UK government lawyers have begun a campaign to block torture lawsuits against British and American troops in a court of law.

The campaign began after a Pakistan man Yonus Rahmatullah said he was tortured for a decade following his capture by UK Special Forces in Iraq, and subsequent handover to American soldiers in Afghanistan. He said his UK captors physically assaulted him, dragged him along the ground behind a moving vehicle, and hurled him into a pen filled with dogs. Rahmatullah was eventually freed in 2014.

But what are the reasons behind such a campaign? Experts say the UK government is afraid of being prosecuted for its war crimes in Iraq.

“If this case was to go to court other people who have been abused by British, American or any other solider from any other government will be able to come out, to say excuse me I was abused as well, I want justice to be done for me and so immediately you have a situation where loads of soldiers potentially are going to be prosecuted,” UK-based political commentator Shabbir Hassanally told Press TV1.

He went further saying cases like Rahmatullah’s would shed light on the US-led war in Iraq.

“It opens the door to potentially prosecuting the governments and letting the people know that these wars were all for money for oil and position and power and had nothing to do with the reasons that were said to the public, so yes absolutely this is a something which the British government no doubt fears and of course it also talks about the fearing these type of cases will affect the US-UK relationship,” Hassanally said.

The commentator blamed UK government for saying that Rahmatullah’s case would compromise relation with Washington and noted:” UK has said that ’anything like this will damage the UK-US relationship’ but what they don’t think about is it damages justice and one of the many reasons why people in the UK are becoming extremely apathetic towards Westminster and towards politics as a whole, because they feel no one listens and no one cares.”

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Footnotes

  1. The interview was conducted by Press TV for its news broadcasts on February 14, 2015

Written by Shabbir Hassanally

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