First Published: 2004-05-03

Daily Mirror: Iraq prisoner abuse photos genuine

David Kay suggests photographs have lent weight to calls for coalition troops to withdraw from Iraq.


Middle East Online

Blair condemned the photos - if genuine

LONDON - The London newspaper which published pictures apparently showing British troops abusing an Iraqi detainee on Monday denied suggestions that they are fakes.

Doubts arose Sunday over the authenticity of the shocking photos, after military sources quoted by the BBC said many aspects of the pictures were suspicious.

The British military has launched an investigation into photographs published Saturday in Britain's mass-circulation Daily Mirror newspaper appearing to show troops beating and urinating on a hooded Iraqi prisoner in a camp near Basra in British-controlled southern Iraq.

The Daily Mirror, an opponent of the Iraq war, said that the prisoner, aged 18-20, was savagely beaten before being thrown from a moving truck.

However, Britain's national broadcaster said unnamed sources close to the Queen's Lancashire Regiment, from whose soldiers the Daily Mirror said it had obtained the photos, believed several aspects of the pictures are suspicious.

The rifle appears to be an SA80 mk 1, which was not issued to soldiers in Iraq. Troops wear berets or hard hats, not the floppy hats as seen in the pictures. The truck in the photo also appears to be a type never used in Iraq.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Saturday condemned the photos - if genuine - as "completely and utterly unacceptable".

Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan said Sunday he stood by the story and hinted at more revelations after "sensational interviews" with the soldiers who provided them.

"We told the truth" the paper's Monday edition quoted the two British soldiers in question as saying.

"We stand by every single word of our story," they told the paper under cover of anonymity.

"This happened, it is not a hoax and the Army knows a lot more has happened," the pair were quoted as saying.

The anonymous sources added that the British army knew there were other pictures of similar incidents of prisoner abuse in Iraq.

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw appeared to leave the door open to possible compensation for any victims, though he stressed it was too early to prejudge the outcome of an inquiry underway.

"Of course it follows that we will accept whatever obligations there are upon us," he told BBC television.

"These allegations are taken extremely seriously and they will be investigated thoroughly."

The publication of the photographs in Britain came after pictures broadcast throughout the world appearing to show US soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners drew condemnation from international leaders.

Meanwhile fresh claims emerged of mistreatment of Iraqi detainees by British troops.

The television programme GMTV, on Britain's independent ITV channel, read out an account of an anonymous officer serving in the British army saying that abuse of Iraqi prisoners "was definitely heard of".

Fellow officers were "hugely annoyed and upset about it", he said.

He added "...people were literally getting serious, serious beating or kickings when they were plasticuffed - you're talking broken ribs, punctured lungs sort of thing."

The former chief of the group of experts responsible for finding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, David Kay, also waded into the debate, suggesting the photographs had lent weight to calls for coalition troops to withdraw.

"We are clearly at a crisis point," said Kay, who resigned in January saying there were no stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

Coalition troops must decide whether to stay in the country or accept they were "becoming the issue" and withdraw, he said.


Russia mulls supplying S-300 missile systems to Syria

Morocco, EU start talks on new fisheries deal

Bashir fires Sudan foreign minister

US has 'concerns' about Turkey holding fair vote under state of emergency

Saudi women embrace sports headscarves

FIFA to return to Morocco to check hotels, stadiums

Turkey in shock after violent Istanbul derby

Iraq pays first war reparations to Kuwait since 2014

Fiery kites adopted as new tactic by Gaza protesters

Romanian president slams plan to move Israel embassy

Western strikes on Syria bring no change whatsoever

Trump criticises OPEC for high oil prices

Syria says rebels south of capital surrender

Market has capacity to absorb higher oil prices: Saudi minister

Putin 'ready' for Trump summit

Saudi Arabia to host first public film screening

HRW criticises Lebanon for evicting Syria refugees

Saudi says intercepted ballistic missile from Yemen

Washington: Assad still has 'limited' chemical capability

European MPs urge US not to scrap Iran deal

Oil price soars to highest level in years

Two more pro-Kurdish MPs stripped of Turkey seats

Oil theft 'costing Libya over $750 million annually'

Turkey's snap polls: bold gambit or checkmate for Erdogan?

Iran arrests senior official over public concert

Bahrain sentences 24 to jail, strips citizenship

UN experts urge Iran to cancel Kurd's death sentence

Moderate quake strikes near Iran nuclear power plant

Syria regime forces caught in surprise IS attack

Turkey sentences 18 to life for killing ‘hero’ coup soldier

Exxon faces setback in Iraq as oil and water mix

Libya to clamp down on fuel smuggling

Yemen to arrest colonel for overlooking African migrant rape

Erdogan sends Turkey to snap polls on June 24

Qatar joins Gulf military exercise in apparent compromise

Saudi-Russia oil alliance likely to undercut OPEC

UN in security talks with Syria on chemical probe

Riyadh says two al Qaeda militants killed in Yemen

Record of women candidates in Lebanon, but you can't tell from TV

Sudan protests to UN over Egypt voting in disputed area

Erdogan calls Turkey snap polls for June 24

Rights watchdog say African migrants face rape, torture in Yemen

Nine years since last vote, Lebanon in election fever

Israeli fire neat Gaza border injures five Palestinian

Egypt army says killed jihadist leader in Sinai