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UK mercenaries in Iraq need closer regulation: advocacy group

[JURIST] A British advocacy group condemned the UK government for failing to properly regulate hired mercenaries operating in Iraq [BBC report] and Afghanistan in a report [PDF text] released Monday that proposes regulations to hold mercenaries accountable for alleged abuses. The report by the War on Want [advocacy website] charges that no prosecutions have been filed against paid mercenaries, despite several documented instances of abuse and potential war crimes. The report proposes several regulations, such as a reporting requirement for all defense contracts with the government and restrictions on government employees and representatives taking defense contracting jobs following public service.

The report release coincides with the opening day of the first annual conference of the British Association of Private Security Companies [SourceWatch.org backgrounder], a group that represents British mercenaries abroad. The association's director said his group supports regulation, but will lobby for an independent ombudsman rather than government control. AP has more.

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