Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Abu Ghraib torture: The word is "systemic" 

Looks like photography really was part of the modus operandi, unless it's just the parallelism of great minds. And not just at Abu Ghraib.

Reuters said Tuesday three Iraqis working for the news agency were beaten, taunted and forced to put shoes in their mouths during their detention at a military camp near Fallujah in January.

After being freed from their Jan. 2-5 detention, the men told Reuters about their alleged ordeal but only decided to make it public when the U.S. military said there was no evidence of abuse, and news broke about the mistreatment of Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad.

Reuters quoted all three men as saying they were beaten and forced to make demeaning gestures as soldiers laughed, taunted them and took photographs. Two told the news agency they also were degraded by being forced to insert fingers into their anuses and then lick them, and to put shoes in their mouths.

"The U.S. investigation in this case remains totally unsatisfactory as far as we're concerned," Susan Allsopp, a Reuters spokeswoman in London, said Tuesday. "We would urge them to reevaluate the investigation in light of recent invents."

The Reuters staff said the abuse happened at Forward Operating Base Volturno, near Fallujah, after they were detained while covering the aftermath of the shooting down of a U.S. helicopter near the Iraqi city. There were held at Volturno, then at Forward Operating Base St. Mere, they said.

The men were Baghdad-based cameraman Salem Ureibi, Fallujah-based freelance television journalist Ahmad Mohammad Hussein al-Badrani and driver Sattar Jabar al-Badrani. They were released without being charged.

On Monday, the news agency said, it received a letter dated March 5 from U.S. Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, commander of ground forces in Iraq, that he was confident the investigation had been "thorough and objective" and its findings were sound.
(via AP)

Smart move, guys. Abusing reporters...

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