More than 200 former inmates of a British interrogation centre known as the Joint Forces Interrogation Team (JFIT) have submitted statements to the UK High Court accusing UK forces of systematic and brutal mistreatment which could amount to war crimes.
The court has been told there is evidence that detainees were starved, deprived of sleep, subjected to sensory deprivation and threatened with execution at JFIT. It also received allegations that prisoners were beaten, forced to kneel in stressful positions for up to 30 hours at a time, and that some men detained by British forces were subjected to electric shocks.
Some of the 222 men bringing proceedings say they were subject to sexual humiliation by women soldiers, while others allege that they were held for days in brightly-lit cells as small as one metre square.
The UK Ministry of Defence has said that a public inquiry would be costly and unnecessary, and that a team of investigators should be permitted to continue its own investigation into the allegations, which it insists remain “unproven”.
The men’s lawyers say that an investigation by the military of the military would fail to meet the UK’s obligations under the European convention on human rights.
We say that if the UK military have nothing to hide, then why not allow a full, thorough and independent investigation of the allegations?