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Brits Sexually Abuse Iraqi POWs

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  • ummyakoub
    Photos indicate torture and sexual abuse by British troops in Iraq by Paul Mitchell 4 June 2003 Staff in a British photo-processing shop have handed-over
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 6, 2003
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      Photos indicate torture and sexual abuse by
      British troops in Iraq

      by
      Paul Mitchell
      4 June 2003

      Staff in a British photo-processing shop have
      handed-over photographs to the police that indicate
      British troops tortured and sexually abused Iraqi
      prisoners of war.

      One picture taken in a warehouse shows a man stripped
      to the waist, while suspended from a rope attached to
      a forklift truck. A soldier driving the truck is
      apparently laughing at the man's plight.

      Another picture seems to show an Iraqi man being
      forced to perform oral sex on a (white) man.

      A third picture shows two Iraqis apparently being
      forced to perform anal sex. A fourth picture shows
      two naked Iraqis cowering on the ground.

      Amnesty International spokeswoman Lesley Warner said
      "if the photos are true then this is clearly a
      violation of the Geneva Convention, which absolutely
      prohibits any torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading
      treatment."

      An assistant in a photo processing shop in Tamworth,
      Staffordshire, Kelly Tilford (22), uncovered the
      photographs when checking that a film handed in by a
      soldier had developed properly. She said, "I felt
      sick when I looked at the pictures. They were grim. I
      just felt awful.... I immediately realised something
      terribly wrong had happened and something had to be
      done about it. I started shaking and was panicking."

      Officers from the Special Investigation Branch (SIB)
      of the Royal Military Police have arrested Gary
      Bartlam, a private in the First Battalion of the
      Royal Regiment of Fusiliers who brought the film in
      to the Max Spielman's photo-processing shop last week.
      Bartlam was on leave from the regiment presently
      stationed in Iraq's second city Basra and the port of
      Umm Qasr. The detention facility at Umm Qasr now
      holds about 500 detainees, down from the 6,000 it held
      after the fall of Baghdad. The SIB has not said where
      Bartlam's pictures were taken, nor the function of
      his unit.

      At the height of the aggression in Iraq, British Army
      Chief of Staff, General Sir Mike Jackson praised the
      Fusiliers as a "thoroughly competent and
      well-organised infantry battalion". He regrets that
      the "good name of the British Army appears to have
      been tarnished by a few ill-disciplined and
      unprofessional soldiers".

      The "good name" of the British Army was a key
      component in Prime Minister Tony Blair's campaign to
      try and get the British public to accept the war in
      Iraq. It was promoted as the most professional and
      humanitarian force in the world dedicated to
      liberating people from despotic regimes. Stuart
      Crawford, a retired lieutenant colonel in the Fourth
      Royal Tank Regiment, told the Daily Telegraph's Olga
      Craig, "Britain and other European nations have
      imperial traditions. As a result, British troops have
      been inculcated with the ethos and tradition of
      colonial policing, where small numbers of men would
      have close contact on a daily basis with local
      populations."

      It did not take long for the real "ethos and
      tradition of colonial policing" of depravity and
      brutality to be revealed.

      A few days before details of Bartlam's alleged war
      crimes emerged, it was reported that Lieutenant
      Colonel Timothy Collins, commanding officer of the
      First Battalion of the Royal Irish Regiment, was
      under investigation for alleged mistreatment of
      civilians in Iraq. Ayoub Younis Nasser, an Iraqi
      Ba'ath Party official and former headmaster of a
      school in Rumailah near Basra, claims that he was
      pistol-whipped, beaten and threatened with a mock
      execution by Collins. Nasser said, "They put our
      faces towards the wall, me and my son. I heard
      Colonel Collins telling a soldier to 'kill them'.
      Then I heard the soldier cock his gun."

      A US Army Major Re Biastre of the 402 Civil Affairs
      Battalion has also accused Collins of mistreating
      civilians, but the veracity of his claims are
      disputed as he was not present when the acts he lists
      were said to have happened and is said to have a
      personal grudge against Collins who severely and very
      publicly reprimanded him on one occasion.

      What is not in doubt is that Collins helped set the
      tone for the type of brutal treatment of Iraqis that
      is now being alleged to have occurred. He was
      glorified as a hero by the British media in March
      after he delivered a pre-battle oration to 800 troops
      at Fort Blair Mayne camp in Kuwait during which he
      warned, "The enemy should be in no doubt that we are
      his nemesis and that we are bringing about his
      rightful destruction. There are many regional
      commanders who have stains on their souls and they
      are stoking the fires of hell for Saddam. He and his
      forces will be destroyed by this coalition for what
      they have done. As they die they will know their
      deeds have brought them to this place. Show them no
      pity."

      It is no wonder then that Bartlam and his unit may
      have felt no pity towards their captives and thought
      they could get away with filming their depraved acts
      with impunity. Bartlam's mother sensed who was really
      to blame for her son's predicament when she told
      reporters, "He does not belong to us any more. The
      army is his mother. It's the army which looks after
      him. We have not been able to contact him and we know
      nothing about what's happened to him, so we're saying
      nothing."

      The Ministry of Defence has downplayed the
      significance of the Bartlam photos saying, "Usually
      there is a flurry of allegations in the wake of a
      conflict or a highly publicised case like this one.
      That is the pattern."

      The Royal Irish Regiment was formed in July 1992 from
      the discredited Ulster Defence Regiment and prides
      itself on its anti-terrorism expertise. It is the
      subject of an inquiry into allegations of bullying
      and abuse of recruits. The inquiry is charged with
      investigating the death of teenage soldier Paul
      Cochrane who was found shot dead in 2001 at the
      regiment's Drumadd barracks in Northern Ireland. But
      the Ministry of Defence claims it will also tackle
      issues about the "wider military culture" in the
      regiment. Paul's father Billy emphasised that he had
      no faith in the inquiry, saying "I don't trust these
      people."

      Robert Peterson, a military lawyer said his law firm
      deals with several cases every month from soldiers
      especially recruits who say they were assaulted or
      abused and noted the culture of bullying and
      brutality "can easily spill over into a war
      situation."

      * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
      Forwarded by
      La Voz de Aztlan
      http://www.aztlan.net


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