Britain’s MoD uses torture systematically
Britain’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) has decided to shake off allegations of systematic abuse at any cost, as hard evidence corroborates the British Army’s use of torture techniques.
The findings of an inquiry into the death of an Iraqi civilian at the hands of British soldiers has sparked widespread criticism condemnation of the treatment of Iraqi detainees by British soldiers.
Baha Mousa, a 26-year-old hotel receptionist, was detained when soldiers from the First Battalion of the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment in the Iraqi city of Basra raided the hotel at which he worked. Two days later, Mousa died while in British Army custody.
The MoD was optimistic about the findings of the inquiry into Mousa’s death trying to bypass any allegations of systematic torture. Nevertheless, as the MoD tries in vain to persuade the public that its detention policies have undergone systematic reforms, analysts have come up with evidence that contradicts any such claims.
A high profile British human rights lawyer, Phil Shiner, has provided several reasons supporting the systematic use of torture and abuse in the British military during the Iraq war.
First, Shiner asserts that the detention policies, which involved torture and abuse, were not restricted to just one battle group, namely 1QLR, as he states that such practices were common, at least, at 14 UK facilities over the period between March 2003 and December 2008.
Shiner asserts that the set of techniques and practices included “unbelievably debased sexual behaviour, mock executions, vicious threats of rape of detainees’ female relatives, and systematic use of hooding, sleep deprivation, sensory deprivation, temperature manipulation and solitary confinement for weeks.”
Second, Shiner says that the shameful techniques and practices were systematically taught, as the Joint Forward Intelligence Team was the mastermind behind the techniques used by British troops.
Furthermore, as the British Defence Secretary, Liam Fox, refused to accept a key finding of the inquiry, Shiner is of the opinion that the MoD has no intention of implementing the “73 carefully measured recommendations” made by the chairman of Mousa’s inquiry, Sir William Gage.
Shiner predicts that the MoD “will continue to hide damaging documents, mislead our courts, run unworthy legal arguments and use its mighty coercive power to keep the public in the dark, not just about Iraq but also Afghanistan.”
More importantly, Shiner argues that the MoD still approves the very same shameful techniques employed by interrogators in Iraq, though Sir William has severely criticised such practices. Forcing a person or two into a sandbag, harshing, and hooding are techniques that are still used by the MoD.
Press TV News/Analysis on September 8, 2011
What do Baha Mousa, Ian Tomlinson, Smiley Culture and Mark Dugan have in common? They are people who have died because of tactics used by UK police and in Baha Mousa’s case, British soldiers, why are “unlawful killings” as they are called taking place in the first place? Whether inside Britain or in war zones, it has put the spotlight on UK’s disproportionate and excessive use of force, as was evident in the recent unrest in the UK.