British torture prison in Basra, Iraq


This video from Britain is called Baha Mousa video released.

A video which used to be on YouTube used to say about itself:

The Ministry of Defence has agreed to pay almost £3 million to the family of an Iraqi who died while being detained by UK troops and nine other men who were allegedly mistreated by the British Army, their solicitors said today.

The family of Baha Mousa and the other men will share £2.83 million in compensation from the MoD, law firm Leigh Day & Co said. The ministry confirmed that a settlement had been reached, but would not go into any details on the figure.

Mr Mousa, a 26-year-old hotel receptionist, died while he was being detained by soldiers from the 1st Battalion The Queen’s Lancashire Regiment in Basra in 2003.

Mr Mousa sustained 93 separate injuries, including fractured ribs and a broken nose. During the mediation session General Freddie Viggers also apologised to the families for “the appalling behaviour of British soldiers” which had left the Army “disgusted”, the law firm said in a statement.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Iraqi prisoners were abused at ‘UK’s Abu Ghraib‘, court hears

Detainees were starved, deprived of sleep and threatened with execution at JFIT facilities near Basra, high court told

* Ian Cobain

* Saturday 6 November 2010

Evidence of the alleged systematic and brutal mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners at a secret British military interrogation centre that is being described as “the UK’s Abu Ghraib” emerged yesterday during high court proceedings brought by more than 200 former inmates.

The court was told there was evidence that detainees were starved, deprived of sleep, subjected to sensory deprivation and threatened with execution at the shadowy facilities near Basra operated by the Joint Forces Interrogation Team, or JFIT.

It also received allegations that JFIT’s prisoners were beaten, forced to kneel in stressful positions for up to 30 hours at a time, and that some were subjected to electric shocks. Some of the prisoners say that they were subject to sexual humiliation by women soldiers, while others allege that they were held for days in cells as small as one metre square.

Michael Fordham QC, for the former inmates, said the question needed to be asked: “Is this Britain’s Abu Ghraib?”

The evidence of abuse is emerging weeks after defence officials admitted that British soldiers and airmen are suspected of being responsible for the murder and manslaughter of a number of Iraqi civilians, in addition to the high-profile case of Baha Mousa, the hotel receptionist tortured to death by troops in September 2003. One man is alleged to have been kicked to death aboard an RAF helicopter, while two others died after being held for questioning.

Last month the Guardian disclosed that for several years after the death of Mousa, the British military continued training interrogators in techniques that include threats, sensory deprivation and enforced nakedness, in an apparent breach of the Geneva conventions. Trainee interrogators were told they should aim to provoke humiliation, disorientation, exhaustion, anxiety and fear in the prisoners they are questioning.

Lawyers representing the former JFIT inmates now argue there needs to be a public inquiry to establish the extent of the mistreatment, and to discover at which point ultimate responsibility lies, along the chain of military command and political oversight.

Yesterday’s hearing marked the start of a judicial review intended to force the establishment of an inquiry. Fordham said: “It needs to get at the truth of what happened in all these cases. It needs to deal with the systemic issues that arise out of them, and it needs to deal with the lessons to be learned.”

The Ministry of Defence is resisting such an inquiry, however.

USA: In his memoir to be released next week, former US President George W. Bush boasts of having personally given the order to the CIA to employ the torture method of waterboarding: here.

Unlawful detainment of US contractor whistleblowers possibly detailed in Iraq War Logs: here.

Our Iraq War Helped Displace Millions – Who We Now Shut Out: here.

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25 thoughts on “British torture prison in Basra, Iraq

  1. US rides storm of criticism over human rights record

    By Stephanie Nebehay, Geneva

    Saturday, November 06, 2010

    THE United States weathered criticism of its human rights record from friends and foes alike in a United Nations forum that the former Bush administration had boycotted as hypocritical.

    Senior US officials defended the United States against allegations it used torture and said President Barack Obama’s government had begun “turning the page” on practices of the Bush administration that had caused global outrage.

    Former president George W Bush’s government had shunned the UN Human Rights Council, saying it did not need to be scolded by countries such as Syria and Cuba whose own records on human rights were poor. It also accused the council of being biased against Israel.

    But US conduct in its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and its campaign against terrorism — notably its treatment of prisoners in the Guantanamo Bay prison and the Abu Ghraib jail near Baghdad — has come under heavy criticism from many human rights organisations in recent years.

