Socialist Worker

Military Families challenge war in House of Lords

Issue No. 2088

Two women whose sons were killed serving in Iraq took their case for a public inquiry into the legality of the war to the House of Lords on Monday of this week.

Rose Gentle, whose son Gordon was killed by a roadside bomb in 2004, and Beverley Clarke, whose son David was killed in a “friendly fire” incident in 2003, are asking the law lords to overturn a court of appeal judgement. This ruled that the government is not obliged to hold an inquiry into the deaths of the two soldiers.

Rose and Beverley want an inquiry into government decisions in the run up to the invasion.

In particular they want to know why 13 pages of “equivocal” advice from the attorney general were reduced to one page that stated that the war would be legal.

Lawyers for Rose and Beverley argue that they should be granted an inquiry under Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which protects the right to life.

The case is being heard by nine law lords and a judgement is expected to take six months.

Just before she attended court on the first day of the hearing, Rose Gentle told Socialist Worker, “We want the right to have a public inquiry – not just for us and our families, but for everyone. The whole world is watching what happens.

“We are still not allowed to know the truth about the war. What does the government have to hide?”

Rose has campaigned tirelessly for justice for her son and for other victims of the war – including the many thousands of Iraqis killed.

She said, “We need to make sure the government can’t get away with doing this again. I will be marching on 15 March to say we want all the troops back home.”

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Tue 12 Feb 2008, 19:06 GMT
Issue No. 2088
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