Abu Ghraib abuse violated international law, says Red Cross

[JURIST] Recently released photographs and video showing the apparent abuse of prisoners by US personnel at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison [JURIST news archive] show clear violations of international humanitarian law, a spokeswoman for International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) [official website] said Thursday. The previously unpublished images [JURIST report], shown on Australian television [program transcript] Wednesday, were taken around the same time as the Abu Ghraib photographs made public in 2004 and depict blood-soaked prisoners who appear to have been tortured. The Pentagon has confirmed [AFP report] that the new images match those uncovered during the 2004 investigation, according to a Defense Department official. The Red Cross has previously criticized US practices at Abu Ghraib, saying that in some instances the abuse of Iraqi prisoners was "tantamount to torture" [ICRC report, PDF; JURIST report]. Reuters has more.

Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari [BBC profile] has condemned the abuse [AFP report] shown in the new photos, but said that those involved had already been punished. The original Abu Ghraib photographs led to the jailing of several US soldiers including Charles Graner [JURIST report], who appears in some of the new images, and Lynndie England [JURIST news archive]. Iraq's human rights minister, however, has called for US-led forces in Iraq to turn over all Iraqi inmates held in US-managed prisons [Reuters report]. Meanwhile, in Australia, the producer of SBS television's Dateline program defended the decision to broadcast the photographs [AFP report] and videos. Mike Carey dismissed criticism from the Pentagon that the pictures could increase the danger to American soldiers, saying that his team, as journalists, had a responsibility to air the images. The Sydney Morning Herald has local coverage.



 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.