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Rumsfeld wants rules for reporting detainee abuse by foreign troops

[JURIST] US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld [official profile] has ordered a clarification of rules on how US troops are to respond if they witness mistreatment of detainees by other forces. The request is a result of the confusion that occurred when Rumsfeld stated that US forces in Iraq are to simply report abuse while Marine General Peter Pace [official profile], Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, insisted that US troops must act further to stop the abuse. Pentagon officials said that troops should take action to stop any abuse they witness, but it is unclear how far they can go. In a move to clarify the rules for all US troops outside the United States, Rumsfeld has asked Pace to outline a process to determine what rules apply, depending on the country, local laws, and sovereignty considerations. This issue is particularly relevant after allegations arose that Iraqi security forces abused more than 170 prisoners held in central Baghdad [JURIST report]. Tuesday's Washington Post has more.

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