Global Politics, International High Finance, Propaganda

Friday, 25 June 2010

More Recent British War Crimes

More Recent British War Crimes


"A British soldier has become the first to admit to a war crime after pleading guilty to inhumanely treating Iraqi civilians, at a court martial"
In 2006, Cpl Donald Payne was the first British soldier to be convicted of a war crime in this country under the International Criminal Court Act 2001. His crime was the  inhuman and degrading treatment of prisoners held by British Forces in Southern Iraq in September 2003. He received a year in jail and was dismissed from the British Army for his crime.


The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.”  Orwell
But the British military committed HUNDREDS more war crimes - 323 more says Britain's most senior military lawyer - Lieutenant-Colonel Nicholas Mercer

Lt Col Mercer (right) meeting Tony Blair during the Iraq conflict.

"Britain's most senior military lawyer at the start of the Iraq War .... claims British forces were guilty of unlawful killing and torture......

"The former army lawyer spoke out after The Independent revealed last week that British soldiers who served in Iraq could face prosecution for crimes such as murder."

"To date, the MoD has paid out £19.6m in out-of-court settlements in 323 cases relating to the actions of British forces in Iraq. "Why is the MoD settling these claims and paying out on so many and then at the same time maintaining that everyone behaves to the highest standard when clearly the settled civil claims suggest that they don't?" he asked."

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, he (Mercer) said: "Part of the disconnect in all this is that the government have paid out £20m for 326 cases. Anyone who has fought the MoD knows they don't pay out for nothing. So there are 326 substantiated claims at a cost of £20m, and almost no criminal proceedings to accompany it. You have to ask why."
Comment -
The British government has admitted one war crime but covered up 320 more. It knows it has 320 more war criminals serving in the military but isn't going to prosecute them even though it has signed up to many laws and treaties that bind it to prosecute war-criminals.  The government have ignored all of these laws (see the section below headed :- "Various Laws about Torture")

Mercers Credibility

Lt Col Mercer was the commander legal of the British land forces that invaded Iraq at the start of the war in 2003. He was, in other words, the army's top lawyer in Iraq. A successful and well-regarded career officer, it was his job to make sure British troops stayed within the law.

But Lt Col Mercer's efforts to do that job were to cost him his dear. And in an exclusive interview with Channel 4 News he describes how he was blocked, harassed and mocked by his superiors in the MoD as he tried to make sure British forces treated prisoners in a lawful and humane way.

Last week Nicholas Mercer - his career stalled and having lost out on promotion and additional pension rights - left the army. For the last three years, while effectively suspended for raising human rights concerns, Mercer has been training as an Anglican priest. Last week he was ordained.

The Reverend Nicholas Mercer (formerly Lieutenant-Colonel Nicholas Mercer) was the Liberty Human Rights Lawyer of the Year 2011-2012 for integrity and courage in the face of dissembling and denial of human rights abuses by British forces in Iraq.

Col. Mercer's interpretation of the law has since proved correct. Thirty months after he first raised his concerns during the Iraq conflict, the Court of Appeal ruled that British soldiers were bound by the Human Rights Act, which bans torture or degrading of prisoners.'s_top_lawyer_accused_of_telling_brit_commanders_not_to_protect_iraqis'_human_rights

On 27 March 2008, British Defence Secretary Des Browne admitted to "substantial breaches" of the European Convention of Human Rights over the death of Baha Mousa. In July 2008 the Ministry of Defence agreed to pay £2.83 million in compensation to the family of Baha Mousa and nine other men, following an admission of "substantive breaches" of articles 2 and 3 (right to life and prohibition of torture) of the European Convention on Human Rights by the British Army.
Deplorable, shocking, shameful: Fox's verdict on troops who beat Iraqi as he vows to end 'conspiracy of silence'

Read more:


Below are a few documentaries on the effects of Depleted Uranium. 

Some of them are by Major Doug Rocke, the US Army officer who wrote the safety manual on Depleted Uranium

Doug Rokke On Depleted Uranium (2008)

Doug Rokke On Depleted Uranium (2002)
Major Doug Rocke is the US Army officer who wrote the safety manual on Depleted Uranium - hear him tell the truth about the gulf wars. (Note:- I didn't actually make this Documentary - I just think its worth showing)   

The Doctor, the Depleted Uranium, and the Dying Children
(Note:- I didn't actually make this Documentary - I just think its worth showing)  

Various Laws about Torture

Comment - the UK have signed up to many laws and treaties that bind them to prosecute war-criminals.  The government have ignored all of them.  

