Monday, December 18, 2017

The British Army committed war crimes in Iraq

Its official: the British Army committed war crimes in Iraq. Their own courts say so:

British troops breached the Geneva conventions and subjected Iraqi civilians to cruel and inhuman treatment by hooding them and taking turns to run over their backs, the high court has ruled.

Furthermore, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) breached the conventions as well as the 1998 Human Rights Act in the way in which it detained civilians after the 2003 invasion, the court concluded on Thursday.

The judgment comes 10 days after the international criminal court (ICC) declared there was “a reasonable basis” to conclude that British troops committed war crimes against Iraqi detainees.


The court also ruled that the MoD’s policy of detaining individuals as prisoners of war unless it was certain they were civilians, rather than releasing them when there was no proof they were combatants, was based on a misunderstanding of the Geneva conventions.

The victims in this case were mistreated in other ways - subjected to forced nudity and sexual humiliation and burned with cigarettes - but couldn't prove that they were in British (rather than US) custody at the time. Still, they've been awarded £84,000 in compensation, and there are over 600 cases pending.

But the kicker is this bit:
Despite the court’s findings, the MoD said no service personnel or veterans had been interviewed by investigators, nobody had been charged with any offence and no criminal charges may ever be brought in the UK.

A court finds war crimes were committed, and the Ministry of Defence says they won't do anything to find and punish those responsible. Which seems like a deliberate policy of turning a blind eye, a criminal conspiracy to ensure impunity. And that's exactly why the International Criminal Court needs to get involved, and why the British generals and politicians responsible for the invasion and its conduct need to be tried in The Hague.