Photographs have been released which show British soldiers allegedly abusing Iraqi prisoners.
The pictures, which were printed in Daily Mirror newspaper, appear to show a suspected thief being beaten and urinated on.
This follows shocking images shown on CBS's 60 Minutes programme of American troops allegedly torturing prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad.
The Ministry of Defence has launched an immediate investigation into the allegations.
What is your reaction to the images? Are you a serviceman who has witnessed abuse to prisoners in Iraq?
This debate is now closed. Thank you for your comments.
I think these pictures are disturbing whether they are genuine or not. If they are genuine, then these soldiers should be charged in a criminal court and dealt with most severely. If the photographs are not genuine then the government should take the soldiers to court. Either way, I have never seen such disgusting photographs. It would be interesting to know if anyone received publication money.
MA, Glasgow Scotland
I know why the sun never sets on the British Empire, God would never trust an Englishman in the dark. We know of no spectacle so ridiculous as the British public in one of its periodical fits of morality.
Smaaz, Lahore, Pakistan
In the US Americans are consumed with reality TV, perhaps it's time we see the reality of war and the world as it really is.
Martin Donovan, Smifhfield RI USA
After a proper inquiry, the soldiers responsible should be court-martialled, dishonourably discharged, and imprisoned. Their immediate superiors should be court-martialled for negligence of command. This incident will soil the image of the American military, and America in general for years. Those responsible have endangered the lives of all of their countrymen abroad, be they civilian or military. Their actions will likely be directly responsible for more American and Iraqi deaths.
Matthew Huntley, Stockton, USA
Before condemning the young reservists for their deviation or depravity, we should remind ourselves that armies and wars are an institutional negation of the rules of civilization; they teach and provide a venue for the youth to kill and destroy systematically, efficiently, with out guilt and with divine approval. Above all, decisions are made in a ¿kill or get killed' atmosphere. Many soldiers may also believe that Iraq was behind the events of 9-11, and this is 'give back' for that atrocity. War may be a necessary evil at times, but it must be done as a last resort and with near-unanimous national and international consent.
Thiruvengadam Ramakrishnan, New Orleans, LA, USA
Those photos should be shown so that justice can be done to those Iraqi POWS. Even though they are POWS, they are human beings too and should not be treated in such a barbaric manner.
Genevieve Lum, Singapore
I really can't understand what all the fuss is about. What do people expect from the military? They are trained to KILL & they have probably seen & done things that none of us can ever imagine. The fact that the idio-democratic minded media are trying to self destruct their own country as usual by publishing pictures which are no different to any other conflict or war they have been involved in does not surprise me. Anyone who is shocked by the actions of the US & UK soldiers must be either very naive or a complete idiot. You go out there & see how you react to people who want to kill you!!!!
Yes these photos should have been shown. However, before we can make any moral judgement based on these photographs, we need to examine them under context in which they were captured. First, we are dealing with war. Therefore to assume that these actions do not occur would be to invoke extreme naivety. Second, we need to temper these images with the fact that our troops are being humiliated, tortured and killed in much the same way. Finally, it is impossible to make any clear moral or philosophical judgement as we sit here in the comfort of our own homes. Soldiers are human beings being put to the test under extreme conditions.
Andy, Edinburgh, UK
The pictures and the story of this kind of abuse is disgusting. I'm proud to be an American but at the same time ashamed that our citizens could dehumanize the Iraqi people in such a way.
Adam Lujan, Albuquerque, NM
I am disgusted and ashamed of this idiotic treatment of Iraqi prisoners, most of whom are being held for questioning rather than crimes, and of our invasion on false pretences in the first place. I'm sickened that a few American snipers could site a long range scope on a child or woman's head and squeeze the trigger, as was reported from Falluja. You can bet we'll never see that reported on American TV. We're not even allowed to see the flag-draped coffins of our soldiers coming home. "It would be disrespectful" says the White House. I'm disgusted with the American press for their duplicity in this war.br />David, Greenville, South Carolina
I'm outraged at this abuse at the hands of US and UK forces, and am glad the story has been given press attention. Without the pictures, I'm afraid that people would not have believed the allegations. Such barbaric treatment should not be accepted and those responsible should face severe penalties.