    “Let there be no doubt, the United States does not torture and it will not torture,” Harold Hongju Koh, State Department legal adviser, told the council.

    The Obama administration was committed to closing Guantanamo and ensuring all detainees held at home or in the war on terrorism were treated humanely, US officials said.

    “Between Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo we have conducted hundreds of investigations regarding abuse allegations and those have led to hundreds of disciplinary actions,” Koh said.

    The council’s first review of the US rights record was part of a gradual examination of the performance of all 192 UN members over a four-year period.

    Diplomats from countries at odds with Washington — some of whom queued overnight to be among the first on the speakers’ list — hammered the US delegation for alleged abuses.

    Cuban ambassador Rodolfo Reyes Rodriguez spoke first, calling on Washington to end its embargo on the communist-ruled island and to respect its people’s right to self-determination.

    Venezuela’s envoy German Mundarain Hernandez said the US should “close Guantanamo and secret detention centres around the world, punish those people who torture, disappear and execute detainees arbitrarily, and provide compensation to victims”.

    Iran’s delegation accused the United States of violating human rights though covert CIA operations “carried out on pretext of combating terrorism”.

    But allies also chided the United States.

    European countries said Washington should ban the death penalty. Mexico urged it to halt racial profiling and the use of lethal force in controlling illegal migration.

    Several delegations questioned the legality of the US use of force in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

    This story appeared in the printed version of the Irish Examiner Saturday, November 06, 2010

    http://www.irishexaminer.com/world/kfmhojojidid/rss2/#ixzz14V1tl4Kt

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  2. By Virendra Nath Bhatt, 06/11/2010

    Not happy with Obama’s policies, but he’s better than Bush, say UP Muslims

    Unlike in 2006 when the visit of George W Bush was marked by a huge demonstration by Muslims here, the visit of US President Barack Obama has so far not attracted much attention in Uttar Pradesh.

    On Friday, about 50 people gathered near the Bara Imambara in the old city, held a noisy demonstration, and burnt an effigy of Obama and the American flag in protest against the US support to Israel and killing of Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan. The call for the protest was given by prominent Shia cleric and Imam-e-Juma of Lucknow Maulana Kalbe Jawwad.

    The scale of the protest, however, was much lower than what was seen in 2006, when ahead of Bush’s visit, nearly five lakh Muslims held a march here to register their protest against US action in Iraq and also on issues with which the US had nothing to do, like the publication of cartoons of Prophet Mohammad in a Danish newspaper, and India’s vote against Iran at the IAEA.

    The protesters, including about 50,000 women, had marched from Tilewali Masjid in the old city to the Vidhan Sabha Marg. Some protesters had fired shots in the air and burst crackers. They torched an effigy of President Bush and pelted stones at a cafe, assuming it was run by a US company.

    However, no marches and big demonstrations are planned this time.

    Muslim leaders here believe that Obama, who has advocated a partnership with Muslim communities across the globe on the basis of “mutual interest and respect”, is better than his predecessor, although they are not too happy with the US policy towards the Islamic world, particularly the way the war against terror is being executed and the policy towards Iran. But they think the Obama has inherited Iraq and Afghanistan from Bush and is trying to pull out of both countries.

    Maulana Agha Roohi, a prominent Shia cleric of Lucknow, said, “In his historic speech at Cairo University last year, Obama had called for making a new beginning with the Muslim world that constitutes one-fourth of the world’s population. There is no fundamental change in the US policy towards the Muslims, yet there seems to be a softening of the sentiments of Muslims for Obama.”

    Hussian Kamaluddin Akbar, Professor of Law at Allahabad University, and Chairman of the UP Shia Waqf board, said Obama appears better than Bush and has announced a schedule for the withdrawal of the US forces from Iraq and Afghanistan, although he is also inflicting damages on Muslim interests. “His regime has further tightened economic and diplomatic sanctions against Iran over the nuclear issue,” he said.

    Ibne Hasan, former secretary of the Hussainabad trust which administers distribution of pension to the members of the royal family and the courtiers of the Nawab Wajid Ali Shah, said Bush’s visit came at a time of global discontent among the Muslims over the cartoon by Danish papers, besides the offensive against Saddam Hussain in Iraq and against the Taliban in Afghanistan. “This time there are no such recent memories,” he said.

