"It definitely is something our organisation is aware of. We are not surprised by this latest investigation although it is extremely alarming. There is not much in place to get justice for such instances […] Unfortunately, this seems to be something that is quite commonplace," AOHRUK researcher Hannah Phillips said, referring to the allegations made by the media outlet.
The human rights watchdog noted that London should have taught and trained military personnel to comply with international humanitarian law in order to prevent such incidents.
"Unfortunately what we've seen is that there isn't any completely neutral body able to investigate such claims. The fact we've had no British soldiers that have been convicted through the Iraq Historic Allegations Team before it was closed down, demonstrates a complete neglect when it comes to adhering to international humanitarian law on the part of the British justice system and government more widely", Phillips underlined.
The UK Defense Ministry declined to comment.
Under Additional Protocol II to the 1977 amendments to the Geneva Conventions, civilians lose their protected status when they actively engage in hostilities with any participant in a zone of an armed conflict.
Likewise, buildings and infrastructure of an evidently civilian nature loses that same protected status when used by combatants for military purposes, such as using a school house to barrack troops or converting a tower bloc into an armed observation post. In both instances, the previously civilian nature of the target is rescinded and can be targeted at will.
The end result may have involved UK soldiers engaging suspected insurgents before the nature of their activity had been properly ascertained.