Superiors encouraged Iraq abuse, court hears

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The Independent Online

The British Army camp where the alleged abuse of Iraqi prisoners took place was "infected" by high-ranking soldiers who allowed mistreatment to take place, a court martial heard yesterday.

Corporal Daniel Kenyon, one of three soldiers accused of abusing captured looters, told the court his men had been poisoned by the atmosphere at Camp Bread Basket, in Basra, southern Iraq.

The 33-year-old, from Newcastle, claimed a sergeant major forced the Iraqi prisoners to run with boxes on their heads while they were beaten with poles. Cpl Kenyon, who commanded a section of Milan Platoon, told the court martial in Osnabruck, Germany, that another senior soldier had told him it was acceptable to give the detainees "a good kicking".

Despite thinking the abuse was wrong Cpl Kenyon said he did not report it to anybody more senior out of loyalty to the 1st Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.

Cpl Kenyon is facing charges including aiding and abetting other soldiers to force prisoners to simulate sex acts and failing to report the abuse.

The case continues.