it and it being reported.

It was likely the tent peg was on a table and a detainee could see that, but it was never used to strike a detainee, he said.

He agreed the use of the tent peg fell within the category of a ‘harsh’ approach and that he was trying to scare the detainees by making a sudden loud noise while the prisoner was blindfolded.

Banging the tent peg on the table behind the prisoner made a ‘horrendous racket’ and would have been heard outside the interrogation tent and probably in the prisoner cell block, he said.

Some of the prisoners had physically jumped when he did it, he said. He agreed that the tent peg could be seen as a weapon.

He was not taught to use the tent peg in this way on a course he attended, M004 said, but he did not see it as outside his remit as a tactical questioner.

But he told counsel for the inquiry: ‘I believe nowadays that there is very little you could physically do without ending up sat in an inquiry’.

The witness told the inquiry that when the Iraqi detainees arrived for questioning he would first walk behind them and blow on the back of their neck – a tactic he had been taught on a course.

Blowing on the detainee’s neck allowed the interrogator to get inside the prisoner’s personal space so that he could feel the questioner’s presence, something which was ‘remarkably effective’ he said.

M004 agreed that there was a pattern in his questioning of walking behind the detainee, blowing on the back of their neck, banging the tent peg down on the table and then screaming and shouting over their left shoulder and into their ear.

He had not been taught to consider that shouting at a man close up or striking a table with a tent peg so as to induce fear was violence.

The witness agreed that anything that fell short of physical contact or violence which made the prisoner feel uncomfortable was acceptable.

M004 claimed he would never threaten a prisoner with any form of beating or assault, but he agreed that he might have told a detainee he would never see their family again.

‘And they would probably have believed you?’ asked counsel. ‘Yes sir,’ said M004.

Appearing before the inquiry late last year, Col Biggart, Brig Kennett’s chief of staff, told the inquiry no specific order was given to remove the bodies.

He said it had been decided to try to identify the dead to see if they were linked with the murder of six Royal Military Police officers the previous year by taking photographs of them.

‘To my mind the task was clear – get photographs of the insurgents; it was not to take the dead back to CAN,’ he said.

Col Biggart claimed he was later told that no cameras were available on the battlefield and, as it was getting dark, the plan was to take any bodies back to the base.

‘In the circumstances the decision to take the dead back to CAN seemed to me a reasonable course to take,’ he said.

Col Biggart said the consequences of the decision, including the effect handling the bodies had on British soldiers and the anger it prompted in the local community at the time, were unfortunate but could not have been foreseen.

The inquiry heard that, at the time, Col Biggart had been made aware that the commanding officer of the men involved had raised concerns about the psychological impact it had had on his men.

‘I am viewing the actions that were taken at the time given the information we had at the time.

‘Sitting here today, knowing what happened, one might have made a different decision, but that’s a different situation,’ he said.

‘It’s had consequences we couldn’t foresee, some of which, many of which were unfortunate, such as the suffering of the troops involved, I absolutely accept that.’

The Iraqis’ lawyer, John Dickinson, has said: ‘The essential complaint is that a number of Iraqis were taken from the battlefield alive and either in transit to the camp or at the camp were summarily executed.’

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Tony Blair’s ministers in Iraq war crimes case


This video is called ‘Beatings & Burning’: Dossier accusing UK of Iraq war crimes goes to ICC.

It says about itself:

14 Jan 2014

The ICC has been urged to investigate the alleged war crimes of UK politicians during the Iraq conflict. A dossier detailing reports of sexual assault, torture and mock executions carried out by British soldiers in Iraq has been submitted to the Court. READ MORE: here.

By Jean Shaoul in Britain:

Ex-UK minister of defence and former army chief of staff named in Iraq war crimes case

21 January 2014

Britain has been referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague over allegations of war crimes committed during the occupation of Iraq. There was a call for an ICC investigation under Article 15 of the Rome Statute into the actions of senior British officials during the conflict.

The submission specifically names the former chief of staff General Sir Peter Wall and two ministers in Tony Blair’s Labour government, former defence secretary Geoff Hoon and former defence minister Adam Ingram, as officials who should have to answer claims about the systematic use of torture and cruelty.

