Like the U.S., the British and Australian forces in Iraq have had their share of detainee and prisoner abuse allegations.  It appears that the British government will soon release the results of an official inquiry to determine whether there were systemic abuses.  Now The Sunday Telegraph reports:  

A three-year inquiry into how a prisoner died in British custody in Iraq will clear the Army of operating a systematic regime of torture.

According to The National

The report in The Sunday Telegraph – whose accuracy was later confirmed by government officials – said the inquiry will criticise the brutal conduct of individual soldiers and the “numerous failures” of officers to tackle the problem.

 Publication of the report, scheduled for September 8, is expected to lead to calls for a full public inquiry by lawyers representing 40 Iraqis who claim to have been tortured by British forces.  

Sir William Gage, a retired Appeal Court judge, chaired the three-year inquiry, which focused on the death of Baha Mousa, 26, a Basra hotel worker, and the abuse of nine other Iraqis arrested with him six months after the invasion.

(Emphasis added.)
[N]ext month’s report will not end legal action over British Army conduct in Iraq; so The Telegraph opines.

Human rights lawyers, who represent up to 40 Iraqis who claim to have been tortured as well as the family of Baha Mousa, are expected to call for a full public inquiry and may bring legal action in an attempt to force one.

It will be interesting to see if these litigants fare better than those who have attempted to sue in U. S. courts. 


Here are some additional points from The Guardian.


Gage is expected to point to a catalogue of failings that led to the death of 26-year-old Mousa, who was arrested with nine other Iraqis at the Haitham hotel in Basra by soldiers of the 1st Battalion The Queen’s Lancashire Regiment (QLR).


Mousa died after 36 hours in detention. A postmortem found he had suffered asphyxiation and at least 93 injuries to his body, including fractured ribs and a broken nose. Sir Michael Jackson, Britain’s top general at the time, described the episode as “a stain on the character of the British army”.

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