Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Justice for Iraq

In 2003, British soldiers threw Iraqi teenager Said Shabram off a jetty into a Basra canal. Now, they may finally face justice for their crime:

Three British soldiers could be taken to court over the death of an Iraqi teenager who died in military custody 13 years ago despite having been cleared of any wrongdoing in a 2006 inquiry.

Said Shabram,19, drowned in the Shatt al-Arab river after allegedly being forced into the water by British troops in a practice known as “wetting”.

The soldiers, including a decorated major as well as two current serving personnel, were originally cleared by an internal military investigation in 2006 with the family of Said Shabram later receiving £100,000 in compensation from the Ministry of Defence in 2011 in an out-of-court settlement.

However, The Iraq Historic Allegations Team (Ihat) which was set up by the Labour Government in 2010 to investigate allegations of murder, torture and abuse by British servicemen against Iraqi civilians has since reviewed the case and recommended prosecution of the soldiers to the Director of Service Prosecutions.

[Links added for context]

Pretty obviously, that 2006 internal investigation was a whitewash and cannot be trusted. And yet, a Conservative MP is calling the potential prosecution a "betrayal". To the contrary, it is attempting to shield people who extrajudicially murder civilians from justice that is a betrayal, of the values the UK purports to stand for. But I guess he's just worried that if war criminals are held accountable for war crimes, they might stop committing them or something.