A team of war crimes prosecutors has produced a report [PDF
, alternate PDF
] showing "clear evidence [...] of systematic torture and killing of detained persons by the agents of the Syrian government". The report is based on more than fifty thousand photographs, showing approximately eleven thousand individuals. The photographs, which were taken to substantiate the victims' execution, demonstrate that many of the detainees were emaciated and had been tortured.
Primary coverage of the report has been produced by The Guardian
Adam Higginbotham wrote an interesting article in 2007
about Chuckie Taylor's reign of terror in Liberia. (Note: PDF link) [more inside]
What killed Sgt. Gray?
"He survived the war only to die at home. An exploration of his death and his combat unit's activities reveals what can happen to soldiers who feel the freedom -- or the pressure -- to do things in war they can't live with later." -- An American Radioworks documentary.
Last week a video was posted to YouTube and linked to by the Iraqslogger site.
The YouTube account ("Deathlyillington") is now defunct but the video survives and purports to show a former guard from Abu Ghraib talking about torture techniques employed at the American-run prison. The man recounts the gang rape of a female teenage detainee, in which one guard "pimped" the girl to others for $50 each. As he recalls, "I think at the end of the day he'd made like 500 bucks before she hung herself." The US Army's Criminal Investigation Department has now launched an investigation, but the question remains, is the video real, or is it a hoax along the lines of Jesse Macbeth
, the Daily Mirror fake torture photos
or the fake beheading video
. The video
contains few clues to the identity of the alleged soldier, who is shown in silhouette but seems potentially recognizable. A transcript
On Wednesday, the US House of Representatives' Committee on International Relations adopted a bipartisan resolution
to ask the Japanese government to formally apologize for sexually enslaving up to 200,000 "comfort women
" in Imperial brothels during its colonial occupation of Asia from 1932 through the end of World War II
. Many were tortured and raped, and only about 30% survived WWII.
Japan has stated repeatedly that even though the brothels were established by military policy, the imperial government was not directly involved in operating them
. Taking responsibility would be an admission that they committed war crimes -- slavery and trafficking in women and children -- and could give victims a legal basis to sue for reparations
. H Res. 759
does not ask Japan to provide reparations, but it does push them to unambiguously acknowledge what happened and educate future generations, (full text
) rather than continue the current practice of denying what really happened. Previously on MeFi.
Gonzalez seeks "protection" from War Crimes Act of 1996
Ten years ago, the Republican Congress passed the War Crimes Act
, which makes violations of the Geneva Convention by Americans criminal acts. Now, the Attorney General is urging the current Republican Congress to "shield" those who participate in the War On Terror from the Act.