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New US military prison in north Iraq receives Abu Ghraib, Bucca detainees

[JURIST] In a bid to facilitate the transition of Iraq detention operations to Iraqi security forces, the US military has opened a new prison [JURIST report] near the Kurdish city of Sulaimaniyah in northern Iraq. Named Fort Suse, the facility can hold more than 1,700 detainees; it received its first inmates from Abu Ghraib [JURIST news archive] and Camp Bucca [Global Security profile] on October 24. Both detention centers have been criticized for overcrowding, and several riots broke out at Camp Bucca [JURIST report] earlier this year. Major General William Brandenburg, commanding general of detainee operations, said Sunday of the new prison, “[i]t will be the first facility to be completely turned over to Iraqi control” although the complete transition will not take place until the Iraqi’s are “completely confident in their ability to run the facility.” Fort Suse is an old Russian-built army training center that the US military renovated [DOD press release] in two months with 400 workers and a budget of $8 million. AFP has more.

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