MoD investigates PoW 'torture photos'

The Ministry of Defence has launched an investigation after photographs allegedly showing Iraqi prisoners of war being mistreated by British troops were discovered.

The photographs were discovered after they were handed in for development at a high street store and military police were called in.

It is understood that one of the photographs shows an Iraqi, bound and gagged, hanging from netting on a forklift truck.

The pictures are believed to have been taken by a soldier serving with the 1st Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. The soldier, whose rank has not been disclosed, is from Staffordshire.

If the photographs are found to be genuine, such treatment would constitute a breach of the Geneva Convention, which governs the treatment of PoWs.

The photographs have surfaced amid a series of controversial claims about the treatment of Iraqi prisoners by British troops. Northern Ireland-born Colonel Tim Collins of the Ist Battalion of the Royal Irish Regiment is currently under investigation by the MoD, following allegations made by an American officer about his treatment of both Iraqi civilians and prisoners of war.

Amnesty International also recently announced that they were investigating allegations from former Iraqi PoWs, who claimed that they had been mistreated by coalition forces in central and southern Iraq. The human rights organisation, which has members working in Iraq on a number of issues - including human rights abuses under Saddam Hussein’s regime - claims that some of the PoWs were civilians who were held on suspicion of being Iraqi militia. They also stated that one Saudi Arabian national claimed to have been subjected to electric shocks.

Amnesty researcher, Said Boumedouha, added that the mistreatment is alleged to have included “beatings with fists, with feet and also with weapons”.

A Ministry of Defence spokeswoman has confirmed that an investigation into the photographs is under way. “We cannot comment further,” she said, “but if there is any truth in these allegations, the MoD is appalled. We take responsibility to PoWs extremely seriously.”


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