169 Iraqi civilians win the right to challenge the British government’s block to public Iraq war inquiry.
Hundreds of Iraqi civilians jailed by British military after the 2003 Iraq invasion have won the right to challenge the UK government's refusal to hold a public inquiry into torture accusations.
The judge Justice Silber granted permission for 169 Iraqi civilians, who suffered torture and degrading treatment between March 2003 and December 2008 in UK-controlled prisons, to seek a second judicial review of the decision of the British Secretary of State for Defence Philip Hammond to investigate their allegations through the Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT).
While the British government argued that the IHAT rules out the need for any other inquiry, critics maintain that the establishment lacks “the requisite independence.”
Earlier on November 2011, the claimants' representative Public Interest Lawyers won a Court of Appeal battle for a fresh inquiry into the case, arguing that the IHAT comprises of a number of Royal Military Police (RMP) officers, who involved in detention operations in Iraq.
Later on March 2012, the UK Secretary of State announced that the RMP element in IHAT was to be replaced with the Royal Navy Police (RNP).
However on 25 May this year, the claimants argued that the RNP is also not sufficiently independent as it had numerous officers participating in interrogation operations at the Joint Forward Interrogation Team (JFIT).
"My clients are either relatives of Iraqis unlawfully killed or victims of gross acts of torture and ill-treatment,” said Public Interest Lawyers solicitor Phil Shiner.
"The MoD are making one last desperate effort to avoid accountability and my clients are pleased to have the chance of explaining once again to a court why there must now be an independent inquiry into all these cases."