Iraqis to sue UK military over videotaped abuse

[JURIST] Two Iraqis claiming they were beaten by British soldiers following a demonstration that turned violent in 2004 said Tuesday that they would sue the UK military over the incident. According to Bassem Shaker, one of the two, he was among a group of several hundred protesting a lack of work in Amarah in January 2004, and he was arrested along with several others and beaten by British soldiers before being released. It was not known whether Shaker is one of several Iraqis shown being beaten by soldiers in a video [NW video] that was taken by a soldier and released by the UK News of the World tabloid on Sunday. The UK Ministry of Defence [official website] has opened an investigation [JURIST report] into the video.

Shaker and a second Iraqi, Tariq Abdul-Razzak, have both requested the help of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in pursuing legal action against the UK military over the incident. Some reports have suggested that the soldiers may have been acting under orders [Sky News report] in beating some demonstrators. The British military has said that shots were heard from within the crowd of demonstrators, and that Iraqi police and British troops had returned fire. British Islamic leaders have called for a speedy prosecution [JURIST report] of UK troops shown in the video, and the Ministry of Defence has already arrested one soldier [press release] in connection with the video. AP has more.

6:02 PM ET - Ministry of Defence officials confirmed Tuesday that an additional two soldiers have been arrested in connection with the video. BBC News has more.

 

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