Accountability is still needed for alleged detainee abuse by UK troops in Iraq

Please find below a statement from Carla Ferstman, Director of REDRESS, on the ICC Prosecutor’s decision to re-open the preliminary examination of the situation in Iraq.

“Until justice is done and seen to be done in all outstanding detainee abuse cases, the ICC most certainly has grounds to pursue allegations of systematic detainee abuse by UK troops in Iraq. The ICC has jurisdiction if a country is unable or unwilling to investigate or prosecute. To date, the UK has failed to mount credible prosecutions which reflect the extent and gravity of the abuse allegations. In the notorious case of Baha Mousa, a hotel worker who was effectively tortured to death, a court martial judge blamed the weak evidence on a “more or less obvious closing of the ranks”, which prevented all the perpetrators who administered the blows from being identified. Criminal justice is not an optional policy objective but a clear obligation. We hope the renewed interest by the ICC Prosecutor will help ensure that justice is achieved, for the sake of the victims and for the sake of the rule of law.”

Further information from Eva Sanchis, Communications Officer, on [email protected] or +44 (0) 20 7793 1777 and +44 07857110076.