[R-G] 'I was beaten for three days by British soldiers'
info at cinox.demon.co.uk
Fri May 7 21:10:46 MDT 2004
8th May 2004
The Independent (UK)
'I was beaten for three days by British soldiers'
An Iraqi prisoner has described how he was allegedly subjected to vicious
beatings by laughing British soldiers during interrogation sessions which
left another man dead.
In a witness statement obtained by The Independent, Kifah Talah, 44, an
engineer, claims he was hooded and beaten about the neck, chest and genitals
by soldiers during three days before being made to dance in front of his
The first witness account of torture at the hands of UK troops in Iraq came
as the Government faced a series of new claims about ill-treatment of
prisoners by rogue members of the Queen's Lancashire Regiment (QLR).
The Ministry of Defence confirmed that it was investigating the claims of
"Soldier C", a Territorial Army reservist attached to the regiment in
southern Iraq last year, who told the Daily Mirror he had seen soldiers
torturing four Iraqi men.
An MoD spokesman said: "This man has been interviewed by Royal Military
Police and his testimony will form part of our ongoing and exhaustive
The renewed inquiry came as Donald Rumsfeld, the US Defence Secretary,
offered his "deepest apology" to the victims of abuse in Abu Ghraib prison,
An unusually contrite Mr Rumsfeld told the Senate Armed Services Committee:
"They are human beings, they were in US custody, we had an obligation to
treat them right. We didn't. That was wrong."
Mr Rumsfeld revealed that there were many more photographs and videotapes
showing sadistic acts by American personnel which have not yet been
In London, military chiefs said that Soldier C, who has given military
police the names and ranks of those he says were involved, was probably
referring to the alleged beating of Mr Talah and others arrested in a raid
on a hotel by a QLR search team looking for hidden weapons last September.
Mr Talah said he was among seven men taken to an interrogation centre where
they were tortured and humiliated by up to eight soldiers at a time.
In a witness statement to be presented to the High Court in London next week
as part of a compensation claim, he said: "When we entered the base, the
soldiers accompanying us shouted 'terrorists, terrorists!'. The soldiers
appeared to be thoroughly enjoying themselves as the beating was accompanied
by loud laughter."
The engineer, who claims his injuries were so severe that he suffered renal
failure, said he and six other detainees were made to hold out their arms
horizontally and were beaten when they failed to do so for more than a few
minutes. He added: "One terrible game played involved kick-boxing. The
soldiers would surround us and compete as to who could kick-box one of us
furthest. The idea was to try and make us crash into the wall."
The statement, part of an action being brought on behalf of the families of
13 Iraqis allegedly killed by British troops, describes how the men were
covered with hoods, had freezing water poured over them and given inedible
Mr Talah, first interviewed by The Independent on Sunday, claims each of the
detainees was given the name of a famous footballer, such as Marco Van
Basten or Ruud Gullit, and they were beaten if they failed to remember it.
One soldier allegedly told them to "dance like Michael Jackson". Basa Mousa,
26, a hotel receptionist, died of his injuries.
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