Bear in mind that typically, actions of the lower troops in any organization reflect attitudes at the top, and thus, we should expect senior military personnel as well as government officials at the highest levels to take responsibility for this horrible situation.
John, Chapel Hill NC USA
Once again the reputation of many is ruined by the few. In general the British and to at least some extent the US army are professional, humane and would not abuse prisoners in this way. Remember that killing a combatant is totally different to humiliating a captive. We see this with the Muslim population as well, a few are terrorists and so a few extremists believe they're all bad.
The British and US soldiers involved should be treated severely for this, they individually help undo months of hard work, making the situation even more dangerous for their comrades. Hopefully these incidents will be a wake up call to those in the forces capable of such things and this will stop for good, for if not the US and UK are going to have a very tough time out in Iraq, and at home.
The reaction from America has been disturbing. It's almost as though they didn't really want to react, and were hoping that it would go away. Also, another question is.... what were the Americans planning to do if CBS had not got hold of the story? Did the American army not know what was going on before CBS pointed it out?
Kartikeya, Bombay, India
These pictures are disgusting and true element of war, this shouldn't be happening at all. These troops are aware of why they are there. The aim of this war is peace, not that peace can ever be achieved by war but this is unnecessary evil. We have enough evil as it is.
Rachel Foye, Preston, Lancashire
I can honestly say that an average person in US is as appalled and disgusted as anyone else in the world. Individuals who have exposed this atrocity should be commended for their courage. They did this, at the risk of being labelled as "unpatriotic" by the media, and "Enemy combatants" by pro war business.
Saifullah Nizamani, Worcester, USA
These actions will cause more hatred against the west. Just proves the US are no good at peacekeeping. The UN must takeover before the situation gets worse.
Yes these revolting photos should have been shown, because seeing is believing. Several newspaper articles have reported abuse; however it is only images which have an impact. I suggest that those guilty of this conduct should be punished harshly and not given a couple of years in a comfy British prison.
Haider Al-Najjar, Iraqi in UK
Computers can do anything these days with pictures. What a funny coincidence that the Daily Mirror "happens" to get pictures at this time. As a Ex-soldier I am very very wary of the "truth" in the press.
Michael Topping, Leyland UK
I have a friend that works for Amnesty international who was based in Iraq in August and reported that these terrible things were happening then, so why are the Army and US Forces pretending they are so shocked when they knew full well this has been going on for months.
I am amazed that anyone is surprised that American and British troops are torturing Iraqis. There is no such thing as a clean war and individual acts of brutality are inevitable especially when the more dominant country is beginning to lose control of the situation. Just think of the way America raped and pillaged its way through Vietnam.
Shame on you Bush, Shame on you Blair, shame on UK and the US, the most "civilized" nations of the world! Show the pictures, bring out the reality.
I am aghast at the allegations. However, let's remember that it's unusual things that make the news: "Man bites dog" attracts more attention that "Dog bites man." Torture and sadism are still much lower among Western troops than many other armies.
Randy, Grand Rapids, USA
The UN should take control of Iraq asap and try Saddam, Blair and Bush together for war crimes. Not only for these pictures but also for crimes against innocent people who lost their lives by the hands of Saddam, Bush and Blair. My questions is who is going to answer their deaths? The world should think
Ahmed Khan, Paris, France
I do not believe they should have been shown at this time to the whole world. As horrifying and disgusting as these photos ar, torture and inhuman cruelty are, and always have been, committed by both sides in every war. Showing these photos of American and British troops' despicable acts, while not showing the equally despicable acts committed by Iraqis, creates a false impression and fuels hate and bigotry.
Marianne, Madison, USA
Phew! What a lot of strong reaction! One question - are the pictures genuine or staged?
Our politicians have displayed some dismay - I would like to hear "utter disgust." I, for one, am genuinely disgusted. Initially by our American "allies" brutality. And now we see British troops urinating on, and brutalising people. I'm ashamed to be British, ashamed to be associated with my nation. If I had the means and the money, I would give up my British nationality right now. Utterly ashamed.
Nick Allen, UK
What astonishes me about these vents is not just the merciless cruelty of the soldiers involved, but their abysmal stupidity. Have they no idea at all of the effects of acting in this horrible way? What it means is that as of this moment, the war is lost; all the deaths and wounds are wasted. That's what it means. We need to check the armed forces' recruitment processes. We can't afford to have halfwits in uniform, not in today's wars.
