UK AG calls for probe into military's Iraq interrogation techniques

[JURIST] Outgoing UK Attorney General Lord Peter Goldsmith [official website] said Tuesday that the UK should initiate an inquiry into how interrogation techniques outlawed by the Geneva Conventions [ICRC materials] and the European Convention on Human Rights [text] were authorized and used by UK soldiers deployed in Iraq. Goldsmith, speaking before the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights [official website], said he only became aware of the use of the prohibited techniques after the death of Iraqi detainee Baha Musa [Herald report; JURIST news archive] while under British custody. Goldsmith, whose resignation [JURIST report] becomes effective this week, also doubted whether high-level British military officials needed to be advised legally that the techniques were prohibited.

In May, Goldsmith denied allegations that he advised Army officials to deny UK detainees in Iraq legal protections [Independent report] guaranteed under the Human Rights Act of 1998 (HRA) [text] and instead adopt a "pragmatic" approach adhering to the Geneva Conventions when handling detainees. The UK House of Lords has ruled that the HRA applies to British soldiers overseas [JURIST report] and also applies to detainees under British detention. The Daily Mail has more.

 

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