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Surge in Iraqi prisoners puts pressure on US facilities

[JURIST] Due to surging numbers of Iraqis held by the US in prison camps, US military commanders have undertaken a $50 million project to expand three existing prisons and build a fourth. The number of Iraqi prisoners has risen steadily, doubling since October and reaching over 11,350 last week. This figure is only expected to grow in coming months. A riot at Camp Bucca [Wikipedia profile] in April was prompted by extreme overcrowding [JURIST report], with 20-person prison tents being routinely occupied by 25 to 30 prisoners. The International Committee of the Red Cross [advocacy website] has called for an investigation [JURIST report] into that riot. The increase in prisoners has left more US military police stationed at prisons, rather than training Iraqi police to take over. The surge in detainees has been attributed to stepped-up US efforts to combat insurgents, with more raids being conducted. The prisons had almost reached full capacity [Washington Post report] around the Jan. 30 elections, but the number of prisoners has since jumped nearly 20 percent. The Washington Post has more.

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