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

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    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.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora