Archive for the U.K. War Crimes Category

US torture report exposes European powers’ involvement in CIA crimes [World Socialist Website]

Posted in Albania, Austria, Belgium, CIA, Croatia, Czech Republic / Czechoslovakia, Denmark, France, George W. Bush, Germany, Greece, Guantanamo Bay concentration camp, Iceland, Italy, Libya, National Security Agency / NSA, NATO, NSA, Poland, Police State, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Syria, Torture, Turkey, U.K., U.K. War Crimes, Ukraine, US "War on Terror", US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA on December 14, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Alex Lantier
12 December 2014

The publication of the US Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture has exposed the European powers’ complicity in ghastly crimes of US intelligence. Even though European states’ complicity in CIA torture and rendition operations has been documented for nearly a decade, no European officials have been held accountable.

In 2005, the Council of Europe tasked former Swiss prosecutor Dick Marty with preparing a report on secret CIA prisons in Europe. He released two reports, in 2006 and 2007, documenting the complicity of dozens of European states in setting up facilities for illegal CIA rendition and torture. The states involved included Britain, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, Spain, Portugal, Finland, Sweden, Iceland, Denmark, Austria, the Czech Republic, Croatia and Albania.

The existence of approximately 1,000 CIA flights and of secret prisons in Bosnia-Herzegovina, in Bucharest (Romania), Antavilas (Lithuania), and Stare Kiejkuty (Poland) has since been confirmed.

Nonetheless, after the US Senate recognized CIA use of the grisliest forms of torture — including murder, sexual assault, sleep deprivation and forcing inmates to stand on broken limbs —officials across Europe reacted by insisting that they should enjoy immunity.

Top officials of the Polish government, which is appealing a July ruling against it over its role in CIA torture by the European Court on Human Rights, denounced the report. “Certain secrets should stay that way,” said Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak.

Polish prosecutors have been investigating the case for six years, including a two-year investigation of former Polish intelligence chief Zbigniew Siemiatkowski, without bringing any charges. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the September 11 attacks, was waterboarded as soon as he arrived at Stare Kiejkuty. One medical officer there noted: “We are basically doing a series of near-drownings.”

Other detainees at Stare Kiejkuty, which housed Saudi, Algerian and Yemeni detainees, were subjected to mock executions with a power drill while standing hooded and naked.
Former Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski lamely claimed that CIA officials did not explain how they planned to use their secret prisons in Poland. “It was a question as we saw it only of creating secret sites,” he said, adding that he closed down the facility in 2003 because “the Americans’ secret activities began to worry” Polish authorities.
Lithuanian officials confirmed that the black site named “detention center Violet” by the US Senate report appears to be the Lithuanian detention center near the capital, Vilnius, identified in a 2009-2010 parliamentary investigation. Lawmaker Arvydas Anusauskas told Reuters, “The US Senate report, to me, makes a convincing case that prisoners were indeed held at the Lithuanian site.”

Abu Zubaydah, a Saudi detainee now kept at Guantanamo Bay, has stated that he was kept and tortured at the site. Washington paid the Lithuanian government $1 million to “show appreciation” for operating the prison, according to the US Senate report, though the funds were reportedly paid out through “complex mechanisms.”

Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius has asked Washington to confirm whether or not the CIA tortured prisoners at its secret prisons in Lithuania.

British Prime Minister David Cameron dismissed the issue of torture and Britain’s role in rendition flights to countries including Libya, saying that it had been “dealt with from a British perspective.” He told the public to trust British intelligence to police itself, as official investigations had “produced a series of questions that the intelligence and security community will look at … I’m satisfied that our system is dealing with all of these issues.”

In fact, the CIA torture report has revealed the advanced state of collapse of democratic forms of rule not only in the United States, but also in Europe. What has emerged across Europe since the September 11 attacks is the framework of a police state far more technically powerful than even the most ruthless dictatorships of twentieth-century Europe. The methods deployed as part of the “war on terror” will also be used against opposition in the working class to unpopular policies of austerity and war.

European governments participate in the digital spying on telecommunications and Internet activities of the European population, carried out by the US National Security Agency and its local counterparts, as revealed by Edward Snowden. They also are planning joint repression of social protests, based on talks between German federal police, France’s Gendarmerie, and other security forces with the European Commission.

“During my investigation, people called me a traitor and said I was making things up,” Marty told the Tribune de Genève. “The Europeans disappointed me. Germany, the United Kingdom, and many others blocked the establishment of the truth. In fact, most European countries actively participated in a system that legitimated large-scale state crimes.”