John, Edinburgh, UK
Yes! Also there should be cases of war crimes under the auspices of UN against these US and UK soldiers. But I know this will not happen because laws for these two countries are different than the rest of the world!
The pictures should be shown. I think the world should know the reality.
Selina, Hong Kong
First we told the world we're going to war for the WMD - none were found. So, we told the world Saddam was a merciless tyrant and had to be removed - but apparently we are no better than him. I wonder what reason we should think of next to justify our war.
VJ, The Netherlands
If it's true they should have a whole regiment do the same to them a Court Martial would be a waste of time and money.
Ken Ellis, Norwich, United Kingdom
Human rights and respect are basic rights affordable to every human being, not just the Americans and the British. It is time they understand it.
Tabassum, Toronto, Canada
Alright enough! The simple truth, is that too much to ask for? Politicians are liars, the mouths that speak for the military are liars, all of the corporatised media use deception and lies to forge solidarity for the lies we're told. I guess these pictures don't lie huh. Wars are brutal, soldiers are brutal by nature of their jobs, and this is a brutal war run by brutal men based entirely on lies. ENOUGH ALREADY!
Grier Govorko, Los Angeles USA
Yes! Without these pictures shown to and seen by everyone, such barbarian behaviour will not be eradicated.
Beatrice, Vienna, Austria
Finally the picture of truth will come true which is hidden for long time during war.... the credit is totally has gone to the journalist who took the picture that proved they are part of humanity in addition to being honest doing their job.
Akas, Dundee, Scotland, UK
These pictures only confirmed the many stories I have heard my friends in Iraq, of atrocities on the hands of the Americans and British soldiers against Iraqis. At last, the truth is out.
Zaid Al-Hindawi, Iraqi in London, UK
Whatever it takes to bring them in line.
Ken Azad, San Diego, Ca
I agree that the photos should be shown and the perpetrators should be brought to justice. Your message board shows, however, how this makes people forget and ignore the countless other atrocities which aren't documented via photograph.
Chris, New York, USA
I am an ex-British soldier studying in the US. I am appalled by these soldiers' actions. They are a disgrace to the uniform. They have no excuse for their actions. Every serviceman knows the law of armed conflict. If they are found guilty they should be severely dealt with. They are not only a disgrace to the Army, they are also a disgrace to the nation.
Andrew Brown, Grafton USA
The Internationally deplored acts of some American and British troops on prisoners in Iraq is somewhat understandable in the lawless situation that pertains there. But it should also be seen in the light of the much more appalling acts perpetrated on members of the Coalition who have been trying to police the region and achieve peace.
Indeed the prisoners who have suffered such indignities have not suffered dreadful deaths at the hands of the Iraqi mobs, nor been paraded, post mortem, by having their bodies desecrated with dismemberment and drawn behind cars and lorries.
The international media and the Government have underplayed pictures of those events on grounds of public decency, but our troops have had to witness them. If the media have the honesty and impartiality they proclaim, and are not moved solely by the desire to seek wider circulation, the should equally reveal BOTH sides of the disaster that is Iraq's present plight.
Alan Jarvis, Southwold, Suffolk
Whilst these allegations are totally despicable, more harm than good comes of publishing them. They should have been given to the authorities and the perpetrators punished. News of the outcome could then have been used in a more positive way than inflaming the situation. It's about time the tabloids got some common sense.
Ian, Loughborough, England
All those abuse pictures just reminded me of how horrible and inhumane a war and its participants could be. Those pictures might be the tip of an iceberg. We should all be ashamed.
Di , Seoul, Korea
The world is quite quick to kick America when they're down.. Yet when the photos of the Brits doing the same thing come out. The world is silent. Is it not the same?
RA, Cromwell, IL
Let the pictures be shown and the truth be known and we wonder why there is such hate for USA in the Arab world. Disgusting!
Brendan J Murtagh, Redford USA
Although these acts were committed by a very small minority, people, especially Iraqi people, should be entitled to view these pictures. For a country that was supposed to liberated from Human Rights abuses, this will devastate the coalition's reasoning behind one of their main objectives of the invasion/occupation.
