‘Systematic torture’: Dossier accusing UK politicians of Iraq war crimes goes to ICC

 

British paratroopers participate in exercises with helicopters from the 845 Royal Navy Squadron in the southern Iraqi city of Basra (AFP Photo)

British paratroopers participate in exercises with helicopters from the 845 Royal Navy Squadron in the southern Iraqi city of Basra (AFP Photo)

 

 

 

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.

 

The 250-page document entitled “The Responsibility of UK Officials for War Crimes Involving Systematic Detainee Abuse in Iraq from 2003-2008”, published by the German-based European Centre for Constitutional Human Rights, calls for “opening of an investigation” into the actions of senior British officials during the conflict.

The document compiles testimonies from over 400 Iraqis, constituting “thousands of allegations of mistreatment amounting to war crimes of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.” Among the documented crimes are brutal acts of physical abuse, including “hooding prisoners, electric shocks, burning, sexual assault, cultural and religious humiliation, rape and simulated executions.”

Given the scope and systematic nature of the crimes between 2003 and 2008, the Centre for Constitutional Human Rights lays the blame at the feet of “individuals at the highest levels” of the UK army and political system. The report alleges that members of the UK government were aware, or should have been aware, of the abuses being committed by their soldiers, but even so, 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,” writes the report. It highlights a number of British politicians alleging their guilt of war crimes. Ex-defense secretary, Geoff Hoon, and army chief, General Sir Peter Wall, are just two of the high-ranking politicians implicated in the systematic abuse of Iraqi prisoners.[Full article]