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


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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Blairite minister accused of war crimes

Cartoon on Britain's Blair government, including Geoff Hoon, starting war in Iraq based on lies; cartoon by Dave Gaskill

Lawyers representing two Pakistani men handed to the US for rendition by the British military called on Friday for senior government figures to face war crimes charges: here.

These “senior government figures” include Geoff Hoon, who was Tony Blair‘s Secretary of War “Defence”. Hoon later had to leave politics because of his role in a corruption scandal (and then he got a fat cat job at war profiteers AgustaWestland).

Britain left a man in a US airbase jail for eight years without trial despite having the power to remove him, the Supreme Court heard today: here.

NATO dismisses corrupt Geoff Hoon

This 8 April 2010 video from Britain is called Stephen Byers, Patricia Hewitt, and Geoff Hoon suspended from Labour Party.

From British daily The Guardian:

Geoff Hoon asked to leave Nato advisory post

Former defence secretary, who has been suspended from Labour party, ‘no longer has support’ of Gordon Brown

* Richard Norton-Taylor
* Wednesday 24 March 2010 19.15 GMT

Gordon Brown has further punished Geoff Hoon, the former defence secretary suspended from the Labour party this week, by sacking him from a post advising Nato on its future mission statement.

Hoon was one of a group of unpaid experts, led by the former US secretary of state Madeleine Albright, drawing up a report on the alliance’s new strategy for a summit in Lisbon in November.

“It was the British government that nominated Mr Hoon to be one of the group of 12 experts and he has served there with distinction,” the Nato spokesman James Appathurai said.

“However, given that it is clear the British government no longer supports Mr Hoon’s participation, the secretary general has decided to ask Mr Hoon to end his participation in the group of 12 [experts].

Brown is understood to have contacted Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the Nato leader, saying Hoon no longer had his support.

Hoon was among three former cabinet ministers suspended by the Labour party on Monday following allegations that he sought £3,000-a-day work with a lobbying firm when he stands down from parliament after the general election.

So, apparently, NATO, the self-styled great defenders of “Western values” and “democracy”, have now dismissed the corrupt Hoon not really because they dislike corruption, but because Gordon Brown told them so.

Well, let us be generous, and say that at least this is a very small beginning in cleaning up NATO.

How about continuing this?

How about the other people in that new NATO strategy commission?

How about sacking the vice chair of that committee, Dutch Jeroen van der Veer, ex CEO and still director of Shell oil, for blood for oil lobbying? That officially the members of this commission are “unpaid” will hardly matter to multi-millionaire Van der Veer. If the new NATO strategy will bring extra profits to Shell, then Mr Van der Veer’s present “ascesis” will prove to have been worthwhile.

And how about sacking the chair of that committee, Madeleine Albright. Ms Albright, who defended sanctions against Iraq which killed so many children. She said: ‘We Think the Price [in dead children] Is Worth It’.

Talking about crime: will NATO sack the new mayor of Marjah in Afghanistan; whom NATO made local boss after their recent offensive there; even though he had been in jail in Germany for trying to kill his son?

Will NATO sack the president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, for his election fraud? Will it sack Hamid Karzai’s brother, on the payrolls of both the CIA and heroin syndicates?

How about sacking NATO generals advocating nuclear war?

And how about sacking NATO boss Rasmussen, for running a Danish government dependent on the parliamentary support of the racist Danish People’s Party, for financially supporting a neo-nazi, etc.?

Don’t count on it.