The release of some 400,000 classified military documents on the Iraq War has led the U.N. to call on the Obama administration to investigate American troops’ human rights abuses. Leaked documents tying British forces to possible war crimes sparked a demand for a public inquiry in the U.K. as well.
WikiLeaks, the website responsible for the leak, says the files document 109,000 deaths in Iraq—including 66,000 civilians—from 2004 onward. —JCL
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.
U.S. Army / Spc. Richard DelVecchio
U.S. Army Pfc. Christopher Bradley watches as Black Hawk helicopters take off on an air assault mission near Sadr al Yusufiyah, Iraq.