An Iraqi family, whose son was allegedly drowned by British Armed Forces in Iraq, has won their fight for compensation from the Ministry of Defence.
Saeed Shabram, 18, of Basra, Iraq, had been captured by British troops on suspicion of looting in May 2003, and was marched with his cousin, Menem Akaili, into the Shatt al-Arab River by soldiers in an act of “wetting” – an unofficial action intended to humiliate the perpetrators of petty crime in the area.
Bystanders dragged Menem out of the river, but Saeed´s body disappeared. Saeed´s father employed a diver to search for Saeed and, after a four hour wait, Saeed´s motionless body was pulled from the river – bloated and covered with bruises.
After seeking legal guidance, the Shabram family sued the Ministry of Defence for wrongful death and shortly before the case was to be heard in London´s Royal Courts of Justice, lawyers representing the family announced that an out-of-court settlement had been agreed.
While not admitting liability for the wrongful death of Saeed, the Ministry of Defence agreed to pay 100,000 pounds to his family and a further undisclosed sum to Menem.