Panorama: On Whose Orders?
Panorama on BBC One on Monday talks to Lord Goldsmith, the former Attorney General, and General Sir Mike Jackson and asks them how the British Army reintroduced to Iraq five interrogation techniques, banned over 30 years ago.
The film, broadcast at 8.30pm, examines the consequences of bringing back the banned five techniques now that solicitiors are launching claims for compensation on behalf of Iraqis alleging mistreatment.
The programme goes on to weigh the evidence from the “Battle of Danny Boy” which is at the centre of the latest legal challenge.
Iraqi prisoners have made serious allegations of abuse against the British Army which the MoD is now reinvestigating despite previous inquiries which found nobody to be at fault.
Iraqi prisoners captured by the Army on 14 May 2004 and taken back to Camp Abu Naji claim other prisoners taken alive with them off the battlefield were killed that night by the British in Camp Abu Naji.
Iraqi medical staff who received the bodies returned by the Army the next day say some of the bodies show signs of torture. They claim that there is evidence that people died later in Camp Abu Naji and not in the battlefield.
The MoD deny the allegations. They say the injuries are consistent with modern battlefield injuries and that the claims of deaths at the camp may arise from an unusual decision to remove bodies from the battlefield and take them to the base.
Panorama has spent over a year talking to battlefield survivors, medical staff, and Iraqi former prisoners in Iraq, Turkey and Jordan.
The programme critically examines claims made by lawyers who are representing the Iraqis in their action against the British Government.
Of all the allegations they make the programme concludes that the evidence is strongest that prisoners were mistreated.
Panorama has seen no proof that prisoners died at the hands of their captors at or after the battle of “Danny Boy”.
Whatever the outcome of any potential court case it is hard to avoid the conclusion that bringing back back the five techniques – banned as inhuman in 1972 – has made the Army’s position more difficult.
Panorama, Monday 25 February 2008, 8.30pm, BBC One