Vladimir Radyuhin / The Hindu – 2004-07-28 11:15:37
MOSCOW (JULY 23, 2004) — The United States suffers far heavier casualties in Iraq than it officially admits, a Russia military diplomat claimed.
The actual US military losses in Iraq may have reached 2,000 personnel, more than twice the official figure of 900, as Washington badly understates its casualty statistics, a military diplomatic source told the Itar-Tass news agency.
“Official statistics do not include casualties among non-US nationals who sign up to serve in the American armed forces in order to get a US `green card.’ According to reliable information the share of non-Americans in the US force in Iraq may be as high as 60 percent,” the source said. “The real number of US losses may be as high as 2,000 casualties and up to 12,000 wounded,” the military diplomat said.
High Court Reviews Iraqi Deaths
(July 28, 2004) — The families of six Iraqi civilians who say their relatives were unlawfully killed by British troops are beginning a judicial review. They are challenging the UK government’s refusal to hold an independent inquiry into the deaths.
The deaths of the Iraqis, including Baha Mousa, will be the focus of the High Court review starting on Wednesday. Mr Mousa’s father, Daoud, a colonel in the Basra police, will attend the three-day hearing in London. He described the severe beating of his son as an “horrendous” crime, for which no one has been arrested.
“When I saw my son’s body, I was horrified,” Mr Mousa said. “He had been beaten so severely, I could not bear to look at him. We were offered $5,000 but my family turned this down because it was an insult to our dignity. The crime was horrendous and his two sons, aged three and five, have been left fatherless,” he added.
The six test cases all dating from the end of the Iraq war include the shootings of four Iraqi civilians, allegedly by soldiers from the Kings Own Regiment. The victims were either at home, walking in the street or driving when they were shot.
Baha Mousa was allegedly beaten to death in police custody. Both his death and the death of an Iraqi police commissioner were allegedly caused by soldiers from the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment.
Two High Court judges must decide whether the Human Rights Act 1998 applies to the British troops in South East Iraq during the period of occupation and, if so, whether there should be an independent inquiry to investigate the alleged deaths of Iraqi civilians.
The Iraqi families’ solicitor, Phil Shiner, of Public Interest Lawyers, said the defence secretary’s case was that the Human Rights Act did not apply.
More Alleged Victims
If the High Court found in favour of a public inquiry, he and other lawyers would represent 37 Iraqi families whose relatives had allegedly been either killed, tortured or seriously injured by British troops.
“This case involves issues which are not only important to the victims and their families and their right to redress, but also extremely significant in having the capacity to ensure that future conflicts, occupation and peacekeeping operations are subject to human rights law.”
Mr Mousa will be joined in court by Iraqi hotel worker Kifah Taha Al-Mutari, who was arrested at the same time as his son. Mr Al-Mutari said he was so severely beaten during three days in British custody that he suffered kidney failure. “I wish to know why I was detained and treated so badly by British troops and I believe there should be an independent investigation,” he said through an interpreter.
“I have been told that a British medical expert concluded that I could have died of my injuries. I believe my treatment by British soldiers was inhumane, illegal and unjustified.”
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