Under the U.N. Convention Against Torture, forty states, including Britain, have agreed not to engage in Torture. Many of the incidents of abuse committed by British soldiers on Iraqi civilians may fall outside this strict definition of torture under international law.
During military conflict the third and fourth Geneva Conventions protect prisoners of war and civilians who are held by soldiers.

Britain is a signatory to the Rome Statute, the treaty which established the International Criminal Court (ICC) in 1998, which means that the ICC can mount its own investigation if Britain fails to deal with allegations of torture properly.  Torture is also defined as a war crime by the International Criminal Court, which describes it as the unlawful infliction of severe pain.


The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment (the Convention against Torture) prohibits torture and other ill-treatment, and complicity in such acts, by state officials and agents "Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment" (Convention against Torture), adopted December 10, 1984, G.A. res. 39/46, annex, 39 U.N. GAOR Supp. (No. 51) at 197, U.N. Doc. A/39/51 (1984), entered into force June 26, 1987.

The UK ratified the Convention against Torture in 1988.

The United Nations Committee Against Torture, which monitors state compliance with the Convention against Torture, has indicated that an individual is complicit in torture if he or she has given "tacit consent" or "acquiesced" to the torture and knew or should have known that it was taking place

The UN Convention against torture (UNCAT) states:
"each State Party shall ensure that all acts of torture are offences under its criminal law. The same shall apply to an attempt to commit torture and to an act by any person which constitutes complicity or participation in torture".

If such acts are committed during armed conflict then they constitute a war crime or, in the case of rendition, a crime against humanity. However, to date despite increasingly weighty evidence no one has been prosecuted. As the Tory MP David Davis recently stated in the case of R v Ahmed and others

"Although the combined circumstantial evidence of complicity in all these cases is overwhelming, it has not so far been possible — because of the government's improper use of state secrecy to cover up the evidence — to establish absolutely clear sequences of cause and effect."

Council Of Europe LAWS

Under the European Convention of Human Rights, incorporated in the Human Rights Act 1998, torture is prohibited and there is no requirement that the threat or use of pain should be severe for an act to fall foul of the law.


Section 134 of the UK Criminal Justice Act of 1988 creates a legal obligation in British law to prosecute acts of torture. The law provides that the person charged needs to be a public official or a person acting in an official capacity "whatever his nationality" and that the offense can be committed "in the United Kingdom or elsewhere."

Further, the UK government should establish a code of conduct for British security services consistent with Britain's human rights obligations under domestic and international law, including the Convention against Torture and the European Convention on Human Rights.

Craig Murray was drummed out of the Foreign Office for revealing Foreign Office connivance with torture evidence and Ben Griffin, the former SAS Trooper who spoke out against the UK treatment of prisoners in Afghanistan, is now living under a Government injunction which prevents him from speaking any further. If he breaks the terms of the injunction he will go to jail


Cruel Brittania - More torture

Cruel Britannia by Ian Cobain - Mr Cobain is a journalist for the Guardian and has covered six wars.

The book is explosive because it reveals direct participation by the United Kingdom in torture since 1944. This probably will come as a great surprise to many readers but the official line that "the British do not participate in torture", is revealed as just part of a deliberate and well-practised line of deceit.

The book charts the use of torture from "the Cage" in London used to interrogate leading Nazi's at the end of the Second World War, through the colonial campaigns of Kenya, Cyprus and Aden and then makes the link to Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan with the repeated and wilful use of "the five techniques". It exposes the exceptional brutality of the British in the treatment of the Mau Mau in Kenya

This savagery by the British continues throughout the colonial period and Cobain details the campaigns in Cyprus against EOKA and in the Aden Emergency where yet more torture was perpetrated on those we captured.

The book then makes interesting references to the refinement of torture techniques which were developed in between 1950-1970 known as an "assault on the mind" whereby far subtler techniques capable of causing "irreparable psychological damage" were developed.

The scientists found that a combination of five things: sensory deprivation through hooding, together with enforced stress positions, white noise, sleep prevention and very little food together produced "stress that was almost unbearable for most subjects".

This resulted in what became known as the "five techniques" which were subsequently employed against the IRA during interment in 1971 and later banned in the case of Ireland v UK in the European Court of Human Rights in 1978.


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