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Related Categories: Iraq | International
UK troops in Iraqi torture probe
by BBC
Friday Apr 30th, 2004 2:45 PM
The Ministry of Defence has launched an investigation into allegations that British soldiers have been pictured torturing an Iraqi prisoner.
_40103599_mirror203.jpg
The photographs, obtained by the Daily Mirror newspaper, show a suspected thief being beaten and urinated on.

The UK's most senior soldier, General Sir Mike Jackson, said if guilty, the men were not fit to wear the uniform.

Earlier, the UK Government said it was "appalled" by pictures of Iraqi prisoners being abused by US troops.

Tony Blair's official spokesman said the way naked prisoners were tormented by troops directly contravened all the US-led coalition's policy.

He stressed the abuse by a few soldiers at the Abu Ghraib jail was not representative of coalition troops.

But Labour MP John McDonnell instead argued the coalition's occupation of Iraq was being discredited.

The latest pictures were handed over by British soldiers who claimed a rogue element in the British army was responsible for abusing prisoners and civilians.

It is alleged during his 8-hour ordeal he was threatened with execution, his jaw broken and his teeth smashed.

Sir Michael Jackson, chief of the general staff, said: "If proven, not only is such appalling conduct clearly unlawful but also contravenes the British Army's high standards of conduct.

"The allegations are already under investigation.

"Again, if proven, the perpetrators are not fit to wear the Queen's uniform and they have besmirched the Army's good name and conduct."

'Regrettable'

A US military investigation has recommended disciplinary action against several of its officers for the alleged abuse of Iraqi prisoners.

Brigadier General Janice Karpinski is among seven officers being investigated following claims that soldiers under their command mistreated detainees.

The officers have already been suspended from duty.

Mr Blair's official spokesman said: "The US army spokesman has said this morning that he is appalled, that those responsible have let their fellow soldiers down, and those are views that we would associate the UK Government with."

He added: "This is not representative of the 150,000 soldiers that are in Iraq, and they should not judge the actions of the coalition as a whole on the actions of a few.

"But it is regrettable, to say the least."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/3675215.stm
§Punched, kicked, then left to die
by Guardian UK Friday Apr 30th, 2004 11:59 PM
Iraqi detainee 'beaten and urinated upon' as accusations of widespread mistreatment spread to UK forces

Matthew Taylor
Saturday May 1, 2004
The Guardian

The British Army was at the centre of new torture allegations last night after pictures showed an Iraqi prisoner being battered with rifle butts, threatened with execution and urinated on by British soldiers.
The shocking images drew immediate condemnation from the prime minister and led the Ministry of Defence to launch an investigation.

The prisoner - thought to have been a thief - had his jaw broken and his teeth smashed during an eight-hour ordeal after being arrested near the southern Iraqi city of Basra.

Bleeding and vomiting, he was eventually driven away from the army camp, still hooded, and thrown off the back of a moving vehicle. He was not charged with an offence and it is not known whether he lived or died.

The photographs were given to the Mirror newspaper by soldiers who said the horrific treatment of prisoners was widespread and was one of the main reasons why coalition forces faced such fierce opposition in Iraq.

One told the newspaper: "We are not helping ourselves out there. We are never going to get them on our side. We are fighting a losing war."

Last night the chief of general staff, General Sir Michael Jackson, condemned the incident.

Sir Michael said: "I am aware of the allegations which have been made today of the abuse of prisoners by British soldiers in Iraq. If proven, not only is such appalling conduct clearly unlawful, but it also contravenes the British Army's high standards.

"All allegations are already under investigation. If proven, the perpetrators are not fit to wear the Queen's uniform. They have besmirched the good name of the Army and its honour.

"Most emphatically, the British Army should not be judged by the reprehensible ill-discipline of a few soldiers who, by their shameful behaviour, have let down those tens of thousands of British soldiers who have worked, and still do, in difficult and dangerous conditions in the most commendable way, in particular in Iraq, where their sole purpose is to help the Iraqis to a new and better future."

A soldier who witnessed the man's arrest and beating told the Mirror how the prisoner had been held during a raid on suspected thieves at Basra docks in southern Iraq.

"We just caught the one guy that time. Straight away, he gets a beating - a couple of punches and kicks to put him down. Then he was dragged to the back of the vehicle." A sandbag was placed over the man's head and his hands tied.

The soldier said the man had been hit with batons. "You normally try to leave off the face until you are in camp," he told the Mirror. "If you pull up with black eyes and bleeding faces, you could be in a bit of shit. So it is body shots, just scaring him."

The prisoner was kept for around eight hours while the beatings were carried out. The photographs show him being bludgeoned with rifle butts in the head and groin.

A gunbarrel is placed in the prisoner's mouth through the bag on his head, while others kick and stamp on him. One soldier urinates on him.

