Iraqi prisoners of war were mistreated by UK troops are being
investigated, after photographs allegedly showing the abuse were
The MoD says reports of abuse will be
A British soldier has been arrested on suspicion of taking the
pictures, including one showing an Iraqi, bound and gagged, hanging
from netting on a fork-lift truck.
Police were called in after the photographs were handed into a
store in Tamworth, Staffordshire, for developing.
If the pictures are found to show real Iraqis, and have not been
stage-managed, such treatment would be a breach of the Geneva
Convention which governs the treatment of POWs, says the Ministry of
An MoD spokeswoman said an investigation into the allegations was
"We can confirm that an investigation is being conducted into
allegations that a soldier took photographs depicting mistreatment
of Iraqi POWs.
"We cannot comment further. But if there is any truth in these
allegations the MoD is appalled.
"We take responsibility to POWs extremely seriously.
THIRD GENEVA CONVENTION
Basic food rations should keep prisoners in
Suitable clothing should be supplied,
preferably prisoners' original uniforms
Prisoners must be protected against violence
or intimidation, insults and public curiosity
POWs should be released and repatriated after
"The Geneva Convention makes clear that 'prisoners of war are
entitled to respect to their persons and their honour'.
"Any allegation that this has been breached must be seriously and
"The individual concerned was arrested yesterday by Staffordshire
Police and is in custody."
Lesley Warner, from Amnesty International, said: "If these
allegations are true they are very clearly against the Geneva
"There is no doubt at all if prisoners of war were suspended from
a net it is clearly degrading treatment and it should be
The pictures are believed to have been taken by a soldier serving
in the 1st battalion Royal Regiment of Fusiliers - part of the 7th
Armoured Brigade, nicknamed the Desert Rats.
The pictures were handed into a store in
The soldier - whose rank has not been disclosed - lives in
Colonel Bob Stewart, former army officer, said: "If someone has
done this then it devalues the British Army which is a great pity.
"That's why the British Army understands that if there's an
accusation it must be rigorously pursued and proved either guilty or
An investigation is already under way into allegations that
Colonel Tim Collins, former commanding officers of the 1st Royal
Irish Regiment, mistreated Iraqi civilians and prisoners - although
the two cases are not linked.
Col Collins has strongly denied the claims.