[JURIST] Amnesty International welcomed [advocacy press release] Saturday the recently-announced public inquiry [MOD press release; JURIST report] into the death of Baha Mousa [BBC report; JURIST news archive], an Iraqi hotel receptionist who died in British military custody in 2003. The organization called the inquiry "long overdue" but expressed concern that the investigation could lack impartiality if governed by a 2005 UK law [text] allowing the Secretary of State for Defence to conduct such inquiries. BBC has more.
Mousa's death allegedly resulted from abuse by the British troops who had arrested him and nine other Iraqis in a Basra hotel where weapons and suspected bomb-making materials were found. The nine other Iraqis alleged that they were tortured by British soldiers and filed a suit for damages against the MOD. Seven soldiers faced court-martial [BBC timeline] in connection with Mousa's death, but only Corporal David Payne received a jail sentence after pleading guilty [JURIST reports] to a charge of inhumane treatment. All other charges were dismissed [JURIST report].