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MoD to investigate torture and rape allegations.

Summary: It's been revealed that claims British soldiers tortured Iraqi civilians are being investigated by the The Ministry of Defence.

It's been revealed that claims British soldiers tortured Iraqi civilians are being investigated by the The Ministry of Defence.

Some 33 cases of alleged abuse have been reported, including claims of rape, the use of torture techniques and physical assault.

A pre-action protocol letter was served on the MoD last week by Phil Shiner, the lawyer representing the Iraqis.

The allegations raise questions of collusion between Britain and America over the ill-treatment of Iraqis.

Armed forces minister Bill Rammell said "formal investigations" must be carried out "without judgments being made prematurely".

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

"While there have been instances when individuals have behaved badly, only a tiny number of individuals have been shown to have fallen short of our high standards.

"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 judgments being made prematurely."

In the legal letter to the MoD, Mr Shiner said: "Given the history of the UK's involvement in the development of these techniques alongside the US, it is deeply concerning that there appears to be strong similarities between instances of the use of sexual humiliation."

One claimant alleges he was raped by two British soldiers, while others say they were striped naked, abused and photographed.

Female British soldiers are alleged to have taken part in the alleged abuse, according to the report.

In September 2003, Iraqi prisoner Baha Mousa suffered 93 separate injuries, including fractured ribs and a broken nose, whilst in UK military custody in Basra, southern Iraq.

Independent Television News Limited 2009. All rights reserved.

Independent Television News Limited 2009. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Independent Television News Limited (ITN)
Date:Nov 17, 2009
Words:332
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