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New evidence of prisoner abuse in Iraqi jails uncovered by US inspectors: report

[JURIST] Evidence of prisoner abuse [JURIST news archive] in facilities operated by Iraq's Interior Ministry was discovered by US inspectors as recently as February 2006, according to a report in Monday's Washington Post. According to the article, a handful of prisoners showing the most severe signs of abuse in one prison were moved to receive medical attention while overcrowding was alleviated at two other prisons through prisoner transfers. The majority of those being held, including others showing signs of abuse, were not moved to other detention centers.

In November 2005 US troops found 173 prisoners [JURIST report], many abused, in a secret bunker run by the Interior Ministry and quickly transferred them to a separate prison facility to protect them from further abuse. The incident prompted Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Peter Pace to say that US troops would work to stop any inhumane treatment they saw in the future. Last month, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said that Iraq's detention practices may violate international law and expressed concern [JURIST report] over the failure of Coalition forces to publish the results of their investigation into the torture allegations. Amnesty International has said that the country's arbitrary detention practices facilitate prisoner abuse [report text; JURIST report] and the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq's bi-monthly human rights report [DOC text] noted that rights violations in Iraq are on the rise [JURIST report]. Reuters has more.

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