Posts Tagged ‘British soldiers’

British soldiers viewed all Iraqis as ‘scum’, Baha Mousa inquiry hears

April 27, 2010

Intelligence officer says officers did not know rules on treatment of prisoners and one tried to mount ‘arse-covering exercise’ after Baha Mousa’s death

Richard Norton-Taylor, The Guardian/UK, April 27, 2010

Baha Mousa inquiryBaha Mousa, a Basra hotel worker, was beaten to death in 2003 while in the custody of 1 Battalion Queen’s Lancashire Regiment. Photograph: Liberty/PA

An officer of the regiment detaining Baha Mousa, a Basra hotel worker, when he was beaten to death said his soldiers held the view that “all Iraqis were scum”, it was disclosed today.

One officer tried to mount an “arse covering” exercise after Mousa’s death, while others expressed ignorance of basic rules covering the treatment of prisoners, the public inquiry into the incident heard.

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More Iraq testimonies of British soldiers’ abuse

November 16, 2009

Middle East Online, First Published 2009-11-16

The allegations are being ‘investigated’

Former Iraqi detainee says was told to be executed after being sexually abused at British base.
LONDON – British soldiers forced an Iraqi detainee to wear an orange jump suit and told him that he was to be executed at the US-run Guantanamo Bay camp, according to allegations in a report Monday.

The 23-year-old man alleges he was beaten and sexually abused by female and male soldiers and flown to a British detention centre in southern Iraq which he believed was the “war on terror” camp in Cuba, the Independent said.

The man’s case is among allegations being investigated by Britain’s Ministry of Defence that soldiers tortured Iraqi civilians, according to the newspaper.

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MoD investigating alleged rape and torture of Iraqi civilians by troops

November 14, 2009

Lawyer alleges collusion between Britain and US over ill-treatment of prisoners, including sexual humiliation

The Ministry of Defence confirmed last night that it is investigating 33 cases of alleged abuse, including rape and torture of Iraqi civilians by British soldiers.

One claimant alleges that he was raped by two British soldiers, while others claim they were stripped naked, abused and photographed. Female soldiers are also alleged to have taken part in abuse.

A pre-action protocol letter was served on the Ministry of Defence last week by Phil Shiner, the lawyer representing the Iraqis, according to the Independent.

In the letter to the MoD, reported in the newspaper, Shiner said the allegations raised questions of collusion between Britain and the US over the ill-treatment of Iraqis. “Given the history of the UK’s involvement in the development of these techniques alongside the US, it is deeply concerning that there appears to be strong similarities between instances of the use of sexual humiliation,” said Shiner.

Responding to the allegations, Bill Rammell, the armed forces minister, said: “Over 120,000 British troops have served in Iraq and the vast majority have conducted themselves to the highest standards of behaviour, displaying integrity and selfless commitment. Only a tiny number of individuals have been shown to have fallen short of our high standards. Allegations of this nature are taken very seriously, however allegations must not be taken as fact and investigations must be allowed to take their course without judgments being made prematurely.”

The Guardian reported in September that the Royal Military police had launched a criminal investigation into allegations that British soldiers repeatedly raped and mutilated an 18-year-old Iraqi civilian who was working as a labourer at Camp Breadbasket in Basra, the scene of other abuse allegations.

The man who wishes to remain unnamed alleged that two soldiers raped him, subjecting him to a 15-minute ordeal, then slashed him with a knife. He was treated in hospital for cuts and the military police are understood to have secured the medical records. The victim said he was so traumatised he tried to kill himself.

Shiner also represents Baha Mousa, 26, an Iraqi who died after being taken into UK military custody. Mousa and nine other civilians were arrested at a hotel in Basra in September 2003. The father-of-two died the following day, having suffered 93 separate injuries, including fractured ribs and a broken nose.

Corporal Donald Payne became the first member of the British armed forces to be convicted of a war crime when he pleaded guilty at a court martial in September 2006 to inhumanely treating civilians. He was dismissed from the army and sentenced to one year in a civilian jail.

At the ongoing public inquiry into Mousa’s death, a former British soldier admitted for the first time that he saw Payne and Private Aaron Cooper kicking and hitting the Iraqi shortly before he died. Garry Reader told a hearing on Monday how he had tried to resuscitate Mousa.

Leading article: Why we must leave Afghanistan

November 10, 2009

The Independent/UK, Nov. 8, 2009

One by one over the past eight years, the arguments for the continued presence of Nato troops in Afghanistan have fallen away. The last one, which held us back until now from calling for withdrawal, was the need to police the Afghan election in August. That election process is now over: last week the president’s main opponent pulled out, and Hamid Karzai was formally re-elected. That is not a happy outcome. For British soldiers to be deployed in support of a president whose position is bolstered by ballot-rigging tips the balance of our view from reluctant backing for the mission in Afghanistan to regretful opposition.

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British soldiers ‘tortured and murdered 20 Iraqis, then covered it up with firefight claim’

April 23, 2009

By Neil Sears | Mail Online, UK, April 23, 2009

British soldiers tortured and murdered up to 20 Iraqis in cold blood, the High Court was told yesterday.

It happened after a three-hour gun battle at an Army checkpoint near Basra, a lawyer claimed.

Rabinder Singh said a group of local men were taken prisoner and transported to an Army camp where they were beaten with a rusty tent pole, punched, slammed against walls, denied water, blasted with loud music and forced to strip naked in the presence of a woman – a humiliation for Muslim men.

Ann Clwyd

Camp Abu Naji: MP Ann Clwyd at the base where abuse allegedly happened

The next day, he said, only nine were still alive – and 20 corpses were returned to their families. One was teenager Hamid Al-Sweady.

The Army claims the men all died in the initial gun battle, but Hamid’s uncle Khuder Al-Sweady and five survivors of the incident yesterday began a court battle in London to win an independent inquiry.

The clash in May 2004 came after insurgents launched a heavy attack on a checkpoint known as Danny Boy in Al Majar-al-Kabir – the town north of Basra where six military policeman had been murdered the previous year.

According to Army accounts, the soldiers were heavily outnumbered but fought back heroically, mounting a bayonet charge at one point, until the attackers were defeated. The Army says only nine Iraqis were taken away alive for questioning.

But Mr Singh said that when the shooting was over, the British troops took bloody revenge. He said: ‘It is the claimants’ case that at least some of those captured were tortured and killed by British troops between 14 and 15 May 2004, and that there has been no effective investigation into what happened to them in that 24-hour period.

‘This constitutes a substantive and procedural breach of the European Convention on Human Rights.’

He added: ‘There is a lot of evidence from soldiers at the battlefield that there were more than nine that were taken alive.

‘Many of the bodies of the Iraqis returned on 15 May 2004 were severely disfigured and some appeared to show marks of torture and mutilation.’

The Ministry of Defence says a tenmonth Royal Military Police investigation showed the 20 dead were killed in the initial battle. The corpses were taken to be identified before being returned to their families, with no evidence of torture. The hearing continues.

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