UN calls on US, Iraq, to probe WikiLeaks allegations
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Tuesday called for the United states and Iraq to investigate allegations of torture and murder found in leaked documents about the conduct of the war, dpa reported.
In a report posted on the UN news website, the Geneva-based Pillay said the files showed that the United States knew about the widespread use of torture of detainees by Iraqi forces yet transferred thousands into Iraqi custody in 2009 and 2010.
Pillay was referring to more than 390,000 classified US military documents published over the weekend by WikiLeaks, the self-describe whistleblower.
She said the documents pointed to serious breaches of international human rights law and indicated a large number of civilians had been summarily executed.
Pillay said that US and Iraqi authorities should investigate all allegations made in the reports and bring the culprits to justice.
Until Iraq ratifies the Convention against Torture and its Optional Protocol, UN officials have no access to investigate detention facilities and treatment of detainees.
Since the majority of the killings and torture incidents in the leaked documents point the responsibility to Iraqi forces and insurgents, the United States State Department on Monday said the Iraqi government would be the ones to investigate.
"If there needs to be an accounting, first and foremost there needs to be an accounting by the Iraqi government itself, and how it has treated its own citizens," State Department spokesman PJ Crowley said.
Crowley said US troops are "well trained on human-rights issues" and are required to report incidents of abuse that they witness.