UK forces alleged to be secretly holding Iraqi prisoners without charge

[JURIST] The British military has held the last two Iraqis in its custody without charge or access to lawyers for five years, similar to US detentions at Guantanamo, lawyers for the men alleged in a report published in the Independent Sunday. Faisal Attiyah Nassar al-Saadoon and Khalaf Hussain Mufdhi, both supposedly involved in the deaths of two British soldiers [BBC report] in 2003, wrote in a letter to Prime Minister Gordon Brown [official website] that they were not involved in the soldiers' deaths and that they should either be released or given a fair trial. A lawyer for Public Interest Lawyers [firm website], retained by the men's families to work for their release in the British courts, said that the detentions are groudless. The men are at a British Army base at Basra airport, even though British officials have said their case is now before the Iraqi High Tribunal [official website]. The High Court in London will likely hear the claim regarding their detention within the next week.

In May, the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) [official website] announced plans to conduct a 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. In March, UK Secretary of State for Defence Des Browne [profile] admitted that British soldiers had violated the rights of detainees [JURIST report] in Basra in 2003, and that the MOD would specifically admit to substantive breaches of the European Convention on Human Rights [text, PDF].

 

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