The secretary general of the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), Wolfgang Kaleck, said, “With the current communication to the ICC we want to move forward the criminal prosecution against those political and military leaders in the UK who bear the most responsibility for systematic torture in Iraq.”

The formal complaint, The Responsibility of UK Officials for War Crimes Involving Systematic Detainee Abuse in Iraq from 2003-2008, was lodged by Public Interest Lawyers (PIL) and the ECCHR with the ICC’s Office of the Prosecutor. It says that its 250-page submission, the result of years of work by both organisations, “is the most detailed ever submitted to the ICC’s Office of the Prosecutor on war crimes allegedly committed by British forces in Iraq.”

The ECCHR said that given the scope and scale of the crimes carried out between 2003 and 2008, the responsibility and blame lay at the feet of “individuals at the highest levels” of the British Army and political system. UK military commanders “knew or should have known” that forces under their control “were committing or about to commit war crimes,” but failed to act. “Civilian superiors knew or consciously disregarded information at their disposal, which clearly indicated that UK services personnel were committing war crimes in Iraq.”

The report cites evidence from more than 400 Iraqis, representing “thousands of allegations of mistreatment amounting to war crimes of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment”. They included “hooding” prisoners, burning, electric shocks, “cultural and religious humiliation”, sexual assault, mock executions, threats of rape, death, and torture, both against the victims and their families.

There is, according to the authors, evidence of the “systematic use of brutal violence that in some cases led to the death of detainees while in the custody of UK Services Personnel.”

It claims “there is evidence of brutality combined with cruelty and forms of sadism, including sexual abuse, and sexual and religious humiliation”, and 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.

One victim who suffered more than 60 punches to his head said that a soldier brought the prisoner’s eight-year-old son into the room and started slapping the boy about the face and shouting at him. Another victim who was hooded said, “Sand kept coming into the hood. It was extremely uncomfortable and difficult to breathe…. We were left to kneel in the sun for hours. If I moved position and bent my head forward at all, a soldier would come and kick me hard.”

These interrogation techniques were widely used by British soldiers against IRA prisoners in Northern Ireland until public outrage led to their being banned in 1972. The army ignored the ban, and it was not included in the 2001 Ministry of Defence guidelines on the treatment of prisoners.

The report says that there are “clear patterns” of the banned techniques being used “in a variety of different UK facilities [in Iraq]…from 2003 to 2008,” and 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.”

This pattern of abuse by UK military services personnel continued over almost six years of military occupation.

Britain’s practices were not very different from those of the infamous US torture prison, Abu Ghraib.

In submitting his report, Kaleck made the point, “The International Criminal Court in The Hague is the last resort for victims of torture and mistreatment to achieve justice. Double standards in international criminal justice must end. War crimes and other severe violations of human rights must be investigated and prosecuted, regardless of whether they are committed by the most powerful.”

Almost all or most of the ICC’s indictees have been African head of states or officials, while the US, which is not a signatory to the Rome Statute that established the ICC, and the other major powers get off scot-free and use the court to target figures hostile to their interests. The ICC has turned a blind eye to the most blatant human rights abuses in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, the West Bank and Gaza, where their perpetrators are protected by a US veto at the United Nations Security Council.

In 2006, the ICC’s then-prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, said that he had received more than 240 complaints relating to alleged war crimes during the Iraq war and occupation, mostly by the US and Britain. He concluded that there was little doubt that wilful killing and inhuman treatment, crimes that fell within the ICC’s jurisdiction, had been committed. He refused to mount an investigation because of the small number of cases—fewer than 20. Since then, hundreds of other claims have surfaced, making a mockery of his decision.

Legal experts have backed the referral to the ICC. Professor William Schabas, an expert on human rights law at Middlesex University, said, “There is definitely a case for an investigation by the ICC.” Professor Andrew Williams, a law expert at the University of Warwick, said the complaint amounts to “a prima facie investigation mapped out for the prosecutor” and is “supported by sophisticated legal argument which adheres to the requirements of the [ICC].” Williams is the author of A Very British Killing: the Death of Baha Mousa.

