British Defense Ministry to probe Iraq torture, murder claims

Britain’s Ministry of Defense says it is launching an independent inquiry into allegations that soldiers tortured and killed Iraqi prisoners. The inquiry comes as a result of criticism by the High Court over an earlier investigation by the Royal Military Police that found allegations of abuse and torture of Iraqi prisoners to be groundless.

The inquiry will centre on an incident known as the Battle of Danny Boy that took place in May 2004 near the town of Majar al-Kabir in Maysan Province, where six British military policemen, known as Red Caps, were murdered the year before. The battle involved soldiers from the Argyll and Southern Highlanders and the Princess of Waless’ Royal Regiment. Human rights groups allege that some of the 20 Iraqis claimed killed on the battlefield were actually tortured to death by troops at Camp Abu Naji, a British base.

The High Court found an RMP report clearing troops in the case was “not thorough and proficient” and “seriously flawed.” Iraqi families claim that some of those killed had been captured alive before being tortured and murdered by troops at Camp Abu Naji, a British base. Evidence indicating torture and mutilation allegedly includes close-range bullet wounds, the removal of eyes and stab wounds. (London Times, Nov. 21)

See our last posts on Iraq, the UK and the torture scandal.

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