An Iraqi family, whose son was supposedly killed by British Armed Forces in Iraq, has won its fight for wrongful death compensation from the Ministry of Defence.
Saeed Shabram, 18, of Basra, Iraq, had been held by British troops on suspicion of looting in May 2003, and was taken 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 took 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 lifeless body was pulled from the river – bloated and covered with bruises.
After seeking legal counsel, the Shabram family sued the Ministry of Defence for wrongful death and just before the case was to be heard in London´s Royal Courts of Justice, lawyers for the family announced that an out-of-court settlement had been agreed.
Without accepting liability for the wrongful death of Saeed, the Ministry of Defence agreed to pay 100,000 pounds to his family and a further unreported sum to Menem.