BEIJING, July 19 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson on Monday said the international community should conduct a thorough investigation into the UK's and U.S. war crimes and human rights violations, so that justice is done for the innocent victims and people all over the world are protected from bullying and cruelty.
Spokesperson Wang Wenbin made the remarks at a daily press briefing in response to media reports that members of the British Special Air Service (SAS) posted in Afghanistan "repeatedly killed" captives and unarmed civilians, and even "competed with each other to get the most kills." The troops were also suspected of crime scene cover-ups and officials reportedly concealed the cases.
Wang said what these reports uncover is simply shocking and outrageous. "The United States and its allies' atrocious abuses of human rights that challenge human conscience are not isolated cases. They are persistent, systemic and prevalent recurrences."
Wang cited media reports as noting that between 2003 and 2008, thousands of Iraqi civilians were abused by British soldiers in ways such as detention, beating, humiliation, sexual assaults and even murder. Over the past nearly 20 years, the United States launched more than 90,000 air strikes on countries including Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, claiming as many as 48,000 civilian lives.
Instead of reflecting on their atrocities, Wang said the UK and the United States have tried every possible way to deflect the blame.
Wang cited media reports as noting that the Overseas Operations Act 2021 introduced by the British Parliament shields British soldiers who committed torture and other serious crimes overseas from prosecution and hampers efforts to hold the perpetrators fully accountable; the British Ministry of Defence claimed to have conducted extensive investigation into British soldiers' acts in Afghanistan and Iraq, but 90 percent of the alleged war crimes were not looked into; earlier, the U.S. government sanctioned ICC officials who had been investigating war crimes allegedly committed by U.S. troops in the war in Afghanistan.
"Those who are most vocal about defending human rights have turned out to be the deadliest murderers of innocent civilians; and those most fervently attacking other countries' human rights conditions are the ones who should be put in the dock on human rights," Wang said.
"There should be a thorough international investigation into the UK's and U.S. war crimes and human rights violations, let justice be done for the innocent victims and protect people all over the world from more bullying and cruelty," he added. ■