HL Deb 26 March 2003 vol 646 c81WA
Lord Renfrew of Kaimsthorn

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What measures they plan to implement, in the event of military intervention in Iraq, to prevent the looting of archaeological sites and museums and to safeguard the rich historic, archaeological and cultural heritage of Iraq. [H L1826]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Bach)

Paragraph 53 of Additional Protocol 1 of the Geneva Conventions prohibits any attack against a cultural property unless that property is used to support a military effort. In our military planning, very careful attention is applied, in accordance with our responsibilities under international law, to ensure that we minimise the risk of damage from any quarter to civilian populations and infrastructure, including sites of historic, archaeological and cultural heritage.

We are confident that our servicemen and women will respect the rich heritage of the Iraqi people. Any form of indiscipline by United Kingdom Armed Forces will be taken very seriously and will be dealt with accordingly.

Iraqi military and civilian individuals will be held personally accountable for actions taken by them in the event of military action, including criminal offences.