By A. T. Williams
On 15 September 2003 Baha Mousa, a resort receptionist, was once killed by way of British military troops in Iraq. He have been arrested the day prior to this 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 through plastic handcuffs and were 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 undergo within the soiled concrete construction the place they have been held. different squaddies, officials, medics, the padre, didn't participate in the violence yet they observed what was once taking place and did not anything to prevent it. a few knew it used to be fallacious. a few weren't certain. a few have been too scared to intrude. yet none acknowledged something or adequate until eventually it was once a ways too past due and Baha Mousa have been overwhelmed to death.
This ebook tells the interior tale of those crimes and their aftermath. It examines the institutional brutality, the bureaucratic apathy, the incorrect army police inquiry and the farcical court docket martial that tried to carry humans criminally liable. although an entire public inquiry suggested its findings into the crimes in September 2011, its mandate constrained what it will probably say. the whole tale, advised with the ability of a true-crime reveal or court-room drama, indicates how this used to be no longer easily a couple of few undesirable males or 'rotten apples'. It shines a gentle on all these occupied with the crime and its research, from the bottom squaddie to the elite of the military and politicians in cupboard. What it unearths is devastating.
The Orwell Prize (2013)
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Additional info for A Very British Killing: The Death of Baha Mousa
In her 11 February entry in Cairo, Soueif imagines Makram’s statue poetically coming alive: ‘The uplifted hand of Omar Makram’s statue blesses us all and so does the half-moon, further up, nestling – truly – in the fronds of a palm tree’ (2012, p. 170). The coming to life of monuments has been a common trope in the fictional depiction of historical crises in post-imperial and post-independence literatures from Salman Rushdie in Midnight’s Children and Shame to Orhan Pamuk in The Black Book and The New Life.
7 Alaa al-Aswany explores these same sociological and political issues with greater depth, subtlety, and commitment than Salmawy in his writings from 2005 to 2010 (and this is ongoing). Across literature and journalism as well as through his more general public intellectual activism, he has managed to create a discourse of the revolution that seems more politically integral to the formerly growing and now ongoing sense of popular discontent. In February 2005, al-Aswany wrote: ‘We have so much poverty, unemployment, rampant social injustice, repression, vote rigging, and abuse of innocents that life has become impossible for millions of Egyptians’ (2011b, p.
Due to the parameters of this project, only some representative works that in various ways imagined or ‘anticipated’ the Egyptian uprising will be examined here. These include, besides Soueif, novels by Alaa al-Aswany, Mohammed Salmawy, and Ahmed Khaled Towfik. To use the term with which Ayman el-Desouky describes Mahfouz’s Children of the Alley, these works offer ‘a radical form of historical consciousness’ (2011, p. 433), one that is articulated particularly through the quests of the disenfranchised citizen and the public intellectual, both Indignados, to realize a project of ‘Tahrir’ across the political geographies of their street, square, city, country.
A Very British Killing: The Death of Baha Mousa by A. T. Williams