“I think we must recall, and it is very important, that this operation, this anti-terrorist policy, was decided and carried out under the aegis of NATO,” Marty told Swiss television channel RTS.

“The United States invoked Article 5 of the NATO Charter, which says that if one member of the alliance is attacked militarily [e.g., as Washington claimed, on September 11], all NATO members are required to come to its aid,” Marty said. Once this was accepted, he added, “there were a whole series of secret accords between the United States and European powers. And all the European countries pledged to grant total immunity to CIA agents, which is manifestly illegal.”

The European powers’ participation in the CIA torture program underscores the utter hypocrisy of the humanitarian pretensions used to justify operations ranging from NATO wars in Syria and Libya to this February’s NATO-backed, fascist-led putsch in Ukraine.

The ferocious opposition of the European ruling elites to attempts to bring this criminality to light is the clearest indication that the democratic rights of the population cannot be secured by appeals to any section of the state. The defense of the population’s democratic and social rights is a question of the revolutionary mobilization of the working class in an international struggle against European capitalism.

Article link: https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/12/12/euto-d12.html

Recent report confirms: US depleted uranium weapons targeted civilian areas in Iraq war [World Socialist Website]

Posted in DU Depleted Uranium weapons, Genocide, Iraq, U.K., U.K. War Crimes, US foreign occupation, US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA, War crimes on June 29, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

by Barry Mason

26 June 2014

“Laid to Waste”, a report by the Dutch Catholic NGO Pax Christi International, confirms that US forces in Iraq used depleted uranium (DU) weapons in civilian areas during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. More than a decade later, DU is still harming people’s health. The impact of the use of DU in 2003 added to that resulting from the Gulf War of 1991…

Excerpted; full article link: http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/06/26/uran-j26.html

UK referred to International Criminal Court for war crimes in Iraq [World Socialist Website]

Posted in Iraq, U.K., U.K. War Crimes on June 11, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Jean Shaoul
3 June 2014

International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, has accepted the complaint lodged in January alleging that UK military personnel committed war crimes against Iraqis in their custody between 2003 and 2008. She has ordered a preliminary investigation.

It is the first step into a possible criminal prosecution against Britain’s political and military leaders, including politicians, senior civil servants, lawyers, Chief of Defence Staff and Chief of Defence Intelligence, who bear ultimate responsibility for systematic abuse of detainees in Iraq…

Excerpted; full article link: https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/06/03/iraq-j03.html

China Voice: Stop making farce in pretext of “human rights” [Xinhua]

Posted in Anti-China propaganda exposure, China, China-bashing, U.K., U.K. War Crimes, Western nations' human rights distortions on April 22, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

BEIJING, April 16 (Xinhua) — The British government has indulged itself in political farce again by making biased and irresponsible remarks to blemish China’s human rights record.

In its latest annual report on human rights, it, disregarding its own flawed human rights record, listed China as one of 28 “countries of concern”.

The report “selectively ignored” real and continuous human rights progress made in China, which is obvious to any person without prejudice…

Why doesn’t the report highlight some Western countries, including Britain itself, that have also violated human rights?

The British government simply turned the report into an ideological political show.

Instead of squandering efforts and taxpayers’ money on pointing fingers at other countries, the British government should sweep its own doorstep instead.

Acting as a world human rights defender, Britain itself has had its problems.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, with Britain as a major player in the U.S.-led military operations, have caused massive civilian casualties.

…Britain’s remote drone operations in Afghanistan spurred anti-war protests at home. Protestors demanded an end to remote killing before even more innocent civilians were slaughtered as the British Royal Air Force started to remotely operate drones flying in Afghanistan from British soil.

The UK phone-hacking scandal involving Rupert Murdoch’s News International, which has dominated media coverage worldwide, also cast doubt over the “freedom of the press” upheld by Western media organizations and raised concerns about privacy rights in the country.

Differences still exist among nations on human rights issues due to different levels of cultural and economic development and China stands for narrowing them through dialogue on the basis of mutual respect and equality.

China is ready to discuss human rights issues with Britain, and they have established mechanisms for dialogue to exchange ideas and settle differences.

