Iraqis seek 'abuse' inquiry

A lawyer for 192 Iraqi civilians, who claim they were systematically abused by British soldiers, is asking the High Court for a public inquiry into their allegations.

Claims of 'terrifying brutality' by British troops in Iraq

Lawyers acting for Iraqi civilians have said that British troops were guilty of "terrifying acts of brutality," as a High Court hearing got underway into whether there should be a public inquiry into their allegations.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond is investigating the claims through the Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT), but Public Interest Lawyers say IHAT is not sufficiently independent.

Speaking before the hearing began this morning, lawyer Phil Shiner said: "There are unfortunately a lot more Baha Mousa cases out there - of deaths in custody following ill-treatment and torture by British forces."

A public inquiry into Mousa's death, in British custody in Iraq in September 2003, concluded it was caused by a combination of his weakened physical state and a final struggle with his guards - and named 19 soldiers who were involved in beating him.

Lawyer: 'Tens of thousands' of Iraqi abuse cases

Phil Shiner was speaking outside the Royal Courts of Justice before a hearing into whether there should be a public inquiry.

A lawyer representing Iraqi civilians who claim they were abused by British soldiers in Iraq, has said there are "tens of thousands" of allegations of mistreatment from "hundreds and hundreds of people."

Phil Shiner, from Public Interest Lawyers, said he's presenting the cases of 192 Iraqis at the High Court.

He said: "some of the cases are truly shocking", and listed claims of the unlawful killing of a 62-year-old grandmother, an eight-year-old girl playing with friends, and a man shot as he slept.

They are asking for an independent judge-led inquiry into the conduct of UK forces in Iraq.

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Lawyers: Public inquiry needed over Iraq abuse claims

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond plans to investigate claims by 180 Iraqis that they were tortured by British soldiers through the Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT), which includes members of the Royal Navy Police (RNP).

But the Public Interest Lawyers representing the Iraqis argue justice requires a fully independent public inquiry. Ministry of Defence lawyers are opposing the application.

An MOD spokesman recently said: "The IHAT is the most effective way of investigating these unproven allegations rather than a costly public inquiry."

Iraqis to seek public inquiry over torture allegations

Representatives of 180 Iraqi civilians, who claim they were abused by British soldiers in Iraq, will visit the High Court today seeking a public inquiry into their allegations.

The High Court in central London. Credit: Press Assocation

Lawyers for the Iraqis allege there were a number of unlawful killings as well as incidents of torture from March 2003 to December 2008 in British-controlled detention facilities.