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MOSCOW, August 28 (Itar-Tass) —— Moscow has urged the United States to prosecute Blackwater employees responsible for the killing of 17 Iraqi civilians, Russian Foreign Ministry Representative for Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law Konstantin Dolgov said on Tuesday.
“We were perplexed with and concerned over reports that the U.S. Department of Justice had stopped investigation of an attempted bribery of Iraqi Interior Ministry officials by the notorious U.S. private security guard company Blackwater [previously known as Xe Services LLC and renamed into Academi in 2012]. The company tried to win a license for working in Iraq and to block the investigation of the murder of 17 civilians in Baghdad, including children, [20 people were wounded, too] by its employees in September 2007 with a bribe of $1 million. Blackwater guards were accompanying a convoy of the U.S. Embassy and committed a massacre on Nisur Square,” he said.
“The U.S. Department of State declined Blackwater services only two years after the tragedy,” he noted.
“In spite of the scandalous Blackwater incident, the military and foreign political departments of the United States continue the active use of contract personnel, in particular, in ‘dirty missions’ in armed conflict zones. Such ‘outsourcing’ jobs given to private companies in the execution of state funds enables the U.S. government to shrink responsibility for violations of norms of international humanitarian laws,” he said.
The unregulated status of modern mercenaries “is being used by their lawyers, who are trying to block the lawsuits of families of the killed Iraqis at U.S. courts with references to the immunity to personnel of private security guard companies, who were allegedly operating in Iraq on the orders of the American state. As a result, none of the participants in the tragic events on Nisur Square has been prosecuted as yet,” he said.
“The Blackwater case is an illustrative example of the impunity of personnel of private security guard companies who are flagrantly violating human rights standards. This situation derives from inconsistent and selective actions of the American authorities, which ignore rights of the Iraqi victims of crimes of private security guards,” Dolgov said.
Moscow expects “the U.S. authorities to take practical steps and to punish the guilty employees of the former Blackwater. It must be noted that the U.S. court passed a 25-year sentence on Russian citizen Viktor Bout simply for his intention [which was not proven, by the way] to sell arms to Colombian insurgents. Meanwhile, the Blackwater successor officially admitted illegal arms deliveries to Iraq, Afghanistan and Sudan. Isn’t that a descriptive example of double standards of the U.S. judiciary?” he wondered.