A human rights dialogue between China and Britain scheduled this week has been called off because of Britain’s latest human rights report, which has made irresponsible comments about China’s political system and blemished the country’s human rights record…

Excerpted; full article link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/indepth/2014-04/16/c_133268036.htm

The Iraqi resistance is justified, prosecute the criminals [Workers World]

Posted in Belgium, DU Depleted Uranium weapons, Genocide, George W. Bush, Iran, Iraq, Pentagon, Sanctions as weapon of war, Tony Blair, U.K., U.K. War Crimes, US foreign occupation, US imperialism, USA, War crimes on March 31, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By John Catalinotto on March 25, 2014

Workers World newspaper publishes below the statement of the Spanish Campaign Against the Occupation and for the Sovereignty of Iraq (CEOSI), which summarizes the damages to Iraq caused by aggressive war and occupation on the occasion of the 11th anniversary of the U.S.-British invasion on March 19, 2003, and raises demands for prosecution of the responsible war criminals and for reparations for the victims. WW notes that CEOSI is one of the organizers of the April 16-17 commission set for Brussels, Belgium, to make legal demands on the war criminals, mostly from the U.S. and Britain, whose crimes caused so much death and destruction in Iraq.

The illegal war and occupation of Iraq, launched by the international coalition led by the U.S. and Britain, have claimed the lives of nearly two million Iraqis; it has left five million refugees inside and outside Iraqi borders, made more than one million widows and five million orphans [1]. The occupying forces have often used weapons banned by International Conventions, such as depleted uranium ammunition, agent orange and white phosphorus [2]. The planners and the executors of what the international law defines as a crime against peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity remain unpunished.

After the Iraqi national resistance forced the U.S. military to withdraw its troops, tens of thousands of advisors, contractors — especially North Americans — and security personnel remain in the country to protect the interests of the United States. Foreign elements have not abandoned their goal of controlling the economic resources of the country, since they face a government unable to guarantee its population’s most basic services.

In addition, various foreign and regional powers, such as the pro-Iranian forces, are fighting each other to gain influence and dominate Iraq using their militias against the Iraqi people.

The political process and the regime imposed are part of the U.S.-British occupation of Iraq. The policy of the regime led by Nuri al-Maliki is based on revenge, totalitarianism and sectarian division; it’s a regime that promotes and encourages acts of terrorism against civilians to prevent Iraq from regaining its sovereignty after decades of sanctions, war and occupation. According to the most conservative data, the death toll caused by the violence in the past year is around 8,000 [3]. To this number at least 169 executions carried out without the standard legal guarantees must be added. Iraq ranks third in the use of death penalty after China and Iran. [4]

At the beginning of 2011, the different peaceful protests that began to struggle [and] fight against the occupation — involving trade unions, students, human rights activists, etc.,— unified their efforts in what was called the February 25th Movement [5] and reached a national level.

This peaceful resistance was suppressed by the state and intentionally ignored by the mainstream media, which largely led to its disappearance. However, this long journey of struggle and growing popular discontent has been the root of the popular revolution that we are witnessing today in Iraq.

Since late 2012, these demonstrations and popular and peaceful sit-ins have resumed in some western provinces; they have been spread to the south and have reached the capital, Baghdad. [6] Despite the government nonstop attempts to put an end to the protests, they have continued till now, especially in central and west Iraqi provinces, where people have been suffering persecution and the regime’s sectarian policies. There are many reasons for the people to take [to] the streets: corruption, sectarianism, unemployment, lack of access to basic services, illegal arrests, etc., which derive from the foreign occupation and from a class rule that triggers hatred, division, power struggles and the plundering of the national resources. In 2011, the reasons for the popular revolution were crystal clear in the mottos demanding the withdrawal of the U.S. troops and the removal of the regime.

For more than two months now, the Maliki government has been waging a war against the Iraqi people in several provinces in an attempt to end the popular revolution. Although the protests have been totally peaceful, Maliki has accused the population of these (majority Sunni) areas of being part of or supporting the terrorist organization, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. [7] Without any hesitation, the government continues bombing the civilians, while receiving military aid from the U.S., Russia and Iran. The bombing has caused numerous deaths and new waves of refugees. [8] In response to the government attacks, the population has organized itself into military councils to protect its territory and fight for what all Iraqis — from north to south — have demanded since the beginning of the occupation: prosperity, unity and national sovereignty. [9]

In these critical times to Iraq, CEOSI would like to express its full support for the Iraqi popular revolution — armed and peaceful — and we state that the military councils have been created for self-defense due to the total absence of legal protection and contempt for the law in Iraq; a situation where sectarian and partisan militias run the country and the government, far from ensuring the safety of citizens, exercises state terrorism, so that

We demand:

1. That the aspirations of the Iraqi people’s revolution are acknowledged, as well as the Iraqi right to decide about their own destiny, without any interference after more than 25 years of wars, sanctions, and a new war and illegal occupation.

