terça-feira, 1 de dezembro de 2009

Britain probes new claims of abuse by troops in Iraq

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's defense ministry said on Saturday it was investigating fresh complaints that its troops had abused prisoners in Iraq.

News of the probe came after the Independent newspaper reported that Phil Shiner, a lawyer acting for detainees, had catalogued 33 new cases of abuse since the 2003 invasion, including rape and torture.

The paper reported that, for the first time, female soldiers were accused of aiding in the sexual and physical abuse of detainees.

Armed forces minister Bill Rammell said in a statement that the claims were being taken seriously, but that formal investigations needed to take place "without judgments being made prematurely."

He told the BBC that not all the cases were new and "that about seven have come in within the last month."

In one case, soldiers are accused of piling Iraqi prisoners on top of each other and subjecting them to electric shocks, the Independent reported.