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US to free 1,000 Abu Ghraib detainees

[JURIST] In a goodwill gesture that was requested by the Iraqi government for Muslim holy month Ramadan [Wikipedia backgrounder], the US military Monday freed 500 detainees from Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison [JURIST news archive] and the military has said that an additional 500 detainees will be freed [press release] later this week. The released detainees are those deemed to not have committed violent crimes such as bombing, torture, kidnapping or murder. The detainees must also have admitted their crimes and be committed to living a non-violent lifestyle as good citizens of Iraq. The release may also be a tactic to persuade Iraqis to vote in the October 15 referendum on the draft Iraqi constitution [JURIST news archive]. Sunnis who have been involved in the drafting of the constitution have demanded the release of thousands of prisoners and are also calling for a boycott or a vote of no in the referendum. AP has more.

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