Brendan M, Dublin, Ireland
I've noticed a curious difference between the two reports of torture in Iraq. The news media seem to be assuming that the story about the Americans is true, and about the British as "alleged". Isn't that odd.
Bob Harvey, Lincs, UK
This a total abuse of power by these soldiers and its imperative that justice be met on them. This is against amnesty and the Americans would not want to be treated like this, why are they letting the soldiers treat the Iraqis in such a way? Thanks to the media for letting the cat out of the bag otherwise the world would not have known this story today. I think this should be stopped immediately because that is what will discredit America.
Reinford Mwangonde, St.Louis, USA
I agree with opinion JS, Oxford: no surprise by such act, at all. Last year, I flew with group of US soldiers returning home from their base in Japan. They strongly resembled group of kids whose body someone stuck with a lot of muscle-material and tattoos. Since then, I am thinking when democracies really need to deploy such force.
I'm bemused by the fact that a lot of people seem to be of the opinion that "oh well, at least it wasn't as bad as Saddam". That may well be the case, and it may also be the case that acts of brutally like this were inevitable. However, none of these facts make it any less unacceptable.
Ali Asgur, London, England
A few of my pompous fellow Brits here would do well to remember that a few British soldiers have also been caught on camera torturing and degrading prisoners. A little humility wouldn't go amiss - it's not just those brash American colonials who sometimes lapse into savagery. We Brits have a long career of it too, as the pictures published today prove.
Harry Calder, UK
I agree it is wrong to torture innocent people, but I ask, what would you do to Osama Bin laden if you had the chance? Or to someone who had killed a member of your family - I know what I would do.
The following comments reflect the balance of the opinion we have received:
It is a matter of honesty and fear of god, so that the world can realize the evil designs of us and it's allies because they have been wrongly and innocently made to believe that it is a war on terror with good intentions. People have the right to know what's going on and where, especially in such cases, where people's opinion about the policies of their regimes, can change the turn of events.
Noreen Nasir, Karachi, Pakistan
Yes photos of atrocities should be shown - maybe the images will penetrate the imaginary world of leaders who profess to be against terrorism.
Kathy W, Cincinnati, Ohio USA
Only a band of sadistic brainwashed barbarians could perpetrate such atrocities. I always hated Saddam for what he did in Iran. I can never forget what his soldiers did to our women and children in Iran. Yet, it is no time to gloat over inhuman treatment the Iraqi soldiers received at the hands of the US soldiers.
Ali Al-e Ali, Tehran, Iran
This is the way the so called civilized and cultured American behave.
Jacob Watson, UK
I read that one of the alleged perpetrators of this ghastliness is a prison guard in the US in "real life". So George Bush's "not in America" sounds not only naive but downright disingenuous. I have decided never to visit America again, just in case I smile whilst at an airport and get locked up.
Rory Macoy, Rochester UK
I see no difference in Bush and Saddam, they both have committed crime against humanity, by having torture chambers and mass killing of Iraqi people. The only difference is one was home grown the other is outsider.
Huda, Toronto, Canada
Its impossible to get rid of the cow boy instinct!
These pictures are showing the way democracy and freedom are exported by Americans, British and their allies. Let's hope it will help to think about the lies of our politicians. Once again, not in my name.
Luciano, Geneva Switzerland
Of course. Too much has already been hidden away and locked up by the secretive Bush administration. Let's see what this war is really all about. Maybe we will not be as anxious to trump up reasons for another one in the future.
Dale Mincey, USA
Peace and liberation are achieved only through love and not by using material forces. The world already knows this.
Ash, Pondicherry, India
To bad such outrage wasn't shown when the Twin towers fell and those bodies of construction works were hung on the bridge and their poor dead bodies abused. Let our justice system handle the soldiers who did this to prisoners but those who live in glass houses, should not be the first to throw stones! God Bless our Troops!
Jean Mair, Morris, Illinois, Untied States of America
The more we know about what goes on behind closed doors the better. These are absolutely intolerable actions brought on by bad leadership from the president down to the lower level military leaders. These torrid events hark back to times during the Second World War and other conflicts that saw inhumane actions by all sides. Those involved should be brought to justice.
