British torture in Iraq, again

This video is called Sexual abuse and torture by British troops in Iraq.

From British daily The Independent:

Ministry of Defense investigating fresh Iraq abuse claims

By Paisley Dodds, AP

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Some 33 allegations of abuse involving British soldiers who served in Iraq are being investigated, the Ministry of Defense said today.

The rape, torture and physical assault allegations come in the wake of the British withdrawal from Iraq.

One claimant says he was raped by two British soldiers while another claims he was sexually humiliated by both male and female personnel. Others allege they were stripped naked and photographed in the same style as the notorious pictures at Abu Ghraib, where abuses of prisoners by US troops helped fuel anti-American sentiment.

British soldiers have faced a series of claims that they mistreated Iraqi civilians in southern Iraq during six years of combat operations. Last year, Britain settled a legal case involving the death of one Iraqi civilian, and the abuse of nine others, paying out nearly £3m in compensation.

A public inquiry is still under way into the death of hotel worker Baha Mousa. He died in the custody of British troops following a raid on his hotel in the southern Iraq city of Basra in 2003 and suffered 93 separate injuries. British Cpl. Donald Payne pleaded guilty to inhumanely treating Iraqi civilians in Britain’s first war crimes conviction.

“Given the history of the U.K.’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,” Phil Shiner, the lawyer representing the Iraqis who made the claims, said in a letter to the Ministry of Defense. He said some Iraqis are coming forward now since the withdrawal of British troops from Iraq this year. …

In one of the most serious allegations, a 16-year-old boy claimed that he was among a group of Iraqis in May 2003 who were taken to the Shatt-al-Arab British camp to help fill sandbags. In a statement reported by The Independent, he alleged when he entered a room to get more sandbags he saw two British male soldiers engaged in oral sex. When he tried to leave, he alleges the men started to beat and kick him. When he fell to the floor, he claims one of the men held a blade to his neck while the other soldier stripped him naked. He claims the two British soldiers, one after the other, raped him.

In another claim, a 24-year-old Iraqi said he was playing football with friends in April 2007 when he was approached by British soldiers in vehicles and taken to a British base with another youth. When he arrived at the camp, he was allegedly surrounded by six to eight soldiers who ordered two of the young men to pick fights with one another. He alleges that the soldiers then stood on top of them and shouted and laughed.

Another 35-year-old carpenter said he was arrested in April 2006 and taken to the British camp at Shaaibah where he alleges he was subjected to sexual abuse and humiliation by both male and female soldiers.

He alleged soldiers used to watch pornographic films and would play loud music when he tried to pray. He also alleged that female soldiers exposed themselves or taunted him sexually. He alleged a soldier in the observation tower used to point the laser spot of his gun at his penis when he was in the toilet.

At the US prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, female guards and interrogators were documented as using aggressive and sexually charged techniques with the detainees, most of whom were Muslim.

It was unclear when results of the investigation would be released.

Britain’s Abu Ghraib: Did Britain collude with US in abuse of Iraqis? Here.

A British army officer staged a mock execution of a young Iraqi detainee by pretending to pour petrol over him and set him alight, the Baha Mousa inquiry has heard: here.

A senior British army soldier embroiled in charges over the death of Iraqi prisoner Baha Mousa admitted on Monday that he thought soldiers “went over the top” with detainees: here.

Huge rise in birth defects in Falluja. Iraqi former battle zone sees abnormal clusters of infant tumours and deformities: here.

As a likely result of the weaponry unleashed on the Iraqi city of Fallujah by the US military in 2004, doctors are discovering a horrifying increase in birth defects and deformities: here.

New Evidence Jack Straw Guilty On Torture – A Smoking Gun: here.

The absurdity of government attempts to suppress details about the CIA torture of a British national was exposed when the High Court rejected claims that their publication would damage national security: here.

The former commanding officer of the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment has told the Baha Mousa inquiry that he was unaware of any abuses committed by his men in Basra: here.

