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Friday, September 12, 2003

Incident: Mousa dies in British custody

According to media reports, this month, Baha Mousa, a 26 year old hotel receptionist from Basra will be seized in a raid on the hotel where he works. Four days later, his father will identify his battered corpse at the British military morgue.

According to Kifah Taha, who was taken with Mousa and four others, the following things occurred:

  • The soldiers that captured them had a competition to see which soldier could kickbox a prisoner the furthest;
  • Each prisoner was allegedly given a footballer's name and beaten if he failed to remember it.
  • Freezing water was allegedly poured through hoods placed over their heads.
One Iraqi police officer described Mousa's corpse:
"When they took the cover off his body I could see his nose was badly broken," said Daoud Moussa, a senior Iraqi police officer. "The skin of his wrists had been torn off. The skin on his forehead was torn away. On the left side of his chest there were clear blue bruises. On his legs I saw bruising from kicking." (source)
Mousa's father was initially offered $8000 for his son's death.

Four Queen's Lancashire Regiment soldiers will face charges of murder and abuse in relation to the death. Another seven soldiers and officers could face wider war crimes charges under legislation enacted in 2001 after the establishment of the International Criminal Court.

As of 03 March 2006, three soldiers belonging to the Queen's Lancashire Regiment are awaiting trial in Britain over Baha's death, one of them charged with manslaughter, the other two with "inhumane treatment."

According to a small article in the London Times, Colonel Mendonca, the commander of the troops charged over Baha's killing, will be promoted. Although he is facing trial for negligence, he will still be selected to attend a top military college aimed at "grooming the next generation of generals" (source).

Baha Mousa was variously known as Baha Dawoud Salem al-Maliki (source).


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