Saturday, June 05, 2004

UN says prisoner abuse may be war crime

As the Financial Times reports here, a UN group has concluded, not surprisingly, that the recent Iraqi prisoner abuses were likely war crimes, calling them a "grave abuse" of international law.

Countering U.S. claims that only a small number of soldiers were involved who were being prosecuted, the UN group chided coalition superiors for failing to put into place timely measures to stop the wrongdoing once it had been brought to their attention.

The report acknowledges that, long term, human rights in Iraq may have been improved by removing Saddam Hussein, but it is still difficult or impossible to justify the current abuses.

The US group Human Rights Watch has called for the creation of a bipartisan commission to investigate the abuses, including the power to appoint a special prosecutor.

Sound off --- what do you think?