The officials concerned, Wall, Hoon and Ingram, have declined to comment.

Foreign Secretary William Hague said there was no need for the ICC to investigate the allegations. “These allegations are either under investigation already or have been dealt with already in a variety of ways, through the historic abuses system that has been established, through public inquiries, through the UK courts or the European courts.”

“There have been some cases of abuse that have been acknowledged and apologies and compensation have been paid appropriately,” he added. “But the government has always been clear and the armed forces have been clear that they absolutely reject allegations of systematic abuses by the British armed forces.” The Ministry of Defence said, “We reject the suggestion the UK’s Armed Forces—who operate in line with domestic and international law—have systematically tortured detainees.”

They are all lying through their teeth. The government has resisted every effort to be held to account for its infamous practices in Iraq.

Baha Mousa, a hotel worker, was brutally beaten to death while in British custody on September 15, 2003. Corporal Donald Payne was found guilty at a court martial in 2007 of inhumane treatment. He was sentenced to just one year in jail. Six of his colleagues, including his commanding officer, Colonel Jorge Mendonca, were cleared of serious charges relating to Mousa’s death. The government was forced to hold a public inquiry, which when it reported in 2011 was a whitewash.

Apart from this one conviction, as Phil Shiner, the lead lawyer in PIL, which compiled the report, said: “Nobody has been found guilty of anything of any seriousness at all.”

Yet in July 2010, the High Court ruled in response to an appeal case brought by Shiner to order a public inquiry into claims by more than 200 Iraqi civilians that they were systematically abused and mistreated while in detention, “There is an arguable case that the alleged ill-treatment [of Iraqis] was systemic, and not just at the whim of individual soldiers.”

The government was forced to establish the Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT) in 2010. In three years, it has spent £15 million hiring former detectives employed by multinational security corporations to investigate. It has completed just 6 out of 144 cases on its books, fining one soldier a measly £3,000 fine for badly beating an Iraqi, which was captured on video.

This is in addition to the long-running Al-Sweady inquiry into incidents of mistreatment after the Battle of Danny Boy in southern Iraq in May 2004.

Last month, the Daily Telegraph disclosed 11 new inquest-style inquiries are due to begin into abuses by British troops in Iraq after a human rights ruling by the High Court to fulfil the requirements of Article 2 (the right to life) of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), requiring an investigation of suspicious deaths involving the state.

A comment on this by Ray Comeau says:

It is about time. But, now these people accused of war crimes need to fees up and point fingers at those who gave them the orders and means to commit such atrocities, and those were: Blair, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, et al. If the International Criminal court does not indict these people, then it is true they only want to convict African leaders which is a blatant racist act! And we will require purging the International Criminal court and reconstruct an honest one!

Blair’s outreach to Muammar al-Qaddafi while in office may have been justifiable at the time, but reports that he considered asking the Queen to bestow honorary knighthood on Bashar al-Assad are a bit more embarrassing. More recently, Blair urged Western governments to stop “wringing our hands” and intervene militarily in Syria: here.

Iraq: Sectarian violence the legacy of West’s war: here.

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British government recruits child soldiers


This video is called Going Underground: UK’s child soldiers & taxing times for Boots.

By Steven Walker in Britain:

The shame of British child soldiers

Saturday 18th january 2014

The army’s policy of recruiting 16-year-olds is misguided and fraught with negative social consequences, writes STEVEN WALKER

How embarrassing for war minister – sorry, Defence Secretary – Philip Hammond that the MoD announces a failure to recruit enough soldiers as he preens himself ready for the first world war’s 100th anniversary commemorations.

Usually in years of high unemployment the army loves the chance to soak up numbers of people with very few options. The capitalist media treats this news in a superficial way, but look harder and there are some quite rational reasons why young people do not relish an army career.

For example, less attention has been paid to the British armed forces’ attitude to using under-18-year-olds in armed conflict and their vulnerability to developing serious mental health problems.

According to MoD research, young soldiers are three times more likely to commit suicide than their civilian counterparts.

Britain recruits 16-year-old children to all three branches of the military, the only European country to do so.

There are clear contradictions in the British government’s use of minors with its legal obligations under the 1992 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the 1989 Children Act to protect and safeguard children.

