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Foreign Secretary rejects allegations of torture
13/01/2014

British Forces News

William Hague has dismissed a bid to trigger prosecutions of British politicians and senior military figures over alleged war crimes in Iraq.
The Foreign Secretary said there was no need for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate allegations of UK forces abusing and killing detainees in their custody.
There had been no "systematic" torture by troops and individual cases had either already been dealt with by the British authorities or were the subject of probes, he insisted.

The head of the army, General Sir Peter Wall, ex-defence secretary Geoff Hoon, and former defence minister Adam Ingram are among those named in a 250-page dossier sent to the ICC, according to the Independent on Sunday.

Human rights lawyers have drawn on the cases of more than 400 Iraqis, arguing they represent "thousands of allegations of mistreatment amounting to war crimes of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment".

They describe alleged incidents ranging from "hooding" prisoners to burning, electric shocks, threats to kill and "cultural and religious humiliation".

Other forms of alleged abuse between 2003 and 2008 include sexual assault, mock executions, and threats of rape, death, and torture.

The formal complaint to the ICC was lodged by Public Interest Lawyers (PIL) and the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR).
It calls for an investigation into the alleged war crimes under Article 15 of the Rome Statute.

The dossier says "those who bear the greatest responsibility" for alleged war crimes "include individuals at the highest levels" of the British Army and political system.

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