Court finds that British soldiers committed violations of the ECHR against four Iraqi civilians


Re: Alseran & Ors v Ministry of Defence [2017] EWHC 3289 (QB)

The four claims which are the subject of this judgment are part of a large group of claims known as the “Iraqi civilian litigation”. These cases related to claims for damages under general tort law and breaches of the Human Rights Act 1998.

The Court held that all of the claims in tort were time-barred but those under the 1998 Act were not. In the case of Alseran the Court held that as a civilian he ought not to have been detained at Camp Bucca as per international humanitarian law and awarded damages under the 1998 Act for “(i) the ill-treatment following his capture, in a sum of £10,000, and (ii) his unlawful detention for 27 days, in a sum of £2,700”.

Al-Waheed was awarded damages of “(i) £15,000 in respect of the beating which he suffered after his arrest; (ii) £15,000 in respect of the further inhuman and degrading treatment which he suffered encompassing harsh interrogation, being deprived of sleep and being deprived of sight and hearing; and (iii) £3,300 in respect of his unlawful detention for 33 days”. Finally, MRE and KSU were awarded damages for their hooding with sandbags “for which they are each awarded damages of £10,000; (b) an eye injury sustained by MRE as a result of the hooding, for which he is awarded additional damages of £1,000; (c) the blow struck to MRE’s head, for which he is awarded general damages of £15,000 together with £1,440 for the cost of medical treatment; and (d) six days of unlawful imprisonment, for which MRE and KSU are each awarded damages of £600”.

Richard Hermer QC, Helen Law and Edward Craven were involved in this case.