MoD admits soldiers violated Iraqi’s human rights

Iraqi detainees tortured by British troops will receive compensation after the Ministry of Defence admitted it failed to protect their human rights.

Des Browne acknowledged there had been “substantive breaches” of articles two and three – the right to life and prohibition of torture – of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The admission, coming in a written ministerial statement, follows the high court fight for compensation by the family of Basra hotel receptionist Baha Mousa.

Mr Mousa died in custody of British soldiers in 2003 after sustaining 93 injuries.

As well has effectively admitting culpability over the death of the 26-year-old, the MoD accepts UK soldiers tortured eight other Iraqi detainees.

Armed forces minister Bob Ainsworth apologised to the families of Mr Mousa and the other Iraqi detainees and said he ‘deeply regretted’ the actions of a “very small number of troops”.

“All but a handful of the over 120,000 British troops who have served in Iraq have conducted themselves to the highest standards of behaviour, displaying integrity and selfless commitment. But this does not excuse that during 2003 and 2004 a very small minority committed acts of abuse and we condemn their actions,” Mr Ainsworth continued.

“The army has done a great deal since these cases to improve procedures and training. But we are not complacent and continue to demand the very highest standards of conduct from all our troops.”