British military manuals leaked to The Guardian and used to train interrogators in techniques involving humiliation, disorientation, exhaustion and fear may violate international laws.
The training manuals describe a number of interrogation techniques used to “pressure” detainees. Some of these techniques include enforced nakedness, sensory deprivation, humiliating cavity searches, and stress positions.
The manuals leaked to The Guardian were created in 2005 and 2008, and included some “more recent” materials.
One manual, prepared in April of 2008, informs interrogators to keep prisoners in conditions of physical discomfort and encourages enforced nakedness.
“Get them naked,” as another manual says. “Keep them naked if they do not follow commands.”
Another teaches interrogators to “search” behind prisoners’ foreskin and spread prisoners’ buttocks.
The manuals also advise interrogators to conduct their interrogations in “nasty” locations that are “out of hearing” and “away from the media.”
According to Ian Cobain of The Guardian, these techniques may violate the 1949 Geneva Conventions, which prohibit “physical or moral coercion” to obtain information. The Conventions also ban “humiliating and degrading treatment.”
The report comes after thousands of documents released by WikiLeaks showed evidence of detainee abuse in Iraq.
“US interrogators continued to question Iraqi detainees, some of whom were still recovering from injuries or whose wounds were still visible after being held by Iraqi security forces,” the Associated Press reports.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay says the files released by WikiLeaks raise “concerns that serious breaches of international human rights law have occurred in Iraq.”
British troops are accused of abusing prisoners in first days of the Iraq invasion in 2003, The Independent reported Saturday.
The Ministry of Defense is facing more than 100 cases in which Iraqis allege they were abused or tortured by British forces during the occupation of Iraq. The newly created Iraq Historic Allegations Team has been created to investigate the incidents.
A spokesman says the Ministry of Defense is “examining in detail current detention practices, including the training of tactical questioning and interrogation.”