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US soldier jailed for Abu Ghraib detainee abuse released on parole

[JURIST] Former US Army Reserve Staff Sergeant Ivan "Chip" Frederick [BBC profile] was released on parole Monday from a military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where he was incarcerated for three years after pleading guilty [JURIST report] to abusing prisoners at the Abu Ghraib detention facility in Iraq [JURIST news archive]. Frederick pleaded guilty to five charges [text] of abusing inmates in 2004, including conspiracy, dereliction of duty, maltreatment of detainees, assault and committing an indecent act. He was sentenced [JURIST report] to 10 years' confinement and reduced to the rank of private. He also forfeited all military pay and benefits and was dishonorably discharged. The sentence was later reduced to eight years per Frederick's plea agreement. Frederick's attorney noted that his early release stemmed from Frederick's testimony in the trial of Lt. Col. Steven Jordan [CBS profile], who was reprimanded [JURIST report] last month following his conviction [JURIST report] for disobeying an order not to discuss the investigation into allegations of abuse at Abu Ghraib.

Photographs [JURIST report] of US interrogators abusing prisoners at Abu Ghraib surfaced in April 2004 and substantiated allegations of abuse at the facility. The scandal damaged the US Army's and government's reputations across the world, especially in the Middle East. Frederick, who admitted to punching and stomping on detainees as well as forcing them to masturbate in photographs and threatening electrocution, claims the Army hierarchy created an environment of abuse and, in some cases, ordered the specific tactics used. Former Abu Ghraib commander Janis Karpinski has alleged [JURIST report] that former US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld [official profile] personally ordered "making prisoners stand for long periods, sleep deprivation ... [and] playing music at full volume" at Abu Ghraib. The White House has denied [JURIST report] that President Bush had knowledge of the abuse before the publication of the photographs, despite allegations to the contrary by retired US Army Major General Antonio Taguba [NPR profile], who investigated [report, PDF] the abuse in 2004. AP has more.

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