The Ministry of Defence has ensured that the needs of military power and political control override the best interests of those under-18s in the armed forces. Article 38 of the CRC emphasises the particular vulnerability of children as civilians and soldiers and recommends signatories refrain from sending children into battle.

It recognises that children’s rights are particularly vulnerable to violation during armed conflict and lays down specific obligations on the state to protect children caught up in situations of war.

If the non-deployment of personnel under the recommended CRC minimum ages would “destabilise” the unit that they are part of, then the MoD reserves the right to deploy younger recruits.

The government claims that once children are trained in the armed forces they are considered to be professionals and are treated as such. They play an important role in their unit, and their removal would undermine the effectiveness and cohesiveness of the unit.

This would be demoralising and unpopular among other soldiers and add to the training burden.

The World Health Organisation recognises that young soldiers exposed to conflict situations can more easily develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) leading to persisting patterns of problematic behaviour and functioning.

As numerous research studies have now proven, these problems may not emerge until years later or after the symptoms are revealed by alcohol, domestic violence, self-harm and/or substance abuse.

Many young soldiers may be withdrawn, depressed, go awol and display difficulties in social relationships.

Children deployed in Northern Ireland, the Gulf, Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq have had to undergo very traumatic experiences such as removing the bodies of dead soldiers they had just shot at, some of whom were not older than 12 years, or dealing with women and young girls who were rape victims.

Demographic profiles indicate that the majority of army recruits are from poorer socio-economic groups where it is known that a higher proportion of children and young people are at greater risk of developing mental health problems.

The British army encourages recruitment at low income, high unemployment, disadvantaged areas where children with few academic or career prospects are able to sign up to six-year minimum service contracts at 16 years of age seduced by glamorous images of travel, adventure, machismo, and employable skills training.

The adverse publicity over the culture of bullying and suicides at military training establishments such as Deep Cut revealed a tiny, previously hidden, glimpse of what many vulnerable young people may also be subjected to on a routine basis once they enter service.

Combined with more frequent deployment into war-fighting zones it is no wonder that the charity Combat Stress has called PTSD a “ticking time-bomb” among ex-soldiers.

Since 1971, 24 children have died and 10 been seriously physically injured while on active military service in the British army. The MoD requires a yearly recruitment of under-18s of about one third of the annual intake into the armed forces.

While it says under-18s are not deployed to combat zones, ministers’ responses to parliamentary questions over the past two decades have shown that around 50 under-18s were involved in peacekeeping missions in Kosovo, for example, while BBC reports in 2002 suggested that under-18s had had to be removed from a contingent in Afghanistan.

It seems that in 2014, ironically, young people are much wiser than politicians and war-mongers assume, and perhaps they have learned the real lesson of history – make peace not war.

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British war crimes in Iraq news update


This video from Britain says about itself:

“Yes I am emotional about torture SIR!” Shami Chakrabarti SAVAGES UK Minister Geoff “Buff” Hoon

6 Feb 2009

Shami Chakrabarti SAVAGES UK Minister Geoff “Buff” Hoon over the US attempts to BLACKMAIL Britain into silence over evidence of torture.

Binyam Mohamed, a British resident held at the American base [Guantanamo], has launched a legal challenge in the High Court in London for documents detailing his treatment to be made public.

However, two judges ruling on the case said that David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, had advised that releasing the documents could lead to America withdrawing intelligence co-operation.

This, it was warned, could lead to Britons facing a very considerable increase in the dangers they face from terrorism.

The judges reveal that the secret documents at the centre of the case give rise to an arguable case of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. It is also disclosed that a British intelligence official may have been present when Mr Mohamed alleges he was tortured. The judgement raises the prospect of criminal charges being brought against British officials.

From daily News Line in Britain:

Thursday, 16 January 2014

WAR CRIMES DOSSIER LAUNCHED AT A PACKED NEWS CONFERENCE

A DOSSIER relating to a complaint delivered last Friday to the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court regarding the responsibility of UK officials for war crimes in Iraq, was launched at a packed news conference on Tuesday night.

