Summary: ECCHR urges investigation into UK military abuses against Iraqi detainees

On 10th January 2014 SRT grantee the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), together with Birmingham-based law firm Public Interest Lawyers (PIL), delivered a 250-page complaint including several thousand pages of additional documents to the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, requesting action on the alleged abuse and mistreatment of Iraqi detainees by UK military forces.

Over 400 Iraqi former detainees have brought allegations to PIL of grave mistreatment committed by UK forces between 2003 and 2008. ECCHR and PIL believe that the systemic abuse of detainees during the UK’s presence in Iraq meets the threshold for war crimes, and that the ICC should therefore open formal investigations into those UK officials ‘most responsible’ for the abuses, in particular former Secretary of State for Defence Geoffrey Hoon and former Minister of State for Service Personnel Adam Ingram.

In 2006, the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC declined to open a formal investigation into UK military abuses in Iraq, concluding that there were reasonable grounds to believe the war crimes of wilful killing and inhuman treatment had been committed by UK forces, but that they were not of sufficient gravity to justify a formal investigation. At that time, the OTP assumed only four to 12 victims of wilful killing and a limited number of victims of inhumane treatment, “totalling in all less than 20 persons”. However, they explicitly stated that their decision not to investigate could be reconsidered in light of new information.

Full story from ECCHR’s website:

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