THE family of a 17-year-old Iraqi has lodged papers at the British High Court claiming Scottish troops tortured and killed him and 21 other Iraqis who were captured after a firefight and held in custody at a British army detention centre in Iraq back in May 2004. Hamid Al-Sweady was said to be uninjured after he was detained following a gun battle between insurgents and a unit from the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. But in papers filed on Friday, his family claims his corpse bore marks of torture and hanging after it was handed over to relatives a day later.
An Iraqi witness to the alleged event has come forward, as have numerous other Iraqi hospital workers, who witnessed the injuries on Al-Sweady and several of the other Iraqi POWs. Worse still, a video has been released which helps to document the torture, mutilation, and death of the POWs in question.
Hussein Abbas, a detainee released by the British soldiers, claims in his statement that he was "continuously punched and kicked" and that he saw blood in the water under his feet coming from nearby toilets. Mr Abbas claims he spoke to Mr Al-Sweady in a lorry on their way to a British Army detention center and that he displayed no injuries. Mr Abbas also said they were detained in toilets and that he heard Hamid in the next toilet. He heard screaming and started seeing blood coming out from under the toilet door.
One of the victims reportedly had their eyes gouged out, apparently while still alive according to Iraqi doctors who documented the cause of death. Another one had his sex organs cut off. Another victim reportedly had their genitals crushed, and Al-Sweady's body was documented as having ligature marks around his neck indicating that he had been hung or otherwise asphyxiated.
The most damning part of the allegations, however, is that the video directly conflicts with a prior British Ministry of Defence statement, supporting an internal investigation's findings into the matter:
"The bodies recovered from the battlefield were photographed immediately upon arrival at the Camp and these photographs were passed to an independent Home Office forensic pathologist. The investigation established no evidence of any systematic or deliberate mutilation. Despite the high intensity of fighting in this incident, British troops treated the dead with respect."
In other words:
1> Either the mutilated bodies in the video weren't the bodies in question -- despite time/date stamps and video evidence suggesting that they were.
2> The bodies in the video somehow unmutilated themselves before they were photographed by the British.
3> The bodies were photographed by the British before being mutillated, despite the fact that this contradicts other MoD's claims as to where the bodies were supposed to have been investigated and photographed.
4> The British MoD's statement is untrue.
The British MoD has thus far refused to release the alleged photographs of the allegedly unmutillated Iraqis, which could, if they existed, resolve the matter in a very short amount of time, and is fighting to prevent an independent investigation into the incident..