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Interrogation in War and Conflict: between Liberty, Security and Justice

Interrogation in War and Conflict: between Liberty, Security and Justice

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Publié le mercredi 05 octobre 2011 par Claire Ducournau

Résumé

After recent revelations of a « UK Abu Ghraib », with allegations of systematic mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners of war at a British military interrogation centre, and the opening of a formal inquiry, the role of military interrogations has once again been under scrutiny. This seems a particularly opportune time to discuss « interrogation » both as a military event and as a cultural phenomenon. Interrogation raises moral questions, especially for states that see themselves as « liberal », but it can also be approached from many other angles. It is often, for example, a « first contact » between actors who come from different cultures and speak different languages. It sets out to elicit information, but the absorption of that information depends on the conceptual scheme of the interrogator. There are important differences between interrogations done by ordinary soldiers, debriefings by professional intelligence operatives, and interviews that generate forensic evidence.

Annonce

A Workshop supported by the Leverhulme Major Research Programme, The Liberal Way of War

Professor Hilary Footitt and Dr Simona Tobia, will be holding a one-day workshop on Tuesday, 29 November 2011, at the University of Reading.

Rationale

After recent revelations of a ‘UK Abu Ghraib’, with allegations of systematic mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners of war at a British military interrogation centre, and the opening of a formal inquiry, the role of military interrogations has once again been under scrutiny. This seems a particularly opportune time to discuss ‘interrogation’ both as a military event and as a cultural phenomenon. Interrogation raises moral questions, especially for states that see themselves as ‘liberal’, but it can also be approached from many other angles. It is often, for example, a ‘first contact’ between actors who come from different cultures and speak different languages. It sets out to elicit information, but the absorption of that information depends on the conceptual scheme of the interrogator. There are important differences between interrogations done by ordinary soldiers, debriefings by professional intelligence operatives, and interviews that generate forensic evidence.

Given these complexities, it is surprising that practices involving the ‘questioning of enemies’ seldom receive comparative discussion. This interdisciplinary workshop gives an opportunity for a historically-informed discussion of the continuing problems that they cause for liberal states.

The workshop will have three panels:

  1. ‘Military interrogation: the questioning of enemies’, on interrogation practices in the armed forces, focusing on the preparation and training of military interrogators and on their role in war and in counter-insurgency.
  2. ‘Forensic interrogation and international justice’, on the questioning of suspects, witnesses, and victims in conflict resolution, focusing on international criminal tribunals including the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).
  3. ‘HumInt: interrogation, intelligence and security’, will focus on the role of interrogation in
    intelligence and security, comparing questioning practices in liberal and totalitarian states and
    considering the psychological consequences on prisoners.

Each panel will consider historical case studies from the twentieth century and the more general questions that they raise, such as the role of foreign languages in interrogations and interviews in conflict. Discussions will bring together political and cultural historians with military strategists, lawyers and other practitioners.

How to register

The event is free, but we do require registration. Venue details and joining instructions will be sent closer to the time to all registered delegates.
If you wish to register, please kindly e.mail your name, affiliation and contact details:

Dr. Simona Tobia
School of Languages and European Studies
University of Reading
Whiteknights
RG6 6AA
Reading, UK
s.tobia[at]reading.ac.uk
Tel. +44(0)118 378 8126 - 6551
Fax +44(0)118 378 8122

Programme

09.00 - Coffee

09.15 – Welcome – Alan Cromartie

09.30 – 11.10 Military interrogation: the questioning of enemies

Chair: Heather Jones, LSE

Keynote:

  • David Burrill, Former Deputy Director Intelligence Corps, and Chief of Staff Intelligence and Security Centre of the UK Armed Forces. ‘British and American Military Interrogation from 1939 to 1983 - Lessons at Risk’
  • Franziska Heimburger, EHESS, Paris 'Carrot or stick - French interpreters treading a fine line in obtaining information from German prisoners of war during the First World War’
  • Huw Bennett, King’s College ‘British interrogations during the Mau Mau Emergency, 1952-56’

11.10 – 11.30 Coffee break

11.30 – 13.00 Forensic interrogation and international justice

Chair: Nigel Rodley, Univeristy of Essex

Keynote:

  • Alice Zago, Office of the Prosecutor, International Criminal Court, ‘Modalities of Questioning Witnesses and Victims at the International Criminal Court’
  • Louise Askew, University of Nottingham, ‘A perceived neutrality: an English woman's experience of interpreting during suspect interviews at the ICTY’
  • Matt Pollard, University of Essex ‘Coercive interrogation in the jurisprudence of international criminal tribunals’

13.00 – 14.00 Lunch break

14.00 – 16.10 ‘HumInt’: interrogation, intelligence and security

Chair: Philip Murphy, Institute of Commonwealth Studies

Keynote:

  • Christopher Andrew, Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge ‘Interrogating spies and debriefing defectors. Some conclusions based on my research as official historian of MI5 and unofficial historian of the KGB’
  • Simona Tobia, University of Reading ‘The British way to Humint in the Second World War: the case of CSDIC’
  • Tomas Bouska, Charles University Prague, Political Prisoners Project ‘Czechoslovak Show Trials. Interrogation of former Political Prisoners between 1948-1953’.
  • Kristyna Buskova, University of Nottingham, Political Prisoners Project ‘Life-long psychological consequences of Stalinist interrogation for the Czechoslovak ex-political prisoners from the 1950s’

Lieux

  • Reading, Grande-Bretagne

Dates

  • mardi 29 novembre 2011

Mots-clés

  • prisonniers de guerre, interrogatoire, renseignement

Contacts

  • Dr. Simona Tobia
    courriel : s [dot] tobia [at] reading [dot] ac [dot] uk

Source de l'information

  • Franziska Heimburger
    courriel : franziska [dot] heimburger [at] gmail [dot] com

Pour citer cette annonce

« Interrogation in War and Conflict: between Liberty, Security and Justice », Journée d'étude, Calenda, Publié le mercredi 05 octobre 2011, http://calenda.org/205489