[JURIST] US forces in Iraq have detained an additional 5,000 people in the four months since the "troop surge" instituted by the Multi-National Force - Iraq (MNF-I) [official website], increasing the number of detainees in American custody from approximately 18,000 to 23,000, the Washington Post reported Wednesday. Detainees held in Iraqi-operated detention facilities have also risen to 60,000, a dramatic increase from the estimated 20,000 detainees [JURIST report] held in March. Army Col. Mark Martins, chief judge advocate for MNF-I commander Gen. David H. Petraeus [official profile], told the Post that detainees under US custody are given a status review every six months, and are held under the Geneva Conventions as opposed to Iraqi domestic law.
The increase in detainees, largely attributed to security plans [AFPS report] instituted since February, has contributed to overcrowding in Iraq prisons [JURIST report] and rising allegations of detainee abuse [JURIST news archive]. The security plans, formally known as "Operation Law and Order," are intended to increase security and stability in Baghdad and Al Anbar province, and were instituted shortly after Petraeus assumed command of the MNF-I. The Washington Post has more.