By A. T. Williams
On 15 September 2003 Baha Mousa, a resort receptionist, was once killed by means of British military troops in Iraq. He have been arrested the day before today in Basra and used to be taken to an army base for wondering. For forty-eight hours he and 9 different blameless civilians had their heads encased in sandbags and their wrists sure by means of plastic handcuffs and have been kicked and punched with sustained cruelty.
A succession of guards and informal military viewers took excitement in beating the Iraqis, humiliating them, forcing them into tension positions in temperatures as much as 50 levels Centigrade, and staring at them endure within the soiled concrete development the place they have been held. different infantrymen, officials, medics, the padre, didn't participate in the violence yet they observed what was once occurring and did not anything to prevent it. a few knew it used to be mistaken. a few weren't certain. a few have been too scared to intrude. yet none stated whatever or adequate until eventually it used to be a ways too past due and Baha Mousa were overwhelmed to death.
This e-book tells the interior tale of those crimes and their aftermath. It examines the institutional brutality, the bureaucratic apathy, the improper army police inquiry and the farcical courtroom martial that tried to carry humans criminally liable. even if an entire public inquiry pronounced its findings into the crimes in September 2011, its mandate limited what it may well say. the complete tale, informed with the ability of a true-crime disclose or court-room drama, exhibits how this used to be now not easily a few few undesirable males or 'rotten apples'. It shines a mild on all these keen on the crime and its research, from the bottom squaddie to the elite of the military and politicians in cupboard. What it finds is devastating.
The Orwell Prize (2013)
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Additional resources for A Very British Killing: The Death of Baha Mousa
5 In principle Zoroastrian dualism, like Judaic monotheism, could be seen as a truth for all mankind; in practice the lesson of Manichaeism, as of Christianity, is that to make the universal message universally available was not to export the religion but to create a new one. 6 Like Judaism, Zoroastrianism could tolerate a limited penumbra of gentile adherents: the collaborating aristocrats of subject peoples in the Iranian case correspond to the spiritual fellow-travellers of the Jewish case. But Zoroastrianism remained fundamentally a religious persuasion rooted in the land of its birth.
In sum, Zoroastrianism was built to be at once horizontally exclusive and vertically inclusive: the faith, in other words, of a nation. But if the national roles of Ahura Mazda and Yahweh are strikingly similar, their ecological roles are diametrically opposed. Yahweh was the God of the barbarian conquerors of a settled and civilised Canaan: in his name they came out of the desert, and in his name they withdrew to the ghetto when eventually the conquest was reversed. Ahura Mazda by contrast was the God of a setded Canaanite society defending its way of life against nomadic invaders; he does not perhaps appear as a culturally 42 The imperial civilisations sophisticated deity in the manner of Enki, but he is in no wise a committed barbarian in the manner of Yahweh.
First, there are indications from the Islamic side of the relative insignificance of the category of religious law in Hagarism. J; 8 and equally, the scripture which Hagarism bequeathed to classical Islam was one distinctly low in halakhic content. 9 Secondly, it is worth noting that in so far as there are indications oflegal awareness, they point to a holy law based squarely if naively on scripture. 10 There can in fact be little doubt that Islam acquired its classical rabbinic form in the shadow of Babylonian Judaism.
A Very British Killing: The Death of Baha Mousa by A. T. Williams