Friday, July 01 2016

UK Military Interrogators Taught to Humiliate, Strip and Threaten Detainees

Prisoner abuse
 The Guardian has discovered that the British military has been training interrogators in techniques that breach the Geneva Convention. These techniques include threats, sensory deprivation and enforced nakedness.

From The Guardian:

“Training materials drawn up secretly in recent years tell interrogators they should aim to provoke humiliation, insecurity, disorientation, exhaustion, anxiety and fear in the prisoners they are questioning, and suggest ways in which this can be achieved.”

“One PowerPoint training aid created in September 2005 tells trainee military interrogators that prisoners should be stripped before they are questioned. ‘Get them naked,’ it says. ‘Keep them naked if they do not follow commands.’ Another manual prepared around the same time advises the use of blindfolds to put prisoners under pressure.”

“A manual prepared in April 2008 suggests that ‘Cpers’ – captured personnel – be kept in conditions of physical discomfort and intimidated. Sensory deprivation is lawful, it adds, if there are ‘valid operational reasons’. It also urges enforced nakedness.

“More recent training material says blindfolds, earmuffs and plastic handcuffs are essential equipment for military interrogators, and says that while prisoners should be allowed to sleep or rest for eight hours in each 24, they need be permitted only four hours unbroken sleep. It also suggests that interrogators tell prisoners they will be held incommunicado unless they answer questions.”

“The 1949 Geneva conventions prohibit any ‘physical or moral coercion’, in particular any coercion employed to obtain information.”

The material offers recommendations on where to carry out the interrogation techniques – the chosen location should be “out of hearing and away from the media.” It offers advice on how to “condition” prisoners before questioning, with useful reactions including “insecurity, disorientation and humiliation.”

The Guardian reports that all the material was produced after the death of Baha Mousa, an Iraqi civilian, at the hands of British soldiers in September 2003. Baha Mousa sustained 93 separate injuries, including fractured ribs and a broken nose. He was heard screaming “Oh my God, I'm going to die, I'm going to die. Leave me alone, please leave me alone for five minutes.” His wife died of cancer shortly before his death leaving his two sons, Hassan and Hussein, orphaned.

Over 100 other Iraqi civilians that were held and interrogated by British forces between 2003 and 2007 are to take their cases to the high court in London. Among the abuses documented by a team of lawyers that represent them are electric shocks; sound, sleep and sight deprivation; and enforced nakedness. It is stated in The Guardian article that the court may not be aware of this recent training material.

This revelation comes at a time when WikiLeaks revealed more than 390,000 previously secret military reports that detailed the hidden realities of the war on Iraq. The leaks revealed civilians gunned down at checkpoints, the abuse of Iraqi prisoners, and the use of air power against family homes – among others.

The report in The Guardian and the WikiLeaks revelations on the killing of civilians in both the Iraq and Afghanistan offensives, in addition to the abuse of prisoners; the complicity of UK security services in the torture of British Muslims; and the killing of Baha Mousa all converge to bring home one important point: that this so-called 'war on terror' cannot and must not be fought by any means necessary. Our methods of military engagement and post-conflict reconstruction and peace-building must be done in a manner that adheres to international law and international humanitarian law so as to uphold our moral authority in international affairs and to ensure that we 'uphold our own values, not by imposing them on others but by being an inspiring example of them ourselves,' as the Conservative Party put it in their 2010 election manifesto. At this time, rather than uplhold our moral authority, the revelations have only led to the moral bankruptcy of the UK.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 October 2010 14:55


0 #1 Why teach systematic torture?Corporal Payne 2010-10-28 16:38
We do not torture, ( but we aid & abett our allies that do! )
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