Iraqis abused by British troops to get £1m damages

Nine Iraqis who were assaulted and sexually abused by British soldiers while being held at an army camp are to receive up to £1m in damages after the Ministry of Defence admitted liability.

It is the second big payout by the Army this year over allegations of abuse in the aftermath of the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Government lawyers agreed in July to pay almost £3m in compensation to the father of an Iraqi man, Baha Mousa, who died in the custody of British troops in Basra, and to nine others who were abused in a detention centre in Basra in September 2003.

In the latest case, nine more Iraqis made allegations of "humiliating" abuse after they were arrested by the 1st Royal Regiment of Fusiliers in Operation Ali Baba, which was aimed at catching and deterring looters who were stealing humanitarian aid from a British Army camp.

Four soldiers were convicted at courts martial in Germany 2005 of offences at Camp Breadbasket after photographs emerged of Iraqis being abused, including being suspended in nets from a forklift truck, and forced to adopt simulated sexual positions.

No one was charged in connection with forcing Iraqis to simulate sex acts and give a thumbs-up for the camera, despite months of investigation by the Royal Military Police.

The MoD admitted yesterday that unlawful "assaults and batteries" were suffered by nine Iraqi men claiming damages for abuse by members of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers in May 2003. Sapna Malik, a partner at Leigh Day & Co solicitors who are representing the men in their claims against the MoD, said: "It is good that the MoD has admitted that the treatment received by each of the claimants was unlawful, although its refusal to accept that Camp Breadbasket falls within the ambit of the Human Rights Act is frustrating. The maltreatment of the men was hideous, humiliating and degrading and the legacy lingers with them to this day.

"We hope that the admission marks the MoD's willingness to resolve the claims fairly so that the men can try to finally move forward with their lives."

However, it is understood that the MoD has requested further details of the abuse, including medical reports and witness statements before making any payouts. The MoD has also denied that the Human Rights Act or European Convention on Human Rights extended to the humanitarian aid distribution centre where the abuses occurred.

An MoD spokesman said: "This claim is currently subject to litigation and therefore it would be inappropriate to comment on the specific aspects of this case. The MoD settles compensation claims when there is a legal liability to do so. Such liability does not exist during the combat phase of an operation, but compensation is paid where it is judged that UK armed forces have been negligent in causing injury or damage post cessation of hostilities.

"Over 120,000 British troops have served in Iraq and the vast majority have conducted themselves to the highest standards of behaviour, displaying integrity and selfless commitment."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
Arts and Entertainment
Ricardo by Edward Sutcliffe, 2014
artPortraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb go on display
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
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

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Spanish Speaking

£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - German Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Japanese Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are fluent in Japanese a...

Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer - Immediate Start

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'