Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Justice for torture in the UK?

Over the weekend we learned that British interrogators in Iraq had been torturing people with beatings, starvation, stress positions and electric shocks. Now, some of them look likely to be prosecuted for it:

A number of British military interrogators may face war crimes charges after members of their unit filmed themselves while threatening and abusing Iraqi detainees at a secret prison near Basra, the high court heard today.

The men have been referred to the Director of Service Prosecutions (DSP) after an investigation considered whether they had breached the International Criminal Court Act, which prohibits war crimes.

The referral was accompanied by "a recommendation that he consider charges under the 2001 Act", Philip Havers QC, counsel for the Ministry of Defence, told the court. He added that Article 8 of the act defines and prohibits a number of actions as war crimes, including "committing outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment".

Of course, the DSP is hardly neutral; they should be being referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions instead. But this is at least a start. And hopefully, everyone involved will end up facing justice for what they've done.