2. That the International Criminal Court fulfills its legal obligation to investigate and prosecute every single individual or group responsible for committing the war crimes, the crimes against peace and the crimes against humanity that were committed in Iraq from 2003 onwards.

The international body of justice must ensure that the top military, civil and political leaders, from all those countries that led, supported or carried out the invasion and occupation of Iraq, are accountable for their lies and for the policies that led them to commit these crimes against Iraq and its people. In this regard, the Iraq Commission in the framework of the 18th Congress of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers there will be held in Brussels on April 16 and 17. The aim of this commission is to analyze and to implement legal measures that will prevent the criminals from going unpunished.

The International Criminal Court must comply with international law, establish war compensations and require them to be paid, both to civilian victims and to the Iraqi state, whose sovereignty and independence have been abused by acts contrary to the international law currently in force.

The United Nations must take an active and supportive role to aid those national courts that can take legal procedures against those accountable for the crimes committed against a sovereign nation. At this moment, in which the Spanish government has led the way to at least a minimum application of the Law of Universal Jurisdiction, an active defense of justice is particularly important…

Excerpted; full article (w/footnotes) link: http://www.workers.org/articles/2014/03/25/iraqi-resistance-justified-prosecute-criminals/

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“WWI Centenary marked by European political squabbling” – Warmongering nations glorifying historic mass slaughter [Xinhua]

Posted in Afghanistan, Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, Turkey, U.K., U.K. War Crimes on February 24, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

BEIJING, Feb. 16 (Xinhuanet) — The centenary marking of the outbreak of World War One, which claimed more than nine million lives, begins in July this year. What should be a unifying moment of remembrance for the millions who died has instead succumbed to political squabbling [sic] as the key participants in that conflict argue about how the war should be remembered. CCTV’s Jack Barton has this report from the historic battlefields of Flanders.

A First World War museum in Flanders, Belgium where more than two million soldiers and civilians were killed or wounded. It touches on key battles, but attempts to look deeper.

“We have stories here in the museum from the German side, from the British side and Australians as well as Belgians and not only soldiers, but civilians to show what war really did to people.” Peter Slosse, Ypres, Department of Tourism said. The Flemish government wants commemorations surrounding this year’s World War One centenary to include a signed agreement by all the conflict’s protagonists that war is morally wrong.

“Which of course is something that the British and the French government had great difficulty with since with troops in Mali, the Central African Republic and Afghanistan.” Pieter Lagrou, Professor of History of Brussels Free University said.

And some Germany officials believed that Britain’s intention to inject a trimphiant tone into official event could even harm the relations between the two countries.

“That is a big moment of national pride and celebration, once more Britain had been on the right side, on the winning side beating evil dictatorships in Europe and saving Europeans from themselves. In Germany for quite obvious reasons there is little reason for national celebrations[,]” Pieter Lagrou, Professor of History of Brussels Free University said.

The centenary starts on July 28.

When the official commemorations begin there will be many who come to remember the battles, but there will also be those who come to remember and honor the soldiers as well as the civilians who died in what was supposed to be the war to end all wars.

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected at commemoration ceremonies from France to Gallipoli in Turkey. People like Australian John Reid whose great grandfather died trying to carry a wounded soldier to safety.

“I think it’s remembering all the people who fought here and died here and the horror of it all and the fact that people like my great grandfather’s wife Nora May could never make it out here to see the grave or lay flowers.” John Reid, Grandson of Anzac Soldier said.

Like many John hopes that by the start of the centenary the commemorations will be able to strike a unifying and respectful tone of remembrance, free of political squabbling.

(Source: CNTV.cn)
Editor: Lu Hui

Original article title: WWI Centenary marked by political squabbling

Article link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/video/2014-02/16/c_133119244.htm

“UK needs prompt action on human rights record, UN panel warns” – UK is a torture state [Guardian]

Posted in 9/11, Cameron, Iraq, Torture, U.K., U.K. War Crimes on June 10, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

* UN Committee Against Torture report recommends 40 separate measures to be taken before UK is given clean bill of health * [I think it’s going to take a lot more than that to get the racist, fascistic war criminal UK police state a ‘clean bill of health’ – Zuo Shou]

Ian Cobain

31 May 2013

The British government’s human rights record since the attacks of 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq is facing ferocious criticism from a United Nations panel, which warns that prompt action is needed to ensure the country meets its obligations under international law…

Full article link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/law/2013/may/31/uk-human-rights-record-un-panel

(c) Guardian News & Media Ltd