Saturday, December 29, 2012

MoD pays out millions to Iraqi torture victims

Lawyers and human rights groups say 400 settlements show 'systemic' abuse
20 December 2012 - The Ministry of Defence has paid out £14m in compensation and costs to hundreds of Iraqis who complained that they were illegally detained and tortured by British forces during the five-year occupation of the south-east of the country.

Hundreds more claims are in the pipeline as Iraqis become aware that they are able to bring proceedings against the UK authorities in the London courts.

The MoD says it is investigating every allegation of abuse that has been made, adding that the majority of British servicemen and women deployed to Iraq conducted themselves "with the highest standards of integrity".

However, human rights groups and lawyers representing former prisoners say that the abuse was systemic, with military interrogators and guards responsible for the mistreatment acting in accordance with both their training in the UK and orders issued in Iraq.

The campaigners are calling for a public inquiry into the UK's detention and interrogation practices following the 2003 invasion. An inquiry would be a development the MoD would be eager to avoid.

Payments totalling £8.3m have been made to 162 Iraqis this year. There were payments to 17 individuals last year and 26 in the three years before that. read more>>>


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