British soldiers sexually abused us, claim Iraqis

Graphic torture allegations emerge as lawyer warns of hundreds of legal cases

Disturbing graphic allegations of sexual and physical abuse of Iraqi civilians by British soldiers are among 33 new torture cases being investigated by the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

The fresh claims include allegations that female and male soldiers sexually abused and humiliated detainees in camps in southern Iraq, prompting comparisons with the torture practices employed by US soldiers at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad.

In one case, British soldiers are accused of piling Iraqi prisoners on top of each other and subjecting them to electric shocks, an echo of the abuse at the notorious US detention centre that came to light in 2004.

Lawyers and human rights groups warned yesterday that the British Army may face hundreds of claims of sexual and physical abuse after it was revealed the MoD was investigating the 33 cases.

Phil Shiner, the lawyer representing all the former detainees, is asking for a judicial review of the cases and a wider public inquiry. "I have it on good authority that there are hundreds of cases that are going uninvestigated. My guess is that many of them will remain buried."

The former Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell, a member of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee, said: "This is yet another element of the long, toxic legacy of Iraq. Only the fullest investigation will suffice."

The armed forces minister Bill Rammell said that "formal investigations" must be carried out "without judgements being made prematurely". The vast majority of British troops "conducted themselves to the highest standards of behaviour", he said, and that only a tiny number had fallen short of this standard. "Allegations of this nature are taken very seriously; however, allegations must not be taken as fact and formal investigations must be allowed to take their course without judgements being made prematurely," he said.

Pressure on the MoD is expected to intensify tomorrow at the Baha Mousa inquiry, which is hearing evidence into the death of an Iraqi father beaten to death by British troops in 2003. Former corporal Donald Payne, the only soldier convicted for the death, will give evidence. The inquiry has already been told Payne was a scapegoat and that others had been involved.

The 33 new cases include allegations of controversial techniques widely used by the Americans, including mock executions, dog attacks and exposure to pornography.

Hussain Hashim Khinyab, 35, a father-of-three, was arrested in April 2006. He claims he was badly tortured at the British camp at Shaibah and later sexually abused by female personnel. He alleges he saw male and female soldiers engaging in sexual intercourse in front of the prisoners in order to deliberately humiliate them.

The abuse continued in the camp hospital after he was allegedly given an overdose of medicine. Mr Khinyab said: "A nurse called 'K' used to expose herself and make love to other soldiers in front of us.

"Once she administered to me 15 tablets when I complained about my stomach. She asked me to swallow them all at once."

He said his health deteriorated rapidly and he was detained overnight. "While in the clinic, 'K' stripped completely naked and tried to have sex with me. I was so shocked and disgusted,

"I pleaded with her not to do that, she even tried to use what I thought was anaesthetic to make me sleep. I started shouting. Then she dressed quickly and pleaded with me not to tell the duty doctor who came to see what was the matter."

"I was told the dose that was given to me was the reason for my condition and the nurse would be transferred somewhere else as a punishment. I was told that half of my heart had stopped working and they had resuscitated it using electric shocks.

"I still suffer from my stomach ulcer which is preventing me from even fasting in the month of Ramadan."

Mr Khinyab was later transferred to Basra airport detention centre where he claims the abuse continued.

"It started with tearing of our copies of the Koran in front of us. Beating, kicking and punching accompanied us all the way."

Mazin Younis, the Iraqi human rights campaigner who compiled the allegations, said many alleged victims waited years before coming forward because they were afraid of what would happen if they complained.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
election 2015The 10 best quotes of the campaign
News
A caravan being used as a polling station in Ford near Salisbury, during the 2010 election
election 2015The Independent's guide to get you through polling day
News
people
Voices
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month
voicesWhat I learnt from my years in government, by the former Home Secretary David Blunkett
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (B2B) - Romford - £40,000 + car

£35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...

Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'