The complaint deals with ‘The Responsibility of UK Officials for War Crimes Involving Systematic Detainee Abuse in Iraq from 2003-2008.’

Public Interest Lawyers (PIL) and the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) have collaborated in presenting the above complaint supported by compelling evidence to the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

PIL and the ECCHR have filed the communication to the OTP of the ICC under Article 15 of the ICC Statute requesting that the Prosecutor examine the situation in Iraq from 2003-2008 with regard to the responsibility of UK military and civilian officials for the abuse and killing of detainees in their custody amounting to war crimes.

The communication refers to a bundle of supporting documentation that includes, inter alia, copies of the witness statements and recorded accounts of the Iraqi victims plus documentation from the UK Government which was released in the context of the legal representation by PIL and is now in the public domain.

The ECCHR is an independent, non-profit legal and educational organisation based in Berlin, Germany.

Lawyers at ECCHR have been litigating against American military and civilian officials for the elaboration, authorisation, and implementation of illegal interrogation policies, on behalf of Iraqi and Guantanamo detainees who suffered torture and other crimes while in US detention.

In its work related to the ICC, the ECCHR filed a communication on the situation in the Republic of Colombia in October 2012.

Tuesday evening’s news conference at the Law Society in Holborn, central London was addressed by Phil Shiner of PIL, Wolfgang Kaleck of ECCHR, and international law Professor William Shabar.

Shiner said: ‘This is historic because the UK’s judicial system has brought all the evidence before you.

‘The UK state thought it could get away with all this torture and killling, but it can’t because of the Human Rights Act.’

This video is called British Military Intelligence Tactical Questioning ["Harshing"] Training Video.

Shiner proceeded to introduce a video showing UK soldiers using the ‘harshing’ technique in Iraq.

This showed a soldier shouting in an Iraqi man’s face: ‘You are a bloody Muslim!’ and jabbing his finger in the man’s face shouting ‘You’ll fucking hang for this!’

Shiner said that other torture techniques included food and water deprivation.

He said: ‘Practice used by UK forces in Iraq constitute a war crime.

‘These are what is known as coercive interrogation techniques.

‘They were developed in World War Two and beyond in all post colonial conflicts.’

He went on to say: ‘We have evidence of grave breaches including killing and torture in Iraq.

‘After occupation ended in 2004 the incitement includes serious violations including death and torture.

‘There is no distinction before, during or after occupation up to 2008.

‘Since Baha Mousa (the Basra hotel clerk who died in UK custody at a British Army camp in Iraq with multiple injuries) there are another 113 who have died, 198 in total.

‘Now there are 412 torture victims for which we have evidence.

‘We have managed to uncover another 13 Baha Mousa-type cases – where someone healthy ends up dead.

‘We have failed to get an answer to a simple question.

‘How many deaths are the MoD aware of?

‘The MoD know how many people they detain, they refuse to tell us that information.

‘I know of 1,046 torture cases. There is a mass of material available to the public now.

‘At the Baha Mousa inquiry we were able to see thousands of documents.

‘We were able to see training material from the place in Britain where the interrogators are trained.

‘The main suspect in the complaint is Geoffrey Hoon, who was secretary of state for defence.’

Shiner said a Red Cross report at the time had informed the British commander in Iraq about torture techniques in a British interrogation camp.

Shiner asked: ‘Why did Hoon tell parliament there was no evidence of torture.’

The PIL lawyer went on to give graphic examples from interrogation training manuals and allegations by Iraqi civilian victims, including being stripped naked and humiliated, disorientated, being held in stress positions, sleep deprivation in intense heat, and hooding with rough material.

Shiner stressed: ‘People at the top did nothing about it.

‘There has been psychological trauma, victims have been traumatised as a result of their torture.

‘Systemic abuse involved victims continuing to suffer psychological damage, including thoughts of suicide and self-harm.

‘There have been suicide attempts and examples of self-harm in recent weeks.

‘The foreign secretary (Hague) said this complaint is entirely unnecessary. Is he right?’

Shiner said in the case of Baha Mousa and other cases ‘court martials got nowhere’.

He stressed: ‘We are concerned here with individual criminal responsibility.