    Indian Express

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  3. Whistleblower Exposed Fraud By The Louis Berger Group; $69.3 Million Settlement Sets Record for Afghanistan and Iraq Contractor Fraud Case

    Information contained on this page is provided by companies via press release distributed through PR Newswire, an independent third-party content provider. PR Newswire, WorldNow and this Station make no warranties or representations in connection therewith.

    SOURCE Phillips & Cohen LLP

    BALTIMORE, Nov. 5, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — A whistleblower lawsuit was the basis for the federal government’s fraud case against the Louis Berger Group that settled today for $69.3 million — the largest recovery in a case involving war-zone contractors in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    The “qui tam” (whistleblower) lawsuit against Louis Berger was filed in 2006 “under seal” as the False Claims Act requires in qui tam cases, so it wasn’t publicly known until today when the court lifted the seal and the record settlement was announced. Louis Berger has agreed to pay $46.5 million to settle the whistleblower case, $4.1 to settle other contractual disputes and $18.7 million for a criminal fine.

    The whistleblower, Harold Salomon, was a senior financial analyst/auditor for Louis Berger in New Jersey. His lawsuit exposed Louis Berger’s practice of billing the government for indirect and overhead costs that were unrelated to its government contracts. Louis Berger has some of the biggest U.S. contracts for rebuilding projects in Afghanistan.

    “Today I can affirm to those who told me the Louis Berger Group can get away with anything that they were wrong,” said Salomon. “To those who said, ‘If you cannot beat them, you have to join them,’ I say they were wrong, too.”

    Fraud, waste and abuse by war-zone contractors is estimated to cost U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars. But fraud cases can be difficult to pursue because of the chaos of war, the lack of a paper trail and other factors. A Department of Justice official estimated earlier this week that the U.S. has recovered only $80 million from cases involving U.S. contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan (excluding the Louis Berger settlement).

    “Louis Berger manipulated its accounting system and overhead rate to steal millions from the federal government – money that was supposed to be used to rebuild Afghanistan,” said Peter W Chatfield, a Washington, DC, attorney with Phillips & Cohen, which represented the whistleblower. “The government never would have uncovered this sophisticated scheme without an insider such as our client, Harold Salomon, who had the knowledge and the integrity to stop the fraud.”

    Louis Berger’s fraud hurt the U.S. war effort, said Tim McCormack, another Washington, DC, attorney with Phillips & Cohen.

    “Fraud undermines U.S. efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq,” said McCormack. “Money that should have been used to build roads, clinics and schools in Afghanistan to win support of the Afghan people was used instead to build Louis Berger’s profits.”

    Chatfield and McCormack commended the government attorneys and investigators who worked on the case, particularly Michael DiPietro and Tarra Deshields from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Baltimore, Russell Kinner from the Department of Justice and the investigative teams from the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Defense Contract Audit Agency.

    “This was a true team effort,” Chatfield said. “The government attorneys and investigators invested an incredible amount of time and effort into this case. They worked diligently with Mr. Salomon to unwind this sophisticated, fraudulent scheme.”

    The False Claims Act allows whistleblowers to sue companies that are defrauding the government and receive a reward if the government recovers any funds as a result. Salomon plans to donate a portion of his reward to the American-Haitian Association for Medical Economic & Educational Support (www.ahames.org), a non-profit group he founded that provides health care and funds various economic development projects in Haiti.

    “It is a blessing to have the opportunity to contribute a little to society and at the same time reach out to those in need thru AHAMES,” Salomon said.

    Phillips & Cohen represents whistleblowers nationwide in False Claims Act cases and in claims involving tax law and securities law violations made under the Internal Revenue Service’s and the Securities and Exchange Commission’s whistleblower reward programs. It is the nation’s most successful law firm representing whistleblowers. The firm’s whistleblower cases have recovered more than $6.89 billion in civil settlements and related criminal fines and have earned its clients more than $730 million in rewards. For more information, see http://www.phillipsandcohen.com.

    See Harold Salomon’s full statement at http://www.phillipsandcohen.com/CM/NewsSettlements/NewsSettlements618.asp.

    Settlement agreement is posted at

    http://www.phillipsandcohen.com/CM/NewsSettlements/Louis%20Berger%20civil%20settlement%20agreement.pdf.

    ©2010 PR Newswire. All Rights Reserved.

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