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Friday, 8 July 2011

Fighting with their hands tied behind their backs.

Bugger the NOTW, I think this story requires a little more prominence.

British troops accused of the unlawful killing and ill-treatment of civilians while at war in Iraq were governed by Europe's human rights convention at the time, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled.

The verdict from the court in Strasbourg dismissed claims by the UK government that soldiers were not subject to convention requirements because they were beyond its jurisdiction at the time.

The judges declared that, in the "exceptional circumstances" when UK forces assumed responsibility for security in parts of Iraq, they remained under the jurisdiction of rules obliging signatory member states - including the UK - to safeguard the right to life and liberty.

This means that every action taken by are troops will be up for questioning. This ruling will most probably cause more deaths of our servicemen as  In the heat of urban warfare they will have to think shoot, or not shoot. This will put them under a serious disadvantage compared with their terrorist foes who have absolutely no respect for the Court of Human Rights.

Of course this story has just slipped out on the day that the NOTW debacle is in full swing. “A day to bury bad news”, do my readers remember that.

I for one would not like to go into a warzone knowing that my every move may be scrutinised at a later date.

Yes there has to be some accountability. But this is a step to far.


  1. Captain Haddock8 July 2011 at 09:45

    Totally wrong .. but I'd expect little else from the EUSSR Kommisars ..

    Though, wasn't there a very recent ruling (within the last couple of weeks) to the effect that British Troops, whilst operating in Afghanistan were outside the bailiwick of EU Health & Safety Regulations, thus rendering them & their families ineligible for compensation in the event of death or injuries received in the course of those operations ?

    Seems to me that the EUSSR is making the rules up, as it goes along ..

  2. As I read it it seems to only affect British personnel should they be accused of "unlawful killing" and "ill-treatment of civilians". I don't think it relates to combat or accidental killing of civilians. I think it means soldiers who have made a concious effort to kill or abuse people they know aren't "the enemy".

    I know, I know, the scope is wide and varied, but knowing what we know about both ours and American troops' behaviour in the past, it isn't too much to ask them to behave - the've got plenty of opportunity to shoot the f**k out of many, many people without turning to innocent people aswell.

  3. Robert Edwards8 July 2011 at 14:16

    If you are in a war zone and the enemy looks exactly like anyone else, it's a bit difficult to tell who there are.

    Having grown up in a war zone myself (Malayan 'emergency') then I know rather more about this than I'd like.

    Human rights are all very well, but that includes our people as well, but I have a sneaking suspicion that there is a leeetle bit of political disapproval at work here...

  4. Perhaps all MEPs & those involved in the European Court of Human Rights should visit Iraq for an in-depth, on-the-ground study. Without any military protection.

    The outcome would be more beneficial to all involved compared with the usual EU junkets to exotic locations such as the Maldives, the US etc.

  5. JP. I think they should be used for mine clearance personally. Or am I too harsh?

  6. Ancient+Tattered Airman8 July 2011 at 22:48

    Having served in HM Forces in some 'interesting' places during my time, I can assure you that we have always worked with the appropriate Rules of Engagement cards in our pockets. We were all regularly questioned on them. Having at least one arm behind our backs sums it up quite well. The latest little wrinkle is having the press 'embedded' which thankfully I avoided when flying single seat aircraft. Every round fired had to be accounted for and there was always the evidence of a gun camera to back it up.


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