Spanish newspaper El Pais published video footage on its website on Sunday showing Spanish troops beating Iraqi detainees in a jail cell in 2004. The release of the clip, which depicts five officers insulting and kicking two prisoners, has led to rage and indignation.
Members of the Defense Ministry have said in public that they question the video's authenticity. But, in private, members of the ministry have called the footage “deplorable,” according to NY Daily News. The identities of the people in the video are not known, but the Defense Ministry vowed that “those who took part will be held responsible.”
The newspaper claims the footage was taken in Al Diwaniyah. In 2004, Spanish troops were deployed there in a peacekeeping role. The troops were there until Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero pulled them out later that same year.
Former Defense Minister Jose Bono said that he was unaware of the incident. "I cannot assure you outright that this never happened before I took over the ministry, but I am convinced that my predecessor [Federico Trillo] never knew about this," Bono said.