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Iraqi POWs 'tortured by British and Americans'

Iraqi civilian prisoners of war claim they have been tortured by British and US troops.

A researcher for Amnesty International said he had interviewed at least 20 former prisoners of war who claimed they were beaten while in custody.

Researcher Said Boumedouha said at least one man said he had received electro-shock torture.

He acknowledged that Amnesty International had not presented any of the claims to British or US forces for any response.

He said: "We still have people on the ground in Iraq and we will continue to gain testimonies. Once that is complete we hope to provide a full dossier to present to the British and American authorities as well as publishing ourselves."

Mr Boumedouha estimated up to half of the 20 people he interviewed were civilians and the rest military.

He said: "In one case we are talking about electric shocks being used against a man and in others people are being beaten for the whole night and are still being kicked and their teeth broken, I think you would call that torture."

The researcher said all the people he interviewed were free at the time he met them and most had been detained in and around Basra.

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08:15 Wednesday 26th March 2003


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