Man beaten so long and so severely his kidneys failed

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The Independent Online

A detailed medical file passed to The Independent on Sunday has revealed that an Iraqi civilian was so severely beaten about the body by British troops that it caused his kidneys to fail.

A detailed medical file passed to The Independent on Sunday has revealed that an Iraqi civilian was so severely beaten about the body by British troops that it caused his kidneys to fail.

British hospital consultants have revealed that medical records for Kifah Talah, 44, an engineer arrested last September, showed that his kidney damage was due to a sustained and prolonged physical assault all over his body. Doctors say the beatings led to the massive release of a toxic enzyme into his blood stream that overloaded his kidneys, causing them to fail, and left him needing kidney dialysis for life.

Mr Talah's case - first revealed by the IoS earlier this year - is one of the most notorious to come out of a now infamous raid on a hotel near Basra by a Queen's Lancashire Regiment unit on 13 September last year, in a search for an illegal weapons cache.

One of seven other men arrested in the raid, Baha Mousa, 26, died in hospital three days later from injuries allegedly sustained by repeated beatings by QLR members. Up to six QLR soldiers face prosecution for allegedly systematically abusing Mr Mousa at an army interrogation centre. The same ill-treatment allegedly left Mr Talah and the five other men with kidney damage, broken ribs, organ damage, severe bruising and permanent scarring.

An expert analysis of Mr Talah's medical notes is expected to be given to the High Court, with witness statements from all six men, for a hearing next month into allegations that British troops illegally killed more than 20 Iraqi civilians, including two children. Phil Shiner, lawyer behind the court hearing, said: "His records are highly significant because they show he was beaten black and blue."

Last week, the armed forces minister, Adam Ingram, revealed that the Army and RAF police had investigated 75 complaints of deaths in custody, deaths through shootings, and cases of alleged ill-treatment - far more than previously acknowledged. His admissions have led to further pressure for independent investigations into the UK's treatment of Iraqi detainees.

Yesterday, the Ministry of Defence repeated that it was vigorously pursuing the abuse cases, but added that it could not comment further because it could prejudice prosecutions. In a statement the MoD said: "We are trying to be as open as possible about these investigations given the intense public interest,but this has to be carefully balanced against the right to privacy and the need to protect investigative and criminal proceedings."

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