UK Accused of War Crimes in Iraq
250-page report cites sex assaults, beatings, electrocution
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jan 14, 2014 7:35 AM CST
In this Oct 22, 2006 file photograph, British troops man a checkpoint in Basra, Iraq.   (AP Photo/Nabil al-Jurani, File)

(Newser) – UK lawyers and European human rights activists are calling on the International Criminal Court to prosecute British leaders over war crimes allegedly committed in Iraq. Public Interest Lawyers and the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights have compiled a 250-page report, submitted to the ICC Saturday, on "systematic detainee abuse" between 2003 and 2008 "that at times resulted in the death of detainees." It cites "forms of sadism, including sexual abuse, and sexual and religious humiliation." It also describes "hooding," electrocution, and sleep, water, and food deprivation, per the Independent, which notes that the ICC in 2006 acknowledged likely war crimes, but with fewer than 20 cases at hand, did not pursue an investigation.

Among the British officials named are British army leader Sir Peter Wall, former defense secretary Geoff Hoon, and former defense minister Adam Ingram; it alleges that military commanders "knew or should have known" what their forces were doing. The allegations come as the ICC faces accusations of focusing on African war crimes without addressing the West. “What this application does is throw down the challenge to the court to show there are no double standards,” says a human rights expert. The report's accusations involve the cases of some 400 Iraqis; among their accounts:

  • "A soldier brought my eight-year-old son into the room. The officer started slapping my son round his face and shouting at him ... I was on the floor in a terrible condition and couldn't move."
  • "Sand kept coming into the hood. It was extremely uncomfortable and difficult to breathe ... We were left to kneel in the sun for hours.
  • "The soldier ... started rubbing his penis on my back, while the other soldiers watched. Then I felt him ejaculate on my back."
  • "Interrogators spent a lot of time insulting my sister and other family members. They threatened to rape my sister and force me to watch and said they would also arrest my old mother and father."

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Showing 3 of 12 comments
Jan 14, 2014 3:21 PM CST
Aren't we supposed to have the moral high ground???? This thread is full of torture mongers and it makes me want to vomit.
Jan 14, 2014 12:46 PM CST
These human rights activists need to go to the other side. they turn a blind side to the war crimes committed in Iraq and such in the name of their god.
Jan 14, 2014 12:15 PM CST
I'm not suggesting these are proper activities, however a little perspective might be in order. The Romans come into the town and kill everyone that doesn't swear allegiance to the emperor.... repeat process till fighting stops The Nazi's come into the town and kill 100 people for every soldier that is killed repeat process till fighting stops The Russians come into the town and kill every educated person and anyone else that they might consider a threat. And then kill a bunch of other people to emphasize the point. To me this is what a war crime means not they slapped a child or made someone kneel in the sun. When the alternative is "and they nail you and everyone one you know to a cross and line you up along the road for miles as a reminder of how not to behave" I think I'll take the kneeling in the sun punishment thank you very much..