‘After the Baha Mousa inquiry, people walked free.’

Shiner asked: ‘Who is responsible? We are not interested in foot soldiers, we are interested in the people at the top: secretaries of state for defence Geoff Hoon, John Reid, Des Browne, Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram, Bob Ainsworth, Chief of Defence Staffs, top civil servants and MoD lawyers.’ There was a disgraceful decision by MoD lawyers not to ask the Attorney General whether these interrogation practices were lawful.

Lord Goldsmith said earlier this year he was disappointed that he wasn’t asked.’

In answer to questions, Shiner said: ‘The word Tony Blair does not appear in the document, it concerns the MoD.

‘If the ICC find a trail of documents, which I doubt, it’s a matter for them.’

Wolfgang Kaleck of ECCHR told the news conference: ‘We have filled two complaints in Germany for systemic torture and sending prisoners to Guantanamo, and in Spain. There is something going on in Europe, maybe not enough.

‘We saw this fitting into our grievance with double standards.

‘We are trying to bring ICC prosecutions for cases that aren’t covered by national laws.

‘We are talking about torture, imprisonment and mistreatement.

‘We sent a bundle to the international prosecutor’s office on Thursday.

‘One hundred and nine clients at least who have been tortured or mistreated.

‘Inhumane methods constitute criminal types of torture which may constitute war crimes.

‘The more interesting part is who is responsible.

‘The ICC task is to investigate those with most responsibility.

‘There are two types of criminal responsibility – individual and command responsibility.’

Kaleck said command responsibility ‘is mostly ignored’.

But with the requirement ‘reasonable measures to prevent,’ he said: ‘It’s difficult for secretaries of state to ignore what has happened.

‘It will be difficult to prove that those in leadership did not disregard had happened.

‘A lot of politicians are discussing this right now.’

Professor Shabar told the assembled press: ‘There is strong reason to believe the accused are British nationals.

‘Article 8 deals with war crimes going back to Nuremberg. Abuse of prisoners of war falls into the category of war crimes.’

He added on a gravity qualification: ‘Since 2006 we have a much longer list of allegations.

‘The volume of material will show sufficient ground.

‘These crimes were the consequences of another crime not dealt with in the complaint, the aggresive war on Iraq.

‘Prisoner abuse is unlawful. The UK prime minister acknowledged prisoner abuse in the north of Ireland and said it wouldn’t happen again.

‘People at the top can be prosecuted who knew of crimes and did nothing to stop them or prosecute anyone.’

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British torture in Iraq update


This video is called Naked Torture: Sex main tool of British interrogation in Iraq?

From Deutsche Welle in Germany:

War crimes

Call for ICC probe into British ‘war crimes’ in Iraq

Two NGOs say they have asked the International Criminal Court to investigate allegations of abuse of prisoners in Iraq from 2003 to 2008. They say hundreds of former prisoners have complained.

A German human rights group and a British law firm say they have asked the prosecutor’s office at the International Criminal Court in The Hague to look into allegations that British soldiers carried out systematic abuse and torture of prisoners in Iraq between 2003 and 2008.

The Berlin-based European Centre for Constitutional Rights and the law firm Public Interest Lawyers (PIL), based in Birmingham, said in a statement on Saturday that they had jointly filed a complaint with the ICC.

The 250-page complaint called for the “opening of an investigation” into the actions of senior British officials, “in particular the former Minister of Defense Geoff Hoon and secretary of state, Adam Ingram.”

The two organizations said more than 400 former Iraqi prisoners had contacted PIL in the past two years alleging “serious abuse and humiliation” at the hands of British soldiers. They said the complaint document contained more than 2,000 accusations of abuse documented over five years, with allegations ranging from sexual and religious humiliation to physical violence.

The joint statement said a similar complaint to the ICC failed in 2006 on the grounds that there was insufficient evidence, but insisted that “a thorough investigation was and remains necessary.”

Responding to queries from the German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung and regional public broadcaster NDR, the British Defense Ministry on Friday confirmed that there had been cases of abuse by British soldiers in Iraq, but that these were “isolated.”

See also here. And here.

Why Did the US Invade Iraq? The Answer in 2014: here.

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