UK: ‘Over-arching inquiry’ into Iraq abuse still needed

Today’s conclusion in London of the Al-Sweady inquiry into allegations that British soldiers mistreated nine Iraqi detainees after a battle near the town of Majar al-Kabir in southern Iraq in 2004 underscores the need for wider investigations into  abuses by British armed forces in the country, said Amnesty International. 

“A key lesson from Al-Sweady is that an inquiry into the claims of one small group of individuals cannot by its very design begin to get to the heart of the wider question of to what extent torture and other ill treatment took place during UK occupation of southern Iraq,” said Amnesty International’s Europe and Central Asia Programme Director John Dalhuisen. 

“This was not the wide investigation into the hundreds of claims of human rights violations, including torture, against the British armed forces in Iraq that victims and NGOs have called for. 

“We must not forget that an earlier inquiry into another incident, the death of the hotel receptionist Baha Mousa and torture and other ill-treatment of several other detainees, found British soldiers responsible for ‘an appalling episode of serious, gratuitous violence on civilians’. Prisoner abuse did take place in Iraq and we still need an over-arching inquiry to investigate its true extent.” 

For more information see Iraq: A Decade of Abuses