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Last Updated: Friday, 25 January 2008, 18:41 GMT
In quotes: Army report reaction
Baha Mousa
Baha Mousa had 93 separate injuries when he died in Sept 2003
An Army report into the maltreatment of Iraqi prisoners by UK soldiers has concluded there was no systematic abuse by soldiers.

Those involved with the British army have said the report shows measures have been taken to try and prevent further incidents of abuse by British soldiers.

But lawyers and civil rights advocates have joined the father of a man who died while in military custody to condemn the report as a "whitewash".

GENERAL SIR MIKE JACKSON, FORMER ARMY HEAD

"What the report makes very clear is that the vast majority of British servicemen, particularly British soldiers involved, behaved impeccably and with great courage.

"But we can always try to do better and that's why the British army, in my view, is the professional organisation that it is.

"What is a matter for the Army is to make sure that we will do all we can to maintain and improve our professional standards.

"By no means is it a whitewash, that's a nonsensical thing to say. You can never, ever say that it won't happen again because human nature is human nature and some indulge in the black side of human nature.

"What the report does make clear is that the Army has put in place procedures, checks and balances, which further minimise any such reoccurrence."

DAOUD MOUSA, WHOSE SON DIED IN CUSTODY IN BASRA

"As a senior officer in the Iraqi army, I am clear that these terrible actions could not have taken place without support from senior officers within the British army.

"They either knew or ought to have known what was happening.

"Either way, I hold them to account for what happened to my son. I do not accept this report for a second."

MARTYN DAY, DAOUD MOUSA'S LAWYER

"Today's report is a whitewash that will do nothing to ensure these terrible acts do not happen again in the future.

"It is yet again an example of the Army investigating the Army and, until an independent public inquiry into these events is held, major questions will continue to be asked.

"I am appalled that the defence secretary has seen fit to close ranks with the soldiers who committed these terrible atrocities.

"It is desperately important for everybody that there be a proper investigation and that it be held transparently, in the open, in public."

HASHMIYAH HASSAN UMARAH, BASRA PROVINCIAL COUNCIL

"What happened is a clear human rights violation and those soldiers must be punished.

"The report is not fair because it blames a lack of training. The British troops were well trained and must have known what they were doing.

"They should have been held responsible for what they did. The Iraqi government must take action to punish those soldiers to avoid further incidents."

TIM HANCOCK, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

"We still don't know the full circumstances surrounding the torture and death of Baha Mousa and today's report is no substitute for a fully independent investigation into his death.

"We'd like to see Mr Mousa's family fully involved in a properly independent investigation to finally lay this matter to rest.

"We also still need to know why members of the armed forces used techniques like hooding, stress positions and sleep deprivation when these had long been outlawed."

GENERAL SIR RICHARD DANNATT, CHIEF OF GENERAL STAFF

"The British Army has performed to the highest standards under extraordinarily testing conditions in Iraq. But I take no pride in the conduct of a very small number of our people who deliberately abused Iraqi civilians during 2003 and the early part of 2004.

"This report is rightly critical of our performance in a number of areas and it catalogues the significant number of steps we have already taken towards ensuring that such behaviour is not repeated.

"I am now satisfied that we have put in place measures which ensure that, as far as is humanly possible, there should be no repetition of this behaviour."

DES BROWNE, DEFENCE SECRETARY

"These are extremely important issues for the Army. I welcome this report and support the actions that... the Army have taken to try and prevent any recurrence.

"The British public should be reassured that such behaviour is not representative of our thoroughly professional and disciplined armed forces."

PHIL SHINER, PUBLIC INTEREST LAWYERS

"My firm alone is acting in cases apparently involving over 30 deaths in detention including executions.

"It was standard operating procedure to hood, stress and deprive detainees of sleep, water and food. Our clients have been subjected to torture, abuse and humiliation.

"There is the clearest evidence from the court martial into the death of Baha Mousa, and other emerging evidence, that systematic abuse by UK soldiers in Iraq was rife.

"What is important to understand is that the High Court will shortly have to decide whether to hold an independent and public inquiry into the UK's detention policy in Iraq.

"This report is completely irrelevant to the question the court must decide, namely whether the military justice system can satisfy the requirements that investigations into death and torture by the state be independent, effective, prompt and involve relatives.

"The Aitken inquiry lacks any independence or rigour, is a complete red herring and represents a whitewash."

SAPNA MALIK, LAWYER FOR BAHA MOUSA'S FAMILY

"From the cases that we've seen, we feel the report only touches on the tip of the iceberg and that these weren't the activities of just a few rogue soldiers, but actually there was a culture condoning abuse on the ground."



SEE ALSO
Iraq detainees 'treated humanely'
29 May 07 |  UK Politics



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