Saturday, October 23, 2010

"Iraq war logs: UN calls on Obama to investigate human rights abuses"

The documents on WikiLeak describing human rights abuses in Iraq may implicate British as well as US forces, a human rights lawyer has said. Photograph: Jehad Nga/Corbis

The UN has called on Barack Obama to order a full investigation of US forces' involvement in human rights abuses in Iraq after a massive leak of military documents that detail torture, summary executions and war crimes.

The call, by the UN's chief investigator on torture, Manfred Nowak, came as Phil Shiner, human rights specialist at Public Interest Lawyers in the UK, warned that some of the deaths documented in the Iraq war logs could have involved British forces and would be pursued through the UK courts. He demanded a public inquiry into allegations that British troops were responsible for civilian deaths during the conflict.

The Guardian has analysed the 400,000 documents, the biggest leak in US military history, and found 15,000 previously unreported civilian deaths. The logs show how US authorities failed to investigate hundreds of reports of abuse, torture, rape and murder by Iraqi police and soldiers whose conduct appears to be systematic and generally unpunished. MORE...

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