British troops are suspected of being responsible for the murder and manslaughter of a number of civilians in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
Victims in Iraq include men who have drowned after allegedly being pushed into canals and a man who is alleged to have been kicked to death on board an aircraft.
In a number of cases, military police recommended that the alleged killers be put on trial for murder and manslaughter, but military prosecutors declined to do so after concluding that there was no realistic prospect of convictions. The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the Service Prosecuting Authority have repeatedly declined to offer detailed explanations for those decisions.
In Afghanistan, the MoD is also refusing to give out information whether there have been any deaths in UK military custody.
The main reason the MoD spokesman gave for refusing to give information was that the term ‘custody’ is a term which is vague and open to misinterpretation.
Why does the UK MoD find this so hard to understand?
The question is simple: when UK forces had custody of Afghan civilians, how many were subsequently killed?