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Two US soldiers face court-martial for Afghan prisoner abuse

[JURIST] Two US soldiers will face court-martial proceedings [press release] for striking two detainees in their custody at Forward Operating Base Ripley in Afghanistan's Uruzgan province, the US military said Thursday. Army Sgt. Kevin D. Myricks and Army Spc. James R. Hayes face multiple charges including conspiracy to maltreat, dereliction of duty, maltreatment of detainees and assault consummated by battery. A third soldier faces non-judicial punishment under the Uniform Code of Military Justice [text] for having knowledge of the abuse and not reporting it. A date for the court-martial has not been set. In a separate incident, the Pentagon has said it has completed its investigation [JURIST report] into allegations that US soldiers desecrated Taliban bodies in Kandahar. Video of troops burning two bodies and using the charred remains in a propaganda campaign against insurgents was aired on Australian television in October, prompting criticism from the UN [JURIST report]. Afghan officials are conducting their own investigation into the incident. Reuters has more.

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