Allegations against British forces

Three reports contained in the war logs detail allegations of British abuses of Iraqi detainees during the summer of 2008.

The first, dated June 23, chronicles the detention five days previously of a Shia Iraqi male in his thirties who is considered to be a “possible insurgent”.

Arrested in southern Iraq, where British troops were based, the man claims to have been punched in the face, kicked and struck with a weapon to the chest.

Upon medical examination at a British medical facility, it is thought he “likely has a rib fracture”. Processed and transferred into American hands, he then claims to have been abused by “unknown” British forces during capture.

Although the logs form part of the US record of the occupation, British troops are mentioned on occasions when coalition forces come into contact through joint operations or prisoner transfer.

On September 2 another report is logged in which allegations are made of torture at the hands of British troops the day before.

“[Victim] states that they dragged him through his house to a plastic water bowl, blindfolded him, dunked his head underwater, held a pistol to his head and then kicked him in the midsection for approximately 30-60 minutes. Claims he did not tell British medical personnel because he was afraid.”

However, the report continues that the detainee changed his story on several occasions and that his injuries – “abrasions on his shins and elbow, as well as an abrasion on his lip” – appear “uncorroborated with the alleged claims”.

The last recorded incident appears three days later, when startling accusations are made. The detainee, who has since been transferred to Baghdad airport for interrogation, claims to have been “struck 4-5 times on his ribs and then choked for 30 minutes”.

As with the previous case, the examining US “physician assistant” reports no sign of bruising or signs of abuse, and the file concludes that the claims are uncorroborated.

The outcomes of any further investigations are not included in the files.