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Law firm Public Interest Lawyers (PIL) have said they had compiled thousands of allegations of abuse amounting to "war crimes of torture" or to "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment".
They were said to include beatings, burning, electric shocks and mock executions as well as sexual assault and humiliation, including forced nakedness and forced or simulated sexual acts, with "clear patterns" emerging of the same techniques being used again and again.
In a statement PIL said:
Claims that some British troops were responsible for a series of war crimes in Iraq will be examined by the International Criminal Court.
The court is reopening files it closed eight years ago, after a British law firm and a German human rights organisation submitted new information.
Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship reports on allegations of war crimes against British troops who served in Iraq.
Warning: The report contains images that some viewers may find disturbing.
A statement on the International Criminal Court website said that prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, had decided to re-open a preliminary examination into abuse in Iraq by UK troops. It previously concluded in 2006, following submission of further information to her office earlier this year.
"The new information received by the office alleges the responsibility of officials of the United Kingdom for war crimes involving systematic detainee abuse in Iraq from 2003 until 2008," the statement said.
"The re-opened preliminary examination will analyse, in particular, alleged crimes attributed to the armed forces of the United Kingdom deployed in Iraq between 2003 and 2008."
Attorney General Dominic Grieve has said the Government "completely rejects" the claim that UK forces have been responsible for systemic abuse and would do "whatever is necessary" to show any allegations were being dealt with within the British justice system.
He said that the Government "has been, and remains, a strong supporter" of the ICC. He added that he would provide the office of the prosecutor with "whatever is necessary to demonstrate that British justice is following its proper course".
The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court is to stage a "preliminary examination" into allegations of abuse by British forces in Iraq, Attorney General Dominic Grieve said today.