ATM, London, UK
These events no doubt will result in Iraqis using this as a reason to kill even more coalition troops. Even though it was wrong, their retribution will always be in the extreme, their treatment of prisoners would usually result in their prisoners deaths and as I understand it these "poor little iraqis" are still alive, our niceties will always result in our troops being killed. It's a shame we cant play by the same rule book as used by the Iraqi terrorists.
PC, London UK
The US wanted the Iraqis to hand over those who killed and mutilated the four civilians Americans. They even bombed a city and killed more than 600 Iraqis to get the killers. Would the US now accept to hand those who committed the crime of abuse to the Iraqis? Is it really a two way street or it is the white man's way all the time?
Jamal Zaky, NY, USA
The photos of the abuses should not be downplayed by speaking of them as isolated individual cases and not representative of the army. The point may be right statistically, but culturally are an expression of the arrogance with which the British and the US establishment have acted throughout the last several years.
They visually portray the attitude of sub-human status accorded to Iraqis and many others by western hegemonic forces. They are the manifestations of a mentality that justified the deaths of thousands of Irqai children as price 'worth paying'.
Farid Panjwani, London
We do not know for sure if these pictures are real, why would anyone take a photo of a wrongdoing? Surely they would know that these things get out eventually. Do not forget we are in a war, and in war there is such a thing called propaganda......from both sides.
The facade has been stripped away. The true face of imperialism is revealed. Doesn't this remind you of Vietnam?
Tanya, London, England
Blair says that these incidents were done by a few soldiers and one should not judge the American soldiers from this, but why do the Americans and British judge the Muslims as terrorists when only a few of them are really.
I am no longer supporting this war because of this. In fact I am interested in what Al Qaeda think. I think it's about time we listened to them before massive horror arises!
There has already been so much censorship in the United States we don't even hear about Iraqis and other non-US people dying. I think it is imperative to publish all aspects of this war: including those that are distasteful. Otherwise, how will people know what is actually happening in Iraq?
Anna, Lafayette, CO, USA
No-one should be surprised. Although American people are generally very pleasant as individuals in their own country, collectively they have this vision of being the master race and we know what this leads to. As far back as Vietnam, American troops were contemptuous of the locals (or gooks as they called them) and shot up friend and foe indiscriminately. Added to that, in both USA and UK uniforms and power sometimes attract the wrong people. Top brass in any country doesn't want to know.
I'm surprised at some of the naivety here. Historically, armed conflict brings out the best and worst in people. Incidents like this, though regrettable, are inevitable. To those that claim this mirrors the worst brutal excesses of the Baa'thist regime, get real.
James, Hampshire, UK
We don't know the full story behind these pictures but lets not forget what the Iraqis did to those they captured in Kuwait during the Gulf War.
These are just outrageous. Although one does not talk for all, still no excuse for such misconducts. Those wrongdoers shall be put to trial in public courts for offending humanity and human rights. Good that liberation army did not liberate Iran.
Amir Hossein, Tehran, Iran
The wrongdoings were committed in Iraq, so surely that is a matter for the Iraqi police. I hope that US and UK governments will cooperate in handing over the alleged culprits to the Iraq police.
The images needed to be seen, they are a reality of the world that we live in. The photos serve to discredit the simplistic war rhetoric of "evildoers" that the Bush administration has employed. Here, the press is cautious and muffled by 'patriotism', fear, and misinformation. How can I defend my country from past or present atrocities? What hope is there for change if I encounter an indifferent population that barely votes and doesn't bother to read?
It is my responsibility as a citizen to be held accountable for what my country does. Note that I praise(our) coalition troops for their bravery- they're mostly young kids that just want to go to school or seek better employment or are idealistic. That said, it the images are not acceptable, and it shouldn't be brushed aside as an isolated incident. We have no credibility and the war on terror is also a war on ignorance, arrogance and racism on ALL fronts (starting here).
Narda, Harlem, USA
To be honest, I am not surprised. I always think it such a joke when some Eton-educated frontman is interviewed as an army representative. We train these men to go out and kill for God's sake! What kind of mentality do you think that requires? Soldiers are the people who do the ugly inhuman stuff that enables the rest of us to live civilised lives.
It should not be surprising that "the enemy", or simply the "them", gets treated in this way. The real surprise is how well hidden this kind of (I suspect quite common) inhuman abuse is under the official veneer of "honour, love of country, bravery and patriotism".
