A group of Iraqi civilians are to sue the Danish Army for damages, after new evidence suggests that they were handed over to Iraqi forces following their arrests in south Basra and subsequently tortured.
A previously undisclosed report, written by Colonel John Dalby, documents how the Danish battalion was involved in the arrests of 36 people on 24th November 2004, despite his previous claims that it was only British and Iraqi troops involved.
If Denmark is found to have handed the civilians over, the military could be held responsible for their treatment in prison, as the 1949 Geneva Convention states that the prisoners’ safety is the responsibility of those who arrested them.
In an interview with Politken, two of the arrested Iraqis gave their account of events.
“Everyone in town was used to seeing soldiers,” one of the Iraqis said. “And the soldiers who arrested me had Danish flags on the shoulders of their uniforms, and on their vehicles it stated they were from Denmark,” he added.
The men went on to explain that after they were handed over to Iraqi forces, they were electrocuted, beaten and hung from hooks.
The Danish military has continued to deny the claims, however, with Dalby telling Politiken, “We were supporting an Iraqi operation. They were responsible for the arrests and afterwards we searched for weapons with the British. My people could have been inside the houses, but I’m very sure that none of my people arrested anyone. Nor did we interrogate anyone, the Brits were responsible for that before the Iraqis took away the prisoners,” he said.