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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 May, 2005, 23:38 GMT 00:38 UK
Iraq abuse allegations revealed
An Iraqi civilian is tied to a forklift truck
Three UK soldiers were dismissed from the Army over the abuse
A lawyer for nine Iraqis who claimed they were tortured by UK soldiers has revealed details of their allegations of abuse at a camp in Basra in 2003.

Phil Shiner said evidence from the alleged victims had been "swept under the carpet" at a court martial that convicted four soldiers from the camp.

It is alleged an Iraqi was asked to cut off another man's finger and another kicked so hard he became infertile.

The MoD said all the allegations made by Mr Shiner were being investigated.

They include allegations from a man who claims he was the victim in the now notorious photograph of a bound Iraqi suspended from a forklift truck.

"Trophy" photos of this and other alleged abuse led to the court martial at Osnabrueck in Germany, but Mr Shiner described it as a "put up job". Two of the soldiers are appealing.

ALLEGED ABUSE
Iraqis beaten with iron bars
Made to drag cart
Put in cage and bombarded with scrap metal
Kicked in genitals
Told to cut off man's finger
Made to run holding cement blocks

Mr Shiner said a number of the victims had volunteered to give evidence at the court martial but they were not called and their accounts were ruled inadmissible.

The lawyer says he was told he could not reveal the victims' evidence during the trial as this would be regarded as contempt of court.

But Attorney General Lord Goldsmith denies issuing a "gagging order".

He said the new allegations could be investigated fully.

This was now being undertaken by the Royal Military Police, he added.

Mr Shiner accused the attorney general of being "grossly deficient" in exercising his duties which include supervising the Army Prosecuting Authority.

All we get is a whitewash and a few bad apples thrown to the dogs
Phil Shiner
Human rights lawyer

If Lord Goldsmith did not grant a public inquiry within 14 days Mr Shiner would go to the High Court, he said.

"Here there is the clearest evidence that the military are incapable of prosecuting and investigating themselves.

"If they are allowed to, all we get is a whitewash and a few bad apples thrown to the dogs."

The MoD said all the allegations were already being investigated, and that four cases had been referred to prosecutors for a decision on whether to bring charges.

"There is no evidence of any systematic or repeated abuse by any members of the armed forces," a spokesman said.

"But nevertheless the Army has decided that two senior officers should review the evidence emerging from the court martial relating to incidents of deliberate abuse with a view to learning lessons and making recommendations to the Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Michael Jackson."

The alleged victims say Iraqis were beaten by soldiers with iron bars, made to run around a shed holding cement blocks above their head and put in an iron cage while soldiers threw scrap metal at them.

One man says he was given a knife and told to cut off the finger of another man. That man was forced to simulate oral sex.

It is also alleged a soldier made an Iraqi tow a cart, while beating him with a car aerial.

Another man said he was kicked in the genitals so hard that a doctor has told him he cannot have children.




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