In the final few photographs the man is barely conscious, his shirt torn, while vomit seeps through the sack on his head.

The soldier, who admits he took part in the attack, said the man was pleading with the others to stop.

"He could speak a few words, 'No mister, no mister.' What I did was less than others, but yes, I joined in." The soldier said he feared the man would die. "He was dying, basically, so he could not take any more, so basically they threw him out."

"One of the officers came down to get him and it was like, a bit of a mini-bollocking, but nothing really. Then it was, 'Get rid of him, I've not seen him. The paperwork gets ripped."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1207569,00.html
§British troops shamed
by www.independent.co.uk Saturday May 1st, 2004 12:01 AM
By Chris Bunting
01 May 2004


The Ministry of Defence was last night forced to announce an investigation after photographs showing British soldiers beating and urinating on an Iraqi prisoner were published.

The pictures, coming the day after US troops were revealed to have maltreated Iraqi detainees, show British soldiers beating the man with their rifle butts. He was reportedly arrested for theft.

Their victim is said to have been left bleeding and vomiting, with a broken jaw and smashed teeth, after an eight-hour ordeal. During it, he was apparently threatened with summary execution.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, serving soldiers told the Daily Mirror that the unnamed captive, against whom no charges were brought, was dumped from the back of a moving vehicle at the end of his torture. It is not known whether he survived.

The army's most senior officer, Chief of General Staff General Sir Michael Jackson, said last night that an investigation into the soldiers' "appalling conduct" had been ordered. A statement from Downing Street said the allegations were being treated "seriously".

The revelation that British soldiers may have been involved in torturing Iraqi detainees comes a day after the publication of a video of US troops abusing naked and hooded Iraqi prisoners. Still images taken from the video showed a hooded captive standing on a box with wires attached to his hands, and naked prisoners stacked in a human pyramid while US troops laughed.

Those photographs brought worldwide revulsion and condemnations from Tony Blair and President George Bush.

The latest images are reported to have been sent to the Mirror by serving soldiers from the Queen's Lancashire Regiment. They told the paper they were horrified by the torture and concerned that "rogue elements" in the Army were undermining attempts to win support from local people in British-administered southern Iraq.

The soldiers said they were making the photos public to show why the US-UK coalition was encountering such fierce resistance in Iraq.

General Sir Michael said: "I am aware of the allegations which have been made today of the abuse of prisoners by British soldiers in Iraq. If proven, not only is such appalling conduct clearly unlawful, it also contravenes the British Army's high standards.

"All allegations are under investigation. If proven, the perpetrators are not fit to wear the Queen's uniform. They have besmirched the good name of the Army and its honour."

General Sir Michael said: "Most emphatically, the British Army should not be judged by the reprehensible ill-discipline of a few soldiers who, by their shameful behaviour, have let down those tens of thousands of British soldiers who have worked, and still do, in difficult and dangerous conditions in the most commendable way, in particular in Iraq, where their sole purpose is to help the Iraqis to a new and better future."

A No 10 spokesman said: "The Prime Minister fully endorses both the statement by General Sir Michael Jackson and the action he is taking. The Prime Minister agreed that allegations of this nature are treated seriously, but they should not be taken as a reflection of the general behaviour of coalition forces and the work they are doing with the Iraqi people."

Michael Ancram, Shadow Foreign Secretary, said: "These allegations are most serious. If the alleged conduct is true, it is wholly unacceptable and damaging. The Government must conduct an in-depth inquiry and take appropriate action."

At least five cases of mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners by British soldiers are believed to have been investigated by the Royal Military Police.

Two months ago, the Ministry of Defence admitted to paying £8,100 to the families of three men who died in British custody but denied an admission that abuse had happened. The family of one of the men, Baha Dawud al-Maliki, claimed he had died due to internal injuries after his arrest by members of the Queen's Lancashire Regiment at the Ibn al-Haytham Hotel in Basra in September.

In addition to the September incident, the British Army is investigating the deaths of two men detained by the Black Watch during a search operation near Basra in May. One of the men, Abd al-Jabbar Mossa, 53, was said to have died of heart failure soon after his arrest. His family claimed he was hit on the head while being detained. The second, Rathy Namma, was said to have suffered a heart attack.

In a third incident, a trooper from the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers was alleged to have been found with photographs of an Iraqi PoW hanging from netting on a forklift truck driven by a British soldier. Other photographs show prisoners being forced to simulate sex acts.

http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/story.jsp?story=517063
§SHAME OF ABUSE BY BRIT TROOPS
by mirror.co.uk Saturday May 1st, 2004 12:18 AM
mirror1.jpg
CAPTIVE'S TORMENT: A British soldier urinates on an Iraqi prisoner in a vile display of abuse. The captive was beaten and hurled from a moving truck. Army chiefs are investigating
----

A HOODED Iraqi captive is savagely beaten by British soldiers before being thrown from a moving truck and left to die.

