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Photos reveal US abuse
April 29, 2004 17:16 IST
Last Updated: April 29, 2004 17:44 IST
A US television station has broadcast pictures showing US soldiers abusing Iraqi inmates at Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad, reports the BBC.
CBS TV says it has "dozens" of pictures - taken by US troops - showing prisoners being subjected to a wide range of maltreatment. Many of the pictures show American troops looking on in apparent approval, the BBC said. The army announced last month that 17 soldiers had been suspended over the allegations of abuse of prisoners. The group includes a brigadier general. Six are facing court martial, the BBC said.
According to CBS, the network had held on to the story for two weeks following a Pentagon request but decided to air it after photos began to circulate.
Some pictures show uniformed US soldiers posing with naked Iraqi prisoners in various positions. One had naked male prisoners kneeling on each other in a pyramid with a female US soldier behind them.
Other pictures show naked Iraqis positioned to simulate sex with each other, a detainee with wires attached to his genitals and a dog attacking an Iraqi prisoner. In most of them, the Americans are seen laughing or gesturing approval.
According to CBS, the military investigation started after a soldier received the photos from a friend and gave them to his commanding officers.
CBS said the army investigation found that one Iraqi prisoner was made to stand on a box with his head covered and wires attached to his hands, and told if he fell off the box, he would be electrocuted.
The deputy commander of the coalition forces in Iraq, Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt, said he was appalled and that the entire army was let down by the actions of a few soldiers.
General Janice Karpinsky, who was responsible for the prison, is among those facing charges, and CBS said an army investigation had concluded that her "lack of leadership and clear standards" led to problems in Abu Ghraib and three other prisons for which she was responsible.
According to the BBC, "the military police officers have been charged by the US Army with crimes ranging from assault and maltreatment to indecent acts against prisoners."
The soldiers were reportedly assisting interrogators from US intelligence agencies. Last month, when the six military police officers were charged, an army spokesman said the alleged crimes involved fewer than 20 prisoners and happened around November and December, it said.