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OF ABUSE BY BRIT TROOPS
May 1 2004
troops batter Iraqis in mockery of bid to win over people
By Paul Byrne
A HOODED Iraqi
captive is beaten by British soldiers before being thrown from a moving
truck and left to die.
aged 18-20, begged for mercy as he was battered with rifle butts and batons
in the head and groin, was kicked, stamped and urinated on, and had a gun
barrel forced into his mouth.
After an EIGHT-HOUR
ordeal, he was left barely conscious and close to death. Bleeding and vomiting
and with a broken jaw and missing teeth, he was driven from a Basra camp
and hurled off the truck. No one knows if he lived or died.
ON: A British soldier urinates on an Iraqi prisoner in a vile display of
abuse. The captive was beaten and hurled from a moving truck. Army chiefs
pictures on this page were handed to us by one of the attackers and a colleague.
We have agreed to protect their identities as they fear reprisals.
their damning testimony was in the hands of appalled ministers and Army
chiefs who pledged an urgent investigation.
Chief of the
General Staff General Sir Michael Jackson said: "If this is proven, the
perpetrators are not fit to wear the Queen's uniform. They have besmirched
the good name of the Army and its honour."
No 10 said:
"The Prime Minister fully endorses the general's statement."
which emerged the day after US troops were pictured torturing Iraqi prisoners
of war, makes a mockery of the Army's attempts to win the hearts and minds
of the Iraqi people.
TO HEAD: The terrified suspect cowers as a gun is placed at his head -
then the rifle barrel was forced into his mouth
believe it was an isolated incident involving a few rogue troops. But,
it is claimed, officers turned a blind eye. One of the soldiers said: "Basically
this guy was dying as he couldn't take any more. An officer came down.
It was 'Get rid of him - I haven't seen him'. The paperwork gets ripped.
So they threw him out, still with a bag on his head."
the pictures were taken, a captive was allegedly beaten to death in custody
by men from the same Queen's Lancashire Regiment. It is also alleged a
video was found of prisoners being thrown off a bridge.
told how the young victim was hauled in suspected of stealing from the
He said: "You
pick on a man and go for him. Straightaway he gets a beating, a couple
of punches and kicks to put him down. Then he was dragged to the back of
a sandbag was placed over the man's head and his hands tied behind his
As we took
him back he was getting a beating. He was hit with batons on the knees,
fingers, toes, elbows, and head.
try to leave off the face until you're in camp. If you pull up with black
eyes and bleeding faces you could be in s**t.
"So it's body
shots - scaring him, saying 'We're going to kill you'. A lot of them cry
and p*** themselves.
was so hot we put him in the back of a four- tonner truck which has a canopy
over it. That's where the photos were taken. Lads were taking turns giving
him a right going over, smashing him in the face with weapons and stamping
on him. We had him for about eight hours.
Picture 3 :BLEEDING:
Blood seeps through the mask of battered suspect
You could see
blood coming out early from the first ‘digs’. He was p****d on and there
“We took his
mask off to give him some water and let him have a rest for 10 minutes.
He could only speak a few words, pleading ‘No, mister’ . No, mister’.
I did less
than the others. But I joined in. Me and my mate calmed down. Then two
lads come on and it starts again.
“He was missing
teeth. All his mouth was bleeding and his nose was all over the place.
He couldn’t talk, his jaw was out. He’s had a good few hours of a kicking.
He was on his way to being killed. There’s only so much you can take.
officer allegedly told the attackers to get rid of the suspect he was driven
said: “The lads said they took him back to the dock and threw him off the
back of a moving vehicle. They’d have freed his hands, but he’d still be
hooded. He’d done nothing, really. I felt sorry for him. I’m not emotional
about it, but I knew it was wrong.”
to the second alleged beating in custody – said to have taken place in
September – Soldier B said: “It was only a matter of time.
Picture 4 :BUTT
IN GROIN: A rifle is cruelly jabbed in the young man's groin as his eight-hour
nightmare goes on
"We had one
who fought back. I thought 'Don't do that', it's the worst thing you can
do. He got such a kicking. You could hear your mate's boots hitting this
"One of the
lads broke his wrist on a prisoner's head. Another nearly broke his foot,
kicking him. We're not helping ourselves out here. We're never going to
get the Iraqis on our side. We're fighting a losing war."
claimed after the alleged September beating troops were told to destroy
He said: "We
got a warning, saying the Military Police had found a video of people throwing
prisoners off a bridge. It wasn't 'Don't do it' or 'Stop it'. It was 'Get
rid of it.' "
is being probed. At least one soldier is expected to be charged with manslaughter.
The two infantrymen
claim abuse has started because Iraqi police are powerless to process suspects.
said: "There's no point taking them to the police station because they're
released within 20 minutes. The coppers don't want any comeback and let
them go. All we do is teach them a lesson our way.
and you don't want to be going to a police station and doing statements,
just for them to be released. Give them a kicking, then it's done and dusted.
"A lot of
the younger ones are worse. It's as though they've something to prove.
You've got a gun and you're the law. You can make people do whatever you
Both men fear
the situation is worsening , with UK troops now seen as the enemy, rather
"I can't believe it has taken the Iraqis so long to fight back. If it had
been me or my family, I'd have retaliated straightaway.
got f****d around so much. You can't go in now, and say 'Right, let's forget
about what has happened and start again'.
now. There are too many people against us."
The MoD confirmed
eight cases of alleged mistreatment of Iraqis by British personnel are
being investigated by the army's Special Investigations Branch. A spokesman
said: "All allegations will be investigated - and every soldier knows it."