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Baha Mousa

Leigh Day represented the family of Baha Mousa and the nine detainees in civil proceedings against the Ministry of Defence for torture and unlawful treatment.

Baha Mousa, a 26-year-old hotel receptionist, and nine others were detained by British Forces in Basra, southeastern Iraq, in September 2003. Thirty-six hours later, Baha Mousa was dead.

He had been beaten and subjected to “conditioning techniques” such as hooding, sleep deprivation and stress positions. An autopsy found 93 separate injuries on his body, including fractured ribs and a broken nose.

Leigh Day represented the family of Baha Mousa and the nine detainees in civil proceedings against the Ministry of Defence for torture and unlawful treatment. In July 2008 the Ministry of Defence agreed a settlement worth £2.83 million.

In May 2008, the UK Government announced that a public inquiry would be held to examine the cir- cumstances which led to the death of Baha Mousa and the ill-treatment of nine others and the degree to which the use of “conditioning techniques” – banned by the UK Government since 1972 – was authorised by the Army Chain of Command. Leigh Day jointly represented the nine victims and the family of Baha Mousa in the public inquiry.

In 2011 the inquiry was concluded and in his report the Inquiry Chairman, Sir William Gage, was highly critical of the Ministry of Defence for systemic failings which he directly implicated in the death of Baha Mousa.

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