February 13th, 2006


Abuse video causes outrage in the Middle East.

The British weekly, "News of the World", has started a firestorm by releasing footage from a video that shows British troops beating Iraqi youths.

The video, available in realplayer format or Windows Media format, was apparently filmed for "fun" by a British corporal, and shows at least eight British soldiers dragging four young rioters inside a British army compound, where they were repeatedly beaten with batons, boots and fists, and kicked in the genitals.

The worst part of the video, however, is the commentary of the corporal taking the video, who clearly seemed to be getting off on the violence, mocking their cries for help, saying, "Oh yes! Oh yes! You're gonna get it. Yes, naughty little boys! Ha ha ha ha! Yes! Yes! YEEEESSS! Yeeesss! "Oh, please, don't hurt me!" Right? Hahaha! You little f***ers, you little f***ers. DIE!"

There are disconcerting signs within the video that this abuse was not an isolated incident, as the moment the prisoners were brought inside the compound, the corporal filming the scene said that they were "going to get it", indicating that it was pretty routine for this to happen. To make matters worse, approximately twenty British soldiers in riot gear entered the compound and passed the scene of the beating, but none of them took the initiative to stop it.

The beating sequence on the video, which appears to be a series of excerpts from the incident, takes up 60 seconds of the 3minute 12second tape. The video also has two other shocking sequences. In one, the camera approaches an Iraqi corpse while a soldier draws back a blanket to display it as a sickening trophy. The cameraman then kicked the dead man twice in the face. As the head of the man, aged in his 20s, is lifted to face the lens a soldier sniggers: "He's been a bad mother****er."

Another scene shows an Iraqi man grabbed by three soldiers and forced to kneel behind a wall where he is kicked hard in the chest.

The video came to light following the unit's return home. The paper's source was horrified when he saw it and made the tape public in an attempt to force the British army to clamp down on the abuse of prisoners in Iraq.