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Iraq: Responding to reports of Scotland Yard investigating torture death

In response to the Daiy Mail reports (21 May 2004) that Scotland Yard has been called in to investigate allegations of murder, torture and maltreatment by British soldiers in Iraq, Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said:

“Amnesty International has been calling from the start for an independent civilian-led inquiry. “The army investigating the army, in secret and behind closed doors, falls well short of the independence and impartiality required by international standards.

“This latest report, if confirmed, suggests that other authorities agree with us and that it is possible to institute independent inquiries into allegations against the army of abuse or suspicious deaths.

“However, two criticial questions remain. Why did it take so long and why these particular cases?

“In order to be effective inquiries should be independent, impartial and prompt – otherwise there is a danger of vital evidence being destroyed or lost.

“Prompt inquiries will only take place when there is a independent civilian-led body which conducts investigations as a matter of course – not months later when doubts have been raised about earlier inquiries.

“In order to restore the confidence of the Iraqi people it is essential that justice is done and seen to be done.”

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