British Islamic leaders urge speedy prosecution of UK troops in abuse video

[JURIST Europe] Islamic leaders in Britain have demanded a speedy prosecution of British soldiers shown beating young Iraqi detainees [JURIST report] and defiling an Iraqi corpse in video images [NW recorded video] that were published [NW report] in the tabloid News of the World Sunday. The leaders expressed concerns that the 2004 video would cause further outrage among UK Muslims, already provoked over the Muslim cartoons controversy [JURIST archive], and would make it more difficult to contain rising anger among Islamic youth. Sir Iqbal Sacranie [Wikipedia profile], Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Britain [official website], also warned that the outrage could endanger the 8,000 British troops currently stationed in Iraq [MOD official website]. In anticipation of a possible backlash, British troops there have been placed on heightened alert.

UK Prime Minister Tony Blair has promised a full investigation into the incident and the as-yet-unidentified soldiers involved have been urged to turn themselves in. Through a spokesman, Iraq Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari has called [BBC report] for the British government "to bring the soldiers to justice immediately and to institute even more stringent measures of monitoring and assessing and making sure such incidents - that are so tragic - never happen again." The Times of London has more.

9:30 AM ET - The UK Ministry of Defense said Monday that one person has been arrested in connection with the abuse video, but no further details have yet been released. Reuters has more.

Tatyana Margolin is an Associate Editor for JURIST Europe, reporting European legal news from a European perspective. She is based in the UK.

 

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