MOD obtains gagging order

Media banned from reporting Iraq abuse allegations

The High Court has imposed an order preventing media publicity of allegations of abuse by British soldiers serving in Iraq.

Lawyers for Iraqi families launched a High Court challenge on human rights grounds to the Ministry of Defence’s refusal to set up an independent inquiry into allegations brought against personnel serving in Iraq in 2004. The Ministry’s position is there no case to answer. The legal challenge maintains that it is the duty of the state to mount a full independent enquiry. The claims had been publicised in the media previously but the Court made the order, which is due to be challenged by the media in 2008, to preserve the position of both parties pending determination of whether an inquiry should be held.