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6 I LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS Passion Islam I March 2010
Ex-UK commander admits
Iraqi torture, denies role
A former British army commander in it was important to stress that his some soldiers have said they were
Iraq, Colonel Jorge Mendonca, has subordinates had kept him in the ordered to perform by their seniors,
denied any involvement or knowledge dark. are gruesome.
of torture of civilian detainees by his Donald Payne is the sole soldier Payne has accused Mendonca
regiment. sentenced in the torture case, while and a platoon commander, Lt. Craig
Mendonca was cleared by a court ten other soldiers from Mendonca’s Rodgers, of physically attacking a
martial over the death of the 26-year- unit have also admitted assaulting group of prisoners and threatening to
old Iraqi hotel receptionist, Baha Mousa and six other Iraqis arrested set them on fire as well as punching
Mousa, but Britain’s only convicted with him. a detainee in front of more than one
war criminal accused the senior army Mendonca also defended the use hundred soldiers.
officer last November of being violent of the banned measures, including Military witnesses have told
towards detainees himself. hooding detainees, subjecting the inquiry, which began last July,
Mousa was killed with 93 injuries prisoners to stress positions and that troops under Col. Mendonca’s
to his body while in British custody in sleep deprivation. He claimed such command kicked a 12-year-old boy in
Basra in September 2003. measures were necessary to hinder the head for throwing a stone.
Mendonca told a public inquiry the prisoners’ communication or Mendonca has denied any
on Monday that while he accepted escape. knowledge of the incident.
responsibility for what had happened, The stories of violence, which
High Court rules on failure of Prison
Service on race and disability laws
The High Court of Justice has ruled that
the National Offender Management
Service had failed to comply with
disability and race laws in its treatment
of foreign national prisoners.
The ruling sends a clear message
to all public authorities of their
requirement to comply with race,
disability and gender discrimination
The Racial & Equality Commission
took Judicial Review proceedings
against the prison authority after it
implemented a policy of transferring
foreign prisoners to new facilities
without consideration of the impact
the move would have on disabled
or ethnic minority prisoners. This is
Service claiming that it had undertaken retrospective equality impact
despite widespread documentation
formal equality impact assessments in
assessments, which the Court said
by the prison inspectorate about
advance of implementing the policy.
satisfied the law.
the significant discrimination and
Instead, the Court found that the prison
Kay Carberry, Racial & Equality
disadvantage faced by disabled and
ethnic minority foreign prisoners.
service had failed to carry out formal
Commissioners, said: “We expect the
Public organisations, such as
assessments of any kind and it had
prison authority to monitor the impact
hospitals, councils and prisons,
failed to take account of processes
of the policy to make sure that foreign
are required by law to undertake
suggested in the statutory codes of
national prisoners are treated in the
assessments of how their policies
practice. The Judge described the
same way and have the same access
to supports and rehabilitation courses
will affect disabled people, ethnic
prison service’s reasons for failing
as all other prisoners.
minorities and women to ensure that
to comply with discrimination law as
“Britain should be leading by
any existing or new policies will not
example if we are to expect British
further disadvantage these groups. After the Racial & Equality
citizens held in prisons in democratic
The judge rejected arguments from Commission initiated proceedings,
countries to be treated under the same
the National Offender Management
the prison authority undertook
laws as local citizens.”
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