Amnesty International urges probe of American officials after WikiLeaks release
Whistle-blower website WikiLeaks released nearly 400,000 classified military documents from the Iraq war, the largest classified military leak in history.
The New York Times says the documents disclosed “many previously unreported instances in which American soldiers killed civilians — at checkpoints, from helicopters, in operations” and it said there were at least four cases of lethal shootings from helicopters.
The Guardian said the documents detail torture, summary executions and war crimes. U.S. authorities failed to investigate hundreds of reports of abuse, torture, rape and murder by Iraqi police and soldiers, the documents show, it said.
The Times said that hundreds of reports of beatings, burnings and lashings suggested that “such treatment was not an exception.” Most abuse cases contained in the new batch of leaks appear to have been ultimately ignored, the paper said.
The military documents increase the known civilian death toll of the Iraq war by 15,000, say anti-war activists.
In a statement about the documents issued on Saturday, Amnesty International urged the United States to probe how much American officials knew about the torture and abuse of detainees held by Iraqi security forces. “The U.S. authorities committed a serious breach of international law when they summarily handed over thousands of detainees to Iraqi security forces who, they knew, were continuing to torture and abuse detainees on a truly shocking scale,” said Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International’s director for the Middle East and North Africa.
WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange said, “In our release of these 400,000 documents about the Iraq war, the intimate detail of that war from the U.S. perspective, we hope to correct some of that attack on the truth that occurred before the war, during the war and which has continued on since the war officially concluded.”