JS, Oxford, U.K.
Are soldiers not taught the Geneva convention regarding prisoners rights? Is it the Americans think they are above such things? As alleged liberators, this makes them far worse than Saddam could ever be. Shame on you America. Show the pictures and more.
JH, Las Palmas
I have supported getting rid of Saddam because of what the regime did to Kuwaiti people in 1990, but we as Muslims will not accept the mis-treatment of POW's. It's a barbaric act from people calling for "Human Rights"!!!
Fatma Al Hamad, Kuwait
Arrogant American people seed hatred around the world, and feel victimized when hurt. This is ridiculous.
Keven Chen, NY, USA
What makes it particularly shameful for the British is that, unlike the US Army, it is mandatory for all our soldiers to attend a presentation on the Laws of Armed Conflict every year.
Once thing to be noticed is that in America, incidents like these are brought to light, criticised and people held accountable, instead of just sweeping them under the carpet. I am sure not all societies are so forthcoming.
This whole situation would never have occurred if only Tony Blair and George Bush had stated their true reasons for invading Iraq from the start. It seems to me that they just wanted to get rid of Saddam before he became too much of a problem.
Does Mr Blair still dare to stand shoulder to shoulder with the crocodile teared President Bush on everything in defiance of the British public opinion?
Hyder Ali Pirwany, Okehampton, Devon, England
What is everyone bleating about? The Geneva Convention and humane treatment of prisoners only applies to those who are not our allies, or are third world dictators, or repressive Arab regimes.
The U.S and (UK) are superpowers, can go where ever they like, bomb whoever they want to, and nobody has a right to challenge them. If you do then we'll accuse you of either supporting terrorists, or trying to gain WMD's and get sanctions placed on you, and then we'll bomb you.
Frank, London, England
Examine these photos closely and let their repulsive meaning sink in because they are a true, pictorial representation of what US policy in the Middle East all about-- and has been for years. And people wonder why on earth an incident like 9/11 took place.
Miriam, Pennsylvania, USA
Now, the world can see why Iraqi are angry and why they refuse US troops to be in their country. Is this the freedom which for US entered Iraq?
These pictures, if true, make me as proud of the British army, as the older generation of French, Poles or Russians might be of the Gestapo.
Michael Birbeck, Essex
If I were an Iraqi I would want to kill as many British and US soldiers as I could after seeing these disgusting pictures. Many deaths will result from this. The men who did it need to understand that because of them some of their comrades will be killed and disabled in retaliation. I hope this matter will stay in the news till we have found out who they are and seen their faces.
The Arab world and in fact the whole world will be outraged by these acts. As an Englishman, I am ashamed and disgusted by the behaviour of these individuals in both armies. I truly hope that the authorities throw the book at them and lock them up!
Chris Norris, London, UK
People should see the real facts in Iraq and how much Iraqi people are suffering.
Yes the pictures should have been published. I only hope that the investigation promised by my government does not stop at the level of the bottom-rung soldiers who showed up in those pictures. Where were the commanding officers? What exactly is the role of the civilian intelligence contractors? Who are those contractors answerable to? My fear is the government will conduct a show trial of these pictured soldiers, and the more troubling questions will remain unanswered.
Marie, Cambridge, UK (but I'm a US citizen)
The US is, on the whole, an arrogant country and is full of arrogant people. Too much power has gone to their head. These pictures do not surprise me at all.
It is interesting that the Mirror was the chosen publication for this revelation. I wonder how long the soldiers who took the photos hung onto them until they could find a suitably lucrative outlet? I would have been far more impressed if they had reported the actions as soon as they became aware of them. There is hardly a shortage of journalists or military police in Iraq.
I've been a 100% supporter for the war ever since it started. But after reading the article on the BBC website today, I feel utter shame for being British. We are no better than Saddam at his worst. Will someone please re-invent 'compassion'. Are there any decent countries left? Can I live with you?
What's the problem? Didn't we expect the usual victory dance from the invading army against the humiliated enemy? Oh I forgot, we were supposed to be Blair and Bush's angels, going forth to rescue the poor downtrodden of Iraq's despotic, torturing and humiliating, regime, silly me! No, hang on, wasn't it about WMD's? Crikey, isn't empire building complicated.
