British army accused of "shameful" violence in Iraq

British army accused of "shameful" violence in Iraq

A damning report into the violent death of an Iraqi civilian in British military custody in Iraq eight years ago prompted expressions of regret from military and political leaders Thursday, as campaigners insisted that it was only the tip of the iceberg, DPA reported.

The death of hotel worker Baha Mousa, 26, in British custody in Basra, southern Iraq, in September, 2003, was caused by an "appalling episode of serious gratuitous violence" which represented a "very serious breach" of army discipline, the report, released at the end of a public inquiry, said.

Its findings were roundly condemned Thursday by Prime Minister David Cameron, Defence Secretary Liam Fox, and General Peter Wall, the head of the British army.

But all three men also insisted that the behaviour described in the report by William Gage, a retired judge, was "not representative" for the British army as a whole.

"There is no place in the armed forces for the mistreatment of detainees. But the vast majority did not behave in the way outlined in this report," said Fox.

In the early phase of the Iraq conflict, the army had been "ill-prepared" for the handling of detainees, conceded Fox, adding that the lessons of that failure had now been learnt.

Wall said the "shameful circumstances" described in the report had "cast a dark shadow" over the reputation of the British army. "There can be no excuse for the loss of discipline and lack of moral courage that occurred," he said.

Meanwhile, the report said that the violence inflicted on Mousa could not be described as a "one-off." It also accused the Ministry of Defence of persistently breaching a ban on the use of questionable interrogation techniques.

It said violence meted out on Mousa was in clear violation of British government rules, drawn up in connection with the Northern Ireland conflict in 1972, which banned practices like "hooding" and making prisoners adopt so-called stress positions.

A former leading commanding officer, Colonel Jorge Mendonca, bore a "heavy responsibility" for the tragedy, said the report.

The 1,400-page report, compiled on the basis of testimony from more than 300 witnesses, said a "large number" of soldiers assaulted Mousa over a period of 36 hours, inflicting 93 separate injuries on him.

Nine other men with him in the same cell suffered serious injuries.

There had been a "lack of moral courage" to report the abuse, it stated. "Many others, including several officers, must have known what was happening."

The Mousa case has been held up as a symbolic example of the alleged maltreatment of civilians during the Iraq conflict, which human rights group said was widespread.

In 2006, six soldiers were tried in a court martial over the case. But only one, ex-corporal Donald Payne, was convicted of a war crime after admitting to the inhumane treatment of civilians. He was sentenced to one year in jail.

Human rights lawyers insisted that the maltreatment described in Thursday's report was not confined to a minority of army personnel, and that such practices were used on a "systematic basis" to extract information from detainees.

Phil Shiner, a lawyer acting on behalf of more than 100 Iraqi civilians who claim they were mistreated by British forces, called for a wide-ranging public inquiry into how British troops treated detainees during the entire duration of the 2003-2009 conflict.

He said it was "an absolute imperative" that prosecutions were brought against those responsible in civilian courts. Britain's Court of Appeal is due to announce its judgement next month on a legal bid to force the government to launch a wider inquiry.

