News / Middle East

Iraqis Claim Abuse by British Military

British soldiers patrol the streets of Basra, southeast of Baghdad,15 Jul 2008
British soldiers patrol the streets of Basra, southeast of Baghdad,15 Jul 2008

A group of over 100 Iraqi civilians are suing for a broad British inquiry into the torture and abuse they say they suffered at the hands of British soldiers and interrogators following the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

The Iraqis say they were abused in British military facilities in Iraq between 2003 and 2008.

Phil Shiner, head of the human rights firm that's representing the Iraqis, Public Interest Lawyers, spoke at a recent press conference in London.

"There are hundreds of Iraqis now complaining of ill treatment and torture, often a result of coercive interrogation techniques by UK interrogators within secret facilities run by the joint forwards interrogation team,"  he said.

He said the Iraqi civilians were victim to a host of abuses including rape, sleep deprivation, and death threats.

Many, he says, didn't survive the abuse.

Lawyer Phil Shiner listens during a press conference in London (File)
Lawyer Phil Shiner listens during a press conference in London (File)

"There appear to be many cases other than that of Baha Mousa where Iraqis died in UK custody and were then certified as dying from natural causes," said Shiner. "None of these deaths have been investigated. Many of these Iraqis were hooded and abused and my law firm does not accept the Ministry of Defense's explanation that each and every one of these deaths has an innocent explanation."

Britain's Ministry of Defense says the allegations are unproven.

The MOD has set up a team to investigate all alleged cases of abuse by British service personnel in Iraq, known as the Iraq Historic Allegations Team.

And an inquiry has already been carried out into specific allegations related to the abuse of Baha Mousa. Another trial related to a specific Iraqi is due to begin next year.  

But Public Interest Lawyers say this process is too slow and that with over 100 claimants it would take over 100 years to finish the investigation. Instead, it wants a single inquiry into Britain's detention policy in South East Iraq.

Tim Cooke-Hurle is from the London-based human rights campaign group Reprieve.

He says public inquiries are key to transparency and those that have already been set up show important progress. But he says it's important that those inquiries cover all possible abuses in Afghanistan and Iraq.

"It has to be that the inquiries cover over bases, that where the United Kingdom have been cooperating with other forces overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan, we need to know through a robust inquiry that our detention operations have in fact been properly scrutinized," he said.

Britain's Minister of Defense says a new inquiry would be costly and neither "necessary [n]or appropriate".

The hearing in London is expected to conclude next week.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Role in Fighting IS Carries Domestic Risks

There are Western concerns Islamic State militants soon may unleash offensive in kingdom that could create upheaval - though nation has solid intel, grip on banking system More

Asian-Americans Enter Public Office in Record Numbers

A steady deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid