Home > News > The Gulf War II > Report
Disregard for Iraqi rights set from top: US daily
May 06, 2004 00:44 IST
Last Updated: May 06, 2004 00:57 IST
Accusing the US administration of "ignoring" accounts of human rights violations "more serious" than those at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison, a US national daily said Wednesday that a pattern of disregard for the protections of Geneva Conventions has been set from the top, by Defence Secretary Rumsfeld and senior commanders.
"The foundation for the crimes at Abu Ghraib was laid more than two years ago when Rumsfeld instituted a system of holding detainees from Afghanistan not only incommunicado, without charge, and without legal process, but without any meaningful oversight mechanism at all," the Washington Post said in an editorial.
"Brushing off his violation of the Geneva Conventions, Mr Rumsfeld maintained that the system was necessary to extract important intelligence. But it was also an invitation to abuses," the editorial said.
"Well-documented accounts of human rights violations have been ignored or covered up, including some more serious than those reported at Abu Ghraib," said the Post.
"Rectifying the problems dramatised by the Abu Ghraib photos will require far more than prosecution of a handful of reservists who committed abuses." Military intelligence officers and private contractors who encouraged or ordered maltreatment also must be prosecuted, the paper said.
Moreover, "senior officers and administration officials responsible for creating the lawless system of detention and interrogation employed in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere since 2001 should be held accountable," it said.