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UK officers under investigation for waterboarding colleague

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Cadets marching at the UK military's Sandhurst military academy. (AFP file photo)

The UK military has launched an investigation into accusations that two of its officers have subjected their colleague to the act of waterboarding.

During the August 7 incident, the two officer cadets at Britain’s Sandhurst military academy allegedly pinned down the other officer, put a cloth on his face and poured water over it, the Sun newspaper reported on Saturday.

The practice is considered torture by the British government.

Brigadier Bill Wright, Sandhurst’s commander, told the media that he had ordered the Royal Military Police to investigate the allegations.

“The Army and I expect the highest standards of behavior at Sandhurst; anyone found to have fallen short is dealt with robustly, including dismissal, if appropriate,” he said.

According to the Sun, all three cadets involved in the matter were put on leave and had been moved into separate platoons for the course of the investigation.

Sandhurst, located 30 miles (50 kilometers) southwest of London, is known for having trained British army officers for over two centuries, including members of the Royal family such as Prince William and Prince Harry.

The officer training school introduces itself as a “national center of excellence for leadership.”

The growing issues of bullying and sexual harassment within various ranks prompted former British army general Nicholas Carter to bring in a new code of conduct three years ago. The former commander urged Sandhurst cadets to show “no tolerance” against prejudice.

The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) notoriously put the practice – which simulates drowning -- into use after the September 11, 2001 in New York until former US President Barack Obama banned it in 2009.

Earlier this year, two reports by the UK parliamentary intelligence and security committee revealed that British intelligence agencies were involved in the torture and kidnap of terrorism suspects after the 9/11 attacks.

Donald Trump, Obama’s successor, has made it clear that he would allow waterboarding and other tortures – or as the US government calls it “enhanced interrogation techniques” – to be used against terror suspects when necessary.


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