published: 30 October 2016
On Monday we reported on Prime Minister Theresa May’s promise to crack down on “activist left wing human rights lawyers” to prevent them “harassing” British soldiers.
On Tuesday we told the story of Ahmed Jabbar Kareem Ali, left to drown after being forced into a river by soldiers, one case among hundreds brought to light by investigations into British conduct in Iraq. Yesterday we looked at the absence of serious inquiry into these allegations by the Chilcot report and parliament. Today we look at some of the origins of this affair.
After the invasion of Iraq in March 2003 and the rapid collapse of military opposition offered by Saddam Hussein’s forces, the US-led coalition quickly decided that there would be a need to intern thousands of Iraqis who might pose a threat to British and American forces. The Coalition rounded up people who might have useful information, members of the old regime, enemy troops.
As invasion turned into occupation, the purpose of internment or detention expanded. Coalition forces wanted to uncover weapons of mass destruction and seek out those Iraqi officials who might be held accountable for the Baathist regime’s crimes against its own population.