Lawyers for 66 Iraqis who claim they were abused by British troops are launching an attempt to secure a wide-ranging public inquiry into how UK forces treated detainees during the Iraq war.
Public Interest Lawyers will lodge a claim for judicial review on behalf of all the alleged victims today.
The Birmingham-based legal firm argues that the cases are so numerous and so similar that Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth must hold a single inquiry into the UK's detention policy in south-eastern Iraq.
The allegations include claims British troops subjected Iraqi prisoners to rape, sexual humiliation and torture.
Public Interest Lawyers said the Ministry of Defence, Royal Military Police and the courts could not hope to deal with all the cases individually within a reasonable timescale.
Solicitor Phil Shiner, from the firm, said: “This is the only rational option.”
Two public inquiries have already been launched into allegations that British troops abused Iraqis.