Press Release: The Horror of Allied Brutality in Iraq Must be Stopped

Islamic Human Rights Commission

8th May 2004

Press Release: The Horror of Allied Brutality in Iraq Must be Stopped
IHRC calls for war crimes investigation against US and UK soldiers

With reports of girls as young as 12 being detained and forced to strip naked by allied forces, the situation in Iraqi prisons is clearly one that needs the full force of international law to be brought down to bear upon it.

The beatings, abuse, humiliation and rapes being inflicted on prisoners must be dealt with at a systematic level as well as through bringing individual cases against perpetrators. This type of abuse and the increasing evidence of their systematic nature need to be tried as war crimes.

IHRC Chairman, Massoud Shadjareh said today:

“The international community needs to stop mollifying the US and UK and begin calling these crimes by their proper names. These are war crimes and no amount of spin by can hide their true horror. The international community also needs to call on those in charge – and that means Messrs Bush and Blair – to account immediately if there is to be any hope of salvaging international human rights norms from oblivion.”

IHRC notes that the reports of systematic abuse, including rape of women and men is hardly inconsistent with the treatment meted out by e.g. US army personnel to each other. In the first Gulf War 7% of female soldiers were reported being raped by male counterparts. About a third reported sexual harassment of some sort from male colleagues. More shocking is the National Victim’s Center’s figures that only 16% of rapes ever get reported.

Shadjareh continued:

“Given the way the US military systematically abuses its own personnel, there can be little doubt that about the systematic abuse of others by the same military machine.”

For more information, please contact the Press Office on (+44) 7958 522 196 or (+44) 7958 60 74 75 or (+44) 7903 053362.

Islamic Human Rights Commission
PO Box 598
United Kingdom

Telephone (+44) 20 8904 4222
Fax (+44) 20 8904 5183