Jay, Manchester, UK
I am sure this is a very small minority of the military police who are involved in these disgusting acts. Where were their supervisors? All involved should be held accountable for their actions.
Jack Rundle, Pennsylvania, USA
My complete and utter disgust at the images of these abhorrent actions must surely be echoed around all human civilisation. This behaviour is not even worthy to be called animalistic and without a doubt exceeds the boundaries of the Geneva Convention. It little matters that I and millions of others were against the Allied action in the first place; these images will undo any goodwill left between the Allies and the Arab World. To any Arabs reading, I can only apologise for people who obviously have no sense of humanity and to state that the vast majority of British people revile these images and actions as much as you do.
Alex, Edinburgh, Scotland
Purely shock tactics to try to end our involvement. Where are the pictures of American soldiers being torn limb from limb and burnt and hung? There is real news out there somewhere, but the papers are not interested.
Mick , Essex, UK
I am glad that the Daily Mirror published these pictures without intervention from the British government, unlike the Americans which made attempts to block the release of the images. The plus side, the freedom of press in the UK is superior than that of the "Land of the Free."
Adrian, British expat in USA
I feel sick and very, very angry. I also realize that abuse is a worldwide phenomenon. There is no culture, country or race that does not experience it. I only hope the military sends a strong message to the rest of the troops that no abuses will be tolerated.
Eileen T Kusler, Chicago, IL
I have supported getting rid of Saddam but these incidents bring shame to our country. Our military is known for its professionalism and actions such as these cast a pall over our reputation as a whole. Once a combatant is disarmed and taken into custody he should be treated fairly as long as he complies with basic instructions. There is no honour in humiliating captives. I hope we set an example with the perpetrators. Shame on us all today!
Robert, Silver Spring, USA
Nigel MacDonald, Camborne, UK
Yes - these images should be shown but with some privacy for the victims involved. Any decent human being would not treat a prisoner in this manner. Those involved with the humiliation and degradation of these prisoners need to do prison time.
Karen, Colorado, USA
"That's not the way we do things in America" was George Bush's response to the abuse of Iraqi prisoners. It may not be how they do it in America but that's how they treat the rest of the world. After every war fought by Americans they have come out as villains, and this is no exception.
Thank God the pictures are out there.... Rhetoric about liberation of Iraq is no longer believable (if it ever was). That is exactly why you need UN presence, I just hope the UK joins France, Germany and Spain in the pursuit of complete handover of the conflict to the United Nations, they have to distance themselves from the US military since they aren't driven by racism and ignorance as most of American GIs are...
Carlos, Mexico city
Yes, unequivocally yes. Covering up incidents such as these only allows the abuse and torture to continue. Haven't these people suffered enough?
C McCormick, Calgary, Canada
This should not be a surprise. Every time a nation is occupied, humiliation is soon to follow; history shows us that in South Asia and elsewhere.
Bilal, Chicago, USA/Karachi, Pakistan
I want to congratulate the person who had the courage to take the pictures and give them to the TV so the world could at last see how the 'liberators' and the ambassadors of the 'free world' behave, given the opportunity. It only makes me wonder what happens elsewhere and we never find out.
So much for the coalition forces being harbingers of peace. These pictures show them for what they truly are.
Amin Akhund, Amman, Jordan
I think the Iraqis knew about this before the media released it. I also think it reflects the boldness and ignorance of the US administration. It was the Cold war that kept the Americans in check. Since the fall of the Berlin wall the Americans has become the hi tech bully of the world knowing full well that nobody can knuckle wrap them giving them a sense of invincibility, like their total contempt for the UN. They should never have been in Iraq and a number of other places as well. How can it be that in today's world two of the most developed counties (and others) did not have proper intelligence with WMD? The images should have been released immediately without entertaining the give us a chance to compose a response from Bush. Thanks to the media for exposing this.
Johann, Pretoria, South Africa
The pictures should be shown. They are only a tip of the iceberg - one out of many many episodes, but perhaps the only one that happened to be caught on camera.
Andrew, Delft, Holland
This is why it is so necessary to have news media on both sides. If it were up to the Americans this news would never had gotten out and it almost never did. The so called preachers of free speech hate it when the speech comes from anyone but them.
