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Army officer investigated after reporting Iraq prisoner abuse

[JURIST] US Army Capt. Ian Fishback [NY Times report], who served as an anonymous source for a recent Human Rights Watch report on the alleged abuse of Iraqi detainees, said Tuesday that Army investigators tried to track down young soldiers reporting misconduct rather than following up accusations of abuse. Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] issued a report [text] last week that members of the US Army's 82nd Airborne Division [official website] systematically tortured Iraqi prisoners in 2003 and 2004 at a military base near Fallujah [JURIST report]. Fishback said investigators from the Criminal Investigation Command and the 18th Airborne Corps inspector general had pressured him to reveal those who had reported the abuse that was revealed in the report. The abuse included beatings, exposure to extreme temperatures, sleep deprivation and stacking prisoners in human pyramids. Fishback had no luck getting higher-ranking officers to act on his complaints and so he brought his concerns [LA Times report] to aides of Rep. John W. Warner (R-VA) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), which according to Fishback, prompted the Army to start investigating the allegations. Fishback accuses his commanders of believing that they did not have to follow Geneva Conventions [ICRC backgrounder] with prisoners in Iraq. After the HRW report was released, Fishback was summoned for six hours of questioning by investigators. The allegations add to the already large number of allegations of prisoner abuse at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison [JURIST news archive]. The New York Times has more.

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