War Crimes In the Iraq War
In 2017, two further submissions made to the OTP by ECCHR confirmed that there was a reasonable basis for believing that members of the British Armed Forces committed war crimes in Iraq, including intentional killing, torture, inhuman treatment, violations of personal dignity, and rape and other forms of sexual violence. A 180-page report by the International Criminal Court (ICC) concluded that British forces tortured hundreds of prisoners between 2003 and 2009. At least seven Iraqis were killed in the custody of British military units that invaded and occupied their country. Concerning the war crimes committed by British troops in Iraq, Britain has failed to protect its senior personnel from being held blatantly and aggressively.
The International Criminal Court has ended its long-running investigation into claims that British troops committed war crimes between 2003 and 2008 in Iraq. Over six years after it was concluded, ICC ended a preliminary investigation into torture and war crimes committed by British forces in Iraq. On December 9, 2020, the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) of the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced its decision to close the preliminary investigation into alleged war crimes committed by British troops in Iraq between 2003 and 2009. The OTP explained its reasons in an unprecedented 184-page report.
The International Criminal Court (LCC) has been unable to hold Saddam Hussein and his associates in the past for hundreds of thousands, perhaps a quarter of a million civilian deaths, torture, rape, looting, and other crimes against humanity and war crimes, but these crimes persist to this day in Iraq. The government has not ruled out an international criminal tribunal for the atrocities and crimes committed by the Iraqi regime over the past quarter-century. Still, it has not yet been ruled out the possibility that war crimes committed by Iraqi citizens during the current conflict may be prosecuted in Iraqi courts or international tribunals. Iraq’s Supreme Criminal Court has jurisdiction to consider crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes committed during the reign of Saddam Hussein (1968-2003), including the 1988 chemical attack on the Kurdish village of Halabja, the 1990 invasion of Kuwait and the 1991 crushing of the Shiite insurgency in southern Iraq.
When I look at the plans of the US government for recent military actions in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as those they have carried out and continue to carry out, I often come across prima facie evidence that US leaders and their forces committed crimes against peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity in this area as defined in the 1945 International Military Tribunal Charter in Nuremberg. There is a reason why the United States government prosecutes its war crimes in Iraq because they are awful. Many of them are international law that crumbles when the US is prosecuted and convicted for what it does. Saddam Hussein and his closest associates, who may have been committing these crimes for years, have committed them and will continue to commit them until the international community says that there is enough force for change in Iraq. Saddam Hussein must force regime change in that country.
The rape and murder of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and the murder of three family members are among the most provocative of a series of war crimes that have tarnished the reputation of US forces in Iraq. Security forces executing alleged army deserters are not a war crime, but such acts are illegal under Iraqi law and constitute human rights violations. In addition, documents from trials in which US military officers were accused of crimes against civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan shed light on the war crimes in Iraq, which were secreted from the public.
One of them, Nizar al-Khazraji, the former chief of staff of the Iraqi Armed Forces, was charged in Denmark for his alleged involvement in war crimes committed between 1980 and 1988 by Iraq against Kurdish civilians during the Iran-Iraq war. During the war, there are credible reports that Iraqi troops have killed several thousand Iranian prisoners of war – war crime and grave violation of the 1949 Geneva Convention to which Iraq has acceded. Moreover, the final report of the prosecutor of the international criminal court, prepared by Fatou Bensouda’s office, found a reasonable basis for believing that British troops committed war crimes in 2003 in Iraq and Iraq for the deliberate killing or murder of at least seven Iraqi prisoners.
The International Criminal Court considered possible criminal charges against Tony Blair and the British government concerning the invasion and military occupation of Iraq, but dismissed them because the actual crimes of invasion and occupation of a country that posed no threat to invaders “national security were ignored, the conclusion that the situation did not seem to meet the necessary thresholds of the Statute for deliberate killing or inhumane treatment of civilians, and that the real crime was the aggressive war crime of aggression, for which the Nazis were hanged in Nuremberg A preliminary investigation into alleged war crimes committed in Iraq by British troops never reached the level of a full investigation, but the International Criminal Court prosecutor concluded that the British authorities had to look at the allegations more closely.
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