The prisoner, aged 18-20, begged for mercy as he was battered with rifle butts and batons in the head and groin, was kicked, stamped and urinated on, and had a gun forced in his mouth.

After an EIGHT-HOUR ordeal, he was left barely conscious with a broken jaw and missing teeth.

Bleeding, vomiting and close to death he was driven away from a Basra camp and hurled off the wagon. No one knows if he lived or died.

The outrage makes a mockery of the Army's attempts to win the hearts and minds of a brutalised people.

Yet, it is claimed, officers turned a blind eye. One of the attackers told the Mirror: "Basically this guy was dying as he couldn't take any more.

"An officer came down. It was 'Get rid of him - I haven't seen him'. The paperwork gets ripped. So they threw him out, still with a bag on his head."

Weeks after these pictures were taken, a prisoner was allegedly beaten to death in custody by men from the same Queen's Lancashire Regiment. It is also claimed a video was found of prisoners being thrown off a bridge. Last night our damning evidence was in the hands of ministers and the Chief of the General Staff General Sir Mike Jackson. They pledged an urgent investigation.

Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram said: "These photographs are deeply disturbing and unacceptable."

Army chiefs said that the outrage was an isolated incident involving a few rogue troops.

A British officer in Iraq added: "Everyone is disgusted. They can hardly believe what these thugs are said to have done. It's totally against the spirit of all the Army is doing out here. They have disgraced their comrades, regiment and country."

The pictures were handed to us by two soldiers whose identities we have agreed to protect as they fear reprisals.

Soldier A told how the young captive was picked up suspecting of stealing from the docks. He said: "Straightaway he gets a beating.

"Then he was dragged to the back of the vehicle." Immediately a sandbag was placed over the man's head and his hands tied behind his back.

Soldier A said: "As we took him back he was getting a beating. He was hit with batons on the knees, fingers, toes, elbows, back of the head.

"You normally try to leave off the face until you are in camp. So it's body shots - scaring him, telling him 'We're going to kill you'." At camp, the man was made to sit outside then put in the back of the truck where these photos were taken.

Soldier A said: "Lads were taking turns giving him a right going over, smashing him in the face with weapons and stamping on him.

"You could see blood coming out early from the first digs. He was p****d on and there was spew. He could only speak a few words, saying 'No, mister. No, mister'."

Soldier A admits he took part in the brutal attack. He said: "I did less than others. But, yes, I joined in. Me and my mate calmed down on him.

"But the next two lads come on and it starts again. He was missing teeth. All his mouth was bleeding and his nose was all over the place.

"He couldn't talk, his jaw was out. He was on his way to being killed. There's only so much you can take."

After the officer allegedly told the attackers to get rid of the suspect he was driven away. Soldier A said: "The lads said they took him to the docks where they threw him off the back of a moving vehicle. They'd have freed his hands, but he'd still be hooded. He'd done nothing, really. I felt sorry for him. I knew it was wrong."

Referring to the second alleged beating in custody, Soldier B said: "It was only a matter of time.

"We had one who fought back. You could hear your mate's boots hitting this lad's spine. It's a proper crack.

"One of the lads broke his wrist on a prisoner's head. Another nearly broke his foot, kicking him.

"We're not helping ourselves out here. We're never going to get the Iraqis on our side. It's a losing war." Soldier B said after the death in custody in September troops were told to destroy incriminating evidence.

He said: "We got a warning, saying the Military Police had found a video of people throwing prisoners off a bridge. It wasn't 'Don't do it' or 'Stop it'. It was 'Get rid of it.' "

The death is being probed. At least one soldier is expected to be charged with manslaughter.

The two infantrymen claim abuse has started because Iraqi police are powerless to process suspects. Soldier B said: "As soon as we've gone they let them go. So we teach them a lesson, our way. All you do is give them a kicking, then it's done."

The Army said last night: "We're examining these pictures that suggest matters of serious concern.

"Any allegations of improper behaviour towards Iraqi civilians or prisoners by British soldiers will be treated seriously and thoroughly investigated." No 10 would not comment pending the MoD inquiry.
§2nd pic from article
by mirror.co.uk Saturday May 1st, 2004 12:21 AM
mirror2.jpgo8lvp6.jpg
BUTT IN GROIN: A rifle is cruelly jabbed in the young man's groin as his eight-hour nightmare goes on
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/allnews/tm_objectid=14199634%26method=full%26siteid=50143%26headline=shame%2dof%2dabuse%2dby%2dbrit%2dtroops-name_page.html
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