Subscribe to Trend in Google News! Subscribe
Azerbaijan to develop single mobile app for various types of insurance – Central Bank
Azerbaijan to develop single mobile app for various types of insurance – Central Bank
Weekly review of key events in Azerbaijan's ICT sector
Weekly review of key events in Azerbaijan's ICT sector
Iran eyes developing national space industry
Iran eyes developing national space industry
Loading Bars
Latest
President Ilham Aliyev calls First President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev
Volume of cargo loaded/unloaded in ports of Iran’s Abadan County soars
Georgia releases COVID-19 data for December 1
UK ambassador views de-mining work in Azerbaijan’s Tartar (PHOTO)
Kazakhstan's revenues from passenger transport via internal waters skyrocket
Azerbaijani oil prices decrease
Interest in dev’t strategy of inland transportation via 'One Belt One Road' growing - analyst
Covishield 63% effective against Covid, 81% against moderate-severe infection: Study
Bodies of Azerbaijani servicemen from fatal helicopter crash, handed over to their relatives (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Russian Embassy expresses condolences to Azerbaijan due to military helicopter crash of State Border Service (PHOTO)
Azerbaijani currency rates for December 1
Uzbekistan reveals its top polyethylene export destinations in 10M2021
Iranian currency rates for Dec. 1
US Ambassador to Azerbaijan expresses condolences for lives lost in crash of military helicopter
Azerbaijan reveals ongoing construction of Shukurbeyli-Jabrayil-Hadrut highway (PHOTO)
Azerbaijani FM to take part in meeting of OSCE FMs
Tesla dominates as EV sales take off in Israel
ADB funding bridge construction in Georgia
Uzbekistan shares domestic COVID-19 data for November 30
SOCAR Turkey intends to boost its activities - CEO
SOCAR Turkey's head talks Petkim goals
Oil rises 1% ahead of OPEC meeting under Omicron cloud
Baku Stock Exchange to hold auction for short-term notes of Central Bank
Azerbaijan provides water supply to liberated Lachin district
Azerbaijan’s export of non-oil products increases
Azerbaijan increases gas export since early 2021
Russian Gazprombank forecasts Azerbaijan's economic growth to recover
Price indexes of financial, trade sectors at Uzbek stock exchange rise
Turkey’s aviation fuel export to Georgia increases
Helicopter crash in Azerbaijan broke our hearts - Selcuk Bayraktar
Bahar Azadi gold coin price again falling in Iran
Government of Uzbekistan approves feasibility study for construction of elevated subway
Russia again surpasses Azerbaijan as top importer of Georgia's potatoes
Kazakhstan adds over 700 new COVID-19 cases in 24h
Russia, Azerbaijan progressively developing co-op in agriculture – Russian ministry
President Erdogan calls for foreign long-term investments in Turkey
Year passes since liberation of Azerbaijani Lachin district from Armenian occupation
Air travelers to U.S. set to face tougher COVID-19 testing
British armed forces to allow people with HIV to enlist
Brazil reports first cases of Omicron variant
U.S. FDA experts narrowly recommend Merck's COVID-19 new drug molnupiravir
WHO warns against blanket travel bans over Omicron coronavirus variant
Turkey confirms 25,216 daily COVID-19 cases
9 injured in refinery fire in north Algeria
UK to offer booster vaccines to all adults by end of January
At least three students dead in Michigan school shooting, suspect in custody
Canada to ban travelers from Nigeria, Malawi, Egypt over Omicron concerns
Uzbekistan reveals leading regions in amount of loans issued in 9M2021
Head of EU delegation expresses condolences to Azerbaijan over military helicopter crash
Italian Embassy expresses condolences to Azerbaijan over military helicopter crash
Georgian economy grows 6.9% in October 2021
Turkish President to pay visit to Qatar in December
Capacity of crashed military helicopter of Azerbaijan's State Security Service was 24 people
Manual counting of 29% of protocols show that 7 parties may enter Kyrgyz Parliament
AZAL plane makes emergency landing in Baku
Pakistan seeking to increase trade routes on border with Iran
UN Resident Coordinator expresses condolences over military helicopter crash in Azerbaijan
Any outside influence as cause of helicopter crash out of question - head of Azerbaijani State Border Service
Coordination Headquarters holds another meeting in Azerbaijan (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan's First Deputy Prosecutor General talks investigation, following helicopter crash
Former Turkish PM expresses condolences over helicopter crash in Azerbaijan
French ambassador expresses condolences over crash of military helicopter in Azerbaijan
UK's Ambassador expresses condolences over crash of military helicopter in Azerbaijan
Organization of Turkic States expresses condolences to Azerbaijan due to helicopter crash
Israeli ambassador expresses condolences to Azerbaijan over helicopter crash
Iranian Foreign Ministry expresses condolences to Azerbaijan over helicopter crash
Helicopter crashed while landing at Garaheybat training center – Azerbaijani State Border Service
Status of martyr to be assigned to those killed in plane crash in Azerbaijan (VIDEO)
Turkish President Erdogan holds phone talks with President Ilham Aliyev
President Ilham Aliyev, First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva give instructions on burial of those killed in helicopter crash
Witnesses of helicopter crash being questioned in Azerbaijan – First Deputy Prosecutor General
Turkish Minister of National Defense expresses condolences to Azerbaijani Defense Minister
Flight recorder of crashed military helicopter found in Azerbaijan
Pakistani companies may partake in restoration of Azerbaijan's liberated territories (PHOTO)
Iran looks to boost its energy trade through Economic Cooperation Organization
Iran's ties with Economic Cooperation Organization to boost country's cargo transit
Azerbaijan excludes any outside interference following deadly helicopter crash
IRENEX shares data on sales of Iranol Oil Company
Gas swap agreement is mutually beneficial for Azerbaijan, Iran and Turkmenistan - experts
ICIEC Signs MOU with Japan's Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI)
Israel's Bezeq Q3 profit up, raises full year outlook
Iran seeks to boost trade ties with Turkmenistan
Pakistan expects $3 billion reserves deposit from Saudi in days
Iran eyes to commission 12 new metro stations in Tehran
Oxford University says no evidence yet that vaccines won't protect against severe disease from Omicron
SOCAR’s STAR Refinery reduces crude oil imports
Iran remains optimistic about Vienna nuclear talks
FMs of Azerbaijan, Turkey hold phone talk
Turkmenistan's crude oil supplies to Turkey down
Azerbaijan's oil export volume down in 10M2021
Footage from crash scene of military helicopter of Azerbaijan’s State Fire Service (PHOTO/VIDEO)
U.S. Int'l Development Finance Corporation provides financing to Bank of Georgia for SMEs support
Kazakhstan boosts crude oil exports to Turkey
Iran's president to speak before parliament
Kazakhstan increases trade with Turkey over 9M2021
Use of Sputnik Light as booster jab for all vaccines approved in UAE
Cargo transportation via internal waters up in Kazakhstan
Central Bank of Azerbaijan reveals amount of sold foreign currency
Azerbaijan shares data on number of vaccinated citizens
Azerbaijan confirms 1,678 more COVID-19 cases, 1,934 recoveries
All news