A court in Denmark has ordered the government to compensate 18 civilians who were tortured during the Iraq war in an operation carried out by Iraqi security forces along with a Danish battalion.
In total, 23 plaintiffs had sued Denmark after they were arrested and subjected to “torture and inhumane treatment” in 2004 during operation ‘Green Desert’ near Iraq’s main port city of Basra.
The appeals court in Denmark’s capital, Copenhagen, ruled on Friday that although the Danish soldiers did not join in the torture, they failed to prevent the abuse.
Eighteen plaintiffs were awarded 30,000 danish kroner (roughly $4,600).
Denmark has faced controversy over its role in Iraq on numerous occasions.
In 2015, Denmark’s Military Prosecution Service announced they would investigate Danish troops’ handling of Iraqi war prisoners after Politiken newspaper reported that their actions may have violated the Geneva Convention, Danish media reported at the time.
A document obtained by Politiken through a freedom of information request revealed that the Danish military handed over at least 12 Iraqi prisoners of war to local authorities despite receiving orders not to do so in 2004, fearing that they would be sentenced to death by the new Iraqi government.