The UK Sunday Herald are reporting that former Foreign Office minister Robin Cook has suggested that an independent organisation such as the
International Red Cross fully investigate this claim.
Robin Cook demands Red Cross investigates execution claims
By David Pratt, Foreign Editor, and Torcuil Crichton
Iraq’s Prime Minister Iyad Allawi shot dead as many as six suspected insurgents last month, just days before Washington handed political control over
to his new government.
Two separate witnesses said that the prisoners, blindfolded and handcuffed, were lined up against a wall in a courtyard next to a maximum security
cell at al-Amariyah prison in Baghdad. Allawi then pulled out a pistol and shot them in the head, telling policemen that he was setting an example on
how to deal with resistance fighters. Allawi is said to have told onlookers that the men “deserved worse than death”.
Some 30 witnesses are said to have been present in the compound when Allawi paid a surprise visit to the security facility to reassure police officers
that they would be protected from reprisals if they killed insurgents in the course of their duty.
The claims, first published in the Sydney Morning Herald yesterday and written by the distinguished Australian journalist Paul McGeough, have raised
fears that Dr Allawi is returning to the cold-blooded tactics of his predecessor, Saddam Hussein, and has led to urgent calls for the Red Cross to
launch an investigation.
“These are dreadful allegations. It is vital that they are cleared up one way or another and that needs an independent inquiry,” said former Foreign
Secretary Robin Cook, who quit the Cabinet over the Iraq war.
“An international body such as the Red Cross would be best able to give authority to the investigation that the situation now demands.”
Senior US officials have not made an outright dismissal of the allegations but Allawi’s office has denied the claims concerning the conduct of the man
meant to be leading Iraq towards democratic elections in January.