Colonel David Benest reviews ‘The Death of Baha Mousa’

Colonel David Benest, now retired, is an expert on British counter-insurgency (COIN) and atrocities committed during COIN operations. His review of A.T. Williams’ shocking account of the killing of Baha Mousa in Iraq is relevant in many ways to the Scots Guards’ actions in Batang Kali in December 1948.  The essay was written originally for the British Army Review (BAR) but was rejected. I am pleased to be able to publish it here with David’s permission. On 14 September 2003 Baha Mousa, a hotel receptionist, was arrested in Basra by soldiers of The  Queen’s Lancashire Regiment (1 QLR) and taken to Battalion Main HQ for interrogation in connection with the murder of six RMP officers. Less than forty-eight hours later he was dead. This account is of how and why this death took place and its aftermath at a court martial in Bulford, Wiltshire. The author is a professor of law and Director of the Centre for Human Rights in Practice at the University of Warwick. His account covers three parts – the events in Iraq of 2003 (148 pages), investigations within Britain (45 pages) and the eventual court martial (76 pages). It is probably the most detailed exposition available […]
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