Hamza Ramadi, Doha, Qatar
There are no words to express the rage. This is the clearest proof to show that Americans perceive their mission in Iraq as invaders. Justice can not change these perceptions. That's why; BBC reports fairly that "The pictures did not initially cause much of a stir in America". It's about racism, it's about superiority.
Shkelqim Tarelli, Tirana, Albania
The blame falls directly on the leaders of the coalitions. Anytime an army invades a foreign people, this type of thing will happen.
Hena Mughal, Karachi, Pakistan
The Iraq people are suffering violence and torture under a brutal regime - so no change there then!
Helen, Hong Kong
I think the world should know the reality. I do not see any advantage in not publishing the pictures. At least the pictures would serve as a wake up call to those in high-up command to take a tighter rein over discipline of the coalition forces in Iraq. Even the prisoners are human beings and feel the same pain and fear like the rest of us!
Yes, they should be shown; only this way those who believe that this occupation was necessary can see what else 'some' soldiers can do in their leisure time.
Aynur Bonomo, Rome, Italy
While Blair's spokesman may declare this a contravention of policy, I'm sure that the maiming of young children and pensioners was similarly unintended. But this is war. This is what happens when a country is overrun and occupied by an invading force. Are we to assume that during the invasion, no Iraqi boys were beaten up and no Iraqi girls were raped by wayward members of the coalition forces?
Alan, London, UK
Makes you wonder what is happening to the prisoners in Guantanamo Bay
Garry, Lancashire, UK
I would like to apologize to the Iraqi people for the actions of a few of our military. Please do not judge the whole US military. Our troops are honourable and humane. Severe actions will be taken against these soldiers.
The harm that could come from suppressing the photos and being accused of a cover-up far outweighs any harm that comes from making them public and correcting the situation. It's a shameful situation, and sunshine is the best disinfectant.
Byron, Washington DC, US
These pictures should come earlier. Covering up such truths is not fair to the Iraqis.
Khairul Khalid, Gopeng, Malaysia
Absolutely! And as for the 'don't judge our army by the actions of a few' - nonsense. I think they highlight a serious lack of social responsibility and ethics that has typified American action, and Americans support of such action. Ignorance is not bliss - in fact its proven to be very dangerous and costly.
I felt sick when I saw them but, yes, they should be shown. I thought we invaded to end torture and oppression for the Iraqi's when all we appear to have done is bring inhumanity. I am ashamed to be part of the "occupying" nations.
Jade, Oxford, UK
It indeed is shocking. This is indeed a heinous crime, committed by those soldiers who were supposed to be helping in the establishing of democratic norms in Iraq. The ever vigilant media are our guardians who are thankfully there to ensure proper flow of information concerning matters of public interest. Whatever our political beliefs I think it was important that these pictures were released as it would ensure that these acts are not committed by others in the future.
Arif Sayed, Dubai, UAE
Absolutely these pictures should be shown to indicate that mis-treatment of POWs is a war crime and the one who was involved should be brought to justice. In addition, these pictures should also be shown as soon as they were available without interference from the Pentagon. Pentagon's delaying action interfered with freedom of the press and totally unacceptable in a democratic state.
Tony, Edmonton, Canada
As a supposedly civilising and democratising force, it is disgraceful that these acts have taken place. Either the leaders are incompetent or complicit, neither of which bodes well for the re-construction of Iraq. As for the not being trained excuse, I've never been trained to be a prison guard but I am aware that torture is wrong. Surely occupation forces should be leading by example.
Niall , London, England
Yes, absolutely. They have to be shown, and mainly to the US and British public. That's the only way to bring most of them closer to reality.
Alex, Calgary, Canada
The pictures should absolutely have been shown, although their faces should be blurred and names kept secret. This was an outrageous and barbaric act sanctioned by intelligence officers. All is not fair in war and these soldiers violated the Geneva Convention and the lowest standards of human decency. By keeping the pictures secret, we will fail to really understand the magnitude of the inhumanity in these acts and the soldiers, officers, intelligence agents and everyone else who was involved, encouraged and sanctioned these acts. The more people who see these pictures, the more who will cry out in rage and demand that all involved be brought to justice under the fullest extent of the law.
Avril, New York, USA