Former minister admits misinforming MPs over Baha Mousa’s death: here.

A former Labour minister “failed to recollect” a memo confirming that British soldiers tortured Iraqi hotel worker Baha Mousa: here.

7 thoughts on “British torture in Iraq, again

  1. Iraq abuse was widespread, says convicted ex-soldier

    By Sam Marsden, Press Association

    Monday, 16 November 2009

    The only soldier convicted over the death of Iraqi hotel worker Baha Mousa today described widespread abuse of prisoners by British troops – including an officer.

    Former corporal Donald Payne told the public inquiry into Mr Mousa’s death that he witnessed Lieutenant Craig Rodgers punching or kicking a group of detainees and even pretending to set one of them alight.

    Payne also claimed Lieutenant Colonel Jorge Mendonca, commanding officer of the former 1st Battalion Queen’s Lancashire Regiment (1QLR) in Iraq in 2003, was “gung ho” and “trigger happy”.

    Mr Mousa, 26, died in Basra, southern Iraq, on 15 September 2003 while in the custody of the 1QLR, having suffered 93 separate injuries.

    Payne became the first member of the UK armed forces to be convicted of a war crime when he pleaded guilty at a court martial to inhumanely treating civilians.

    Giving evidence to the inquiry today, he dramatically changed his account to admit for the first time that he used “gratuitous violence” against the detainees and witnessed other soldiers copying him.

    But he was accused of lying about the involvement of other members of 1QLR.

    Payne told the inquiry he had until now covered up the extent of the abuse of Mr Mousa and other Iraqis arrested with him out of “misguided loyalty”.

    He claimed he saw every member of the unit commanded by Lt Rodgers, known by the call sign G10A, beating the prisoners.

    The disgraced non-commissioned officer said in a statement: “I now disclose that in adopting the routine I did each time I returned to the temporary detention facility to ensure the detainees were awake, the degree of force I applied was greater than I have so far admitted.

    “Moreover at one time or another I saw all the members of the multiple in call sign G10A emulate me.

    “I have seen each one, including Lt Rodgers, forcefully kick and/or punch the detainees in the period between September 14 and 16 2003.

    “Further, during the morning of Monday September 15, I observed Lieutenant Rodgers place a jerry can of petrol in front of the young boy. He poured water over him and then lit a match.”

    Mr Rodgers, who left the Army in March 2007 having reached the rank of captain, strongly denied allegations of prisoner abuse when he gave evidence to the inquiry last week.

    He said in a witness statement: “I did not hit, punch, kick or physically assault any of the detainees at any time.”

    Payne admitted that he lied in interviews, to the court martial and in his first statement to the public inquiry for reasons of “self-preservation”.

    He previously claimed he only nudged or slapped the Iraqi detainees and never saw them being beaten by their guards.

    Gerard Elias QC, counsel to the inquiry, asked him: “What you are now saying … is that the force was greater than that and in fact amounted to what we might call an element of gratuitous violence?”

    Payne replied: “Yes.”

    The former soldier suggested that he abused the detainees because he believed – wrongly – that they were linked to the deaths of three members of the Royal Military Police (RMP) in Iraq in August 2003.

    Payne told the inquiry of one occasion where Lt Col Mendonca cocked his pistol, held it above a prisoner’s mouth and threatened to “blow his face off”.

    He said he believed this sent him the message that he should be “firm and aggressive” with detainees.

    The 1QLR commanding officer also personally shot out blacked-out car windows after a directive was issued banning them, he claimed.

    Payne said in a statement to the inquiry: “It was my impression that the CO (commanding officer) was somewhat trigger happy.

    “He would pull his pistol out at any opportunity. He would behave as if he were a member of the SAS.”

    Lt Col Mendonca, who was later promoted to colonel before leaving the Army in 2007, was charged with negligently performing a duty but was cleared at the court martial.

