British Troops Accused of Abusing Iraqi Detainees

The NY Times reports that a lawyer for 200 Iraqis demanding a public inquiry into what they have described as brutal mistreatment by British soldiers in a secret detention center near Basra told the High Court in London on Friday that the abuse amounted to “Britain’s Abu Ghraib.” The assertion was buttressed with video recordings that appeared to show British interrogators bullying, humiliating and threatening a detainee. At least nine detainees are said to have died as a result of their mistreatment.

Michael Fordham, the lawyer for the former detainees, said they had been subjected to beatings, starvation, sleep deprivation, electric shocks, prolonged periods of nakedness and sexual humiliation by female soldiers, sensory deprivation through the enforced use of hoods, earmuffs and blackened goggles, and exposure to pornographic DVDs.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) opposes a public inquiry, arguing in a blog post that a public inquiry would be too expensive and less effective than the MOD investigation, especially since the MOD has already assembled a team to investigate the claims.

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