Photo: Spain Investigating Video of Soliders Kicking Iraqi Prisoner 10 Years Ago
The Spanish Defense Ministry will investigate the authenticity of a video apparently showing Spanish soldiers kicking an Iraqi prisoner on the Diwaniya base 10 years ago, an event that - if true - would be the first known case of mistreatment by Spanish troops on an international mission.
Sources at the ministry consulted by Efe said that the first task is to determine if the images published Sunday by the daily El Pais on its Web page “are real” and, if so, “of course the appropriate measures will be taken.”
In the video, five soldiers are shown brutally kicking a prisoner, apparently an Iraqi.
The same ministry sources said that the Spanish military has been greatly “affected” by the events shown in the video because of their nature but also because the military’s overall image is adversely affected by behavior of that kind.
Former Foreign Minister Trinidad Jimenez, of the Socialist opposition, demanded Sunday that blame be allocated “if possible” in the case in which five Spanish soldiers participate in abusing detainees at Diwaniya, although she said she felt that the incident was an “isolated” case.
She went on to say that the incident was “regrettable” and “very tragic” for the image of the Spanish armed forces, although she added that it directly affects and involves only those soldiers shown in the video.
She also made the point that the video was taken before the Socialist government of Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero came to power.