Britain’s Defence Ministry is to admit that its troops tortured and breached the human rights of nine Iraqi men they detained in southern Iraq in 2003, opening the way to potentially large compensation claims. The decision follows years of legal wrangling in which the family of Baha Musa, an Iraqi hotel worker who was beaten and died in British custody, and eight other Iraqis who survived the beatings, have sought justice.
Seven officers and soldiers were court-martialled in the case of Musa and the others, but only one was found guilty after admitting mistreatment of prisoners.
Well first, it’s not a Ministry of Defence, it’s the Ministry of War, or Violence, or Military. Defence? Newspeak bullshit it is time to abandon. Now then can you spot the effectiveness of the Military investigating itself? And how long did the establishment deny this treatment, ie. lie? And what about the gag order on Ben Griffin who says British complicity in torture was widespread and from the top? In other words this is a tiny admission while they work furiously to keep the truth of the extent of involvement in torture top secret. After all they make sure to state this was tiny number, isolated incident, rotten apple blah blah blah-
“I deeply regret the actions of a very small number of troops and I offer my sincere apologies and sympathy to the family of Baha Musa and the eight others,” armed forces minister Bob Ainsworth said in a statement issued along with the ministry’s admission of its breach of human rights.
Contrast with the last thing Ben Griffin was allowed to say before the same people who have just made that statement gagged him soviet stylee-
As UK soldiers within this Task Force a policy that we would detain individuals but not arrest them was continually enforced. Since it was commonly assumed by my colleagues that anyone we detained would subsequently be tortured this policy of detention and not arrest was regarded as a clumsy legal tool used to distance British soldiers from the whole process.
The joint US/UK Task Force has broken International Law, contravened The Geneva Conventions and disregarded the UN Convention Against Torture. British soldiers are intimately involved in the actions of this Task Force. Jack Straw, Margaret Beckett David Miliband, Geoff Hoon, Des Browne, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown. In their respective positions over the last five years they must know that British soldiers have been operating within this joint US/UK task force. They must have been briefed on the actions of this unit.
Seems like Bob is looking to be added to the list. I think Amnesty put it well-
Rather than seeking to silence people who might have credible evidence of alleged human rights violations, which may include war crimes, the UK authorities should be seeking to investigate those allegations.’
It has taken 5 years and constant fighting to get the government to admit to the torture of Baha Musa and 8 others which makes it clear they are not remotely interested in transparency or human rights.