< HOME  Monday, February 13, 2006

winning HEARTS and MINDS

The account speaks for itself.
[S]ome local teenagers interviewed by IRIN claimed that they, too, had been subjected to violence by British military personnel.

Haydar Abdullah, a 16-year-old Basra resident said he was abused in July of last year.

"We stopped to speak to them [British forces] because we were curious to see a military tank," he said. "But one of the soldiers came over angrily and started to shout at his colleagues and hit me in the face."

After being forced inside the tank, Abdullah recalled being forced by a soldier to look at pornographic pictures. "Then one of the soldiers took my hand and started to press it over his genital area, saying words I couldn't understand," he continued.

Shortly afterwards, Abdullah said the soldiers kicked him and his relatives until one of them lost consciousness.

"All of us were badly hurt because their boots are very heavy," he said. "I still suffer from pain in my stomach because of my injuries."

Abdullah's father tried to lodge a complaint at the British military base in Basra, but said he was unable to approach the compound's main gate.

Another youth recalled a similar experience.

"My friend and I were playing football near a British military compound last year when six British soldiers came over and began shouting and swearing at us," said 14-year-old Basra resident Ali Razak.

"They started hitting us and kicking our genital areas," Razak recalled. "Later, two of the soldiers took my friend aside and raped him in front of me."

In 2005, three British soldiers serving in Iraq were jailed and dismissed from the army for involvement in prisoner abuse.
This is NOT good.


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