    His counsel, Tim Langdale QC, accused Payne of telling lies about his client.

    The public inquiry in central London has been told that British soldiers in Iraq used “conditioning” methods – such as hooding, sleep deprivation and making suspects stand in painful stress positions – banned by the Government in 1972.

    It was played a short video showing Payne screaming obscenities at Mr Mousa and other hooded Iraqi prisoners and calling them “apes”.

    The inquiry has also heard that the former non-commissioned officer subjected the Iraqi detainees to other abuse, including making them scream in an “orchestrated choir”.

    Payne claimed that he never used the word “choir” and it was just him prodding the detainees as part of one of his checks.

    The ex-soldier also played down the video of him screaming at the detainees.

    He said it did not show him applying “any great force” or shouting “any more than I would be used to shouting and have in the past shouted at soldier prisoners”.

    Asked by his lawyer whether there was anything he wanted to say to the detainees, Payne said: “I would just like to apologise for my appalling behaviour.”

    Payne, who was cleared of charges of manslaughter and perverting the course of justice, was dismissed from the Army and sentenced to one year in a civilian jail after pleading guilty to inhumane treatment in September 2006.

    Six other soldiers who faced the court martial were cleared on all counts in March 2007.

    The Ministry of Defence agreed in July last year to pay £2.83 million in compensation to the families of Mr Mousa and nine other Iraqi men mistreated by British troops.


  2. Iraq war report details ‘appalling’ failures

    By Rosamond Hutt, PA

    Sunday, 22 November 2009

    A leaked government report on “lessons learnt” after the Iraq war reveals “appalling” failures that left the British Army ill-equipped for battle and the subsequent occupation, it was reported today.

    The documents, obtained by The Sunday Telegraph, emerged just two days before the start of the public inquiry into the UK’s involvement in Iraq, chaired by Sir John Chilcot.

    They are reported to contain classified interviews in which Army chiefs describe how troops were exposed to “significant risk” because of a “rushed” operation “lacking in coherence and resources”.

    Plans for the invasion of Iraq in March 2003 did not include “detail once Baghdad had fallen”, which allowed insurgents to exploit a “notable loss of momentum” in the post-war period.

    Operations were dogged by kit shortages – from body armour that failed to arrive in time for battle to a lack of desert boots and chemical weapons protection, it was reported.

    Some troops apparently had their weapons confiscated by airport security when flown to war on civilian airlines and were forced to carry their equipment as hand luggage.

    Lt Col ML Dunn, of 9 Supply Regiment, Royal Engineers, said his soldiers “only had five rounds of ammunition each, and only enough body armour for those in the front and rear vehicles”.

    Another commanding officer, Lt Col John Power, of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, described part of the supply chain as “appalling” in the report.

    “The in-theatre asset tracking was absolutely appalling,” he said. “I know for a fact that there was one container full of skis in the desert.”

    Communications were also beset with problems. Ptarmigan, the main longer-distance radio, “tended to drop out at around noon because of the heat”.

    In some cases “mobile phones (using the Kuwaiti network) were the only means of communication available to troops in contact (combat)”.

    The report also highlights an Army weighed down by bureaucracy: “The overall impression is of headquarters which were large and busy, but which produced relatively little output. Deployed HQs contained too many people, busied themselves with too much nugatory planning and did not run well internally.”

    Though analysis of the war phase describes it as a “significant military success”, it was one achieved against a “third-rate army”.

    The commanders note that “a more capable enemy would probably have punished (our) shortcomings severely”.

    Shadow defence secretary Liam Fox said: “The accusation that British troops may have died because equipment was not ordered as part of a deliberate political act of deception is one of the most serious charges that could ever be levelled against a Prime Minister and his government.

    “It is essential that the Iraq inquiry uncovers the truth.”


  3. Pingback: British soldiers’ murder of Iraqi civilian | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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  7. Pingback: British torture prison in Basra, Iraq | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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