Searching for accountability: british-controlled detention in southeast iraq, 2003–2008
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Duffy, Aoife (2016). Searching for accountability: british-controlled detention in southeast iraq, 2003–2008. International Journal of Transitional Justice 10 (3), 410-431
This article examines violence against detainees in British-controlled detention facilities in southeast Iraq from 2003 to 2008. I argue that various legal frameworks, domestic and international, failed to protect Iraqi detainees from violence while in British custody. Law could not penetrate the thick culture of impunity surrounding security force actions in Iraq. This is linked to obstacles in securing the 'truth' about violent assault, death and degradation in these detention facilities. I examine patterns of violence, particularly harmful pre-interrogation techniques originally employed in Northern Ireland, subsequently banned by the UK government, only to reemerge in British detention facilities in Iraq. I argue that a culture of impunity which does not lend itself to an open accounting surrounds these abuses, raising the question of whether the International Criminal Court will be able to prise open a space for an investigation of the facts without fear or favour.