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US Navy guards charged with abusing detainees at Camp Bucca

[JURIST] Six US sailors have been charged for allegedly abusing Iraqi detainees held at Camp Bucca [GloalSecurity backgrounder], the US Naval Forces Central Command [official website] said Thursday. The six are said to have physically assaulted at least two detainees whom they were guarding, and locked eight others in a cell that had been covered with pepper spray. Seven other sailors reportedly faced non-judicial punishment for their involvement in the incidents. Al Jazeera has more. CNN has additional coverage.

Camp Bucca was at the center of controversy in 2003 when the so-called Taguba report [PDF text] detailed instances of detainee abuse and found that the detention camp was well over its carrying capacity. Many former Abu Ghraib [JURIST news archive] detainees were transferred to Camp Bucca after reports of detainee abuse in the Baghdad prison surfaced. In July, four former Abu Ghraib detainees filed lawsuits [CCR materials; JURIST report] against two private US military contractors and three of their employees, alleging torture, war crimes and civil conspiracy. The former detainees said that employees of CACI International and L-3 Communications [corporate websites], which performed interrogation and interpretation work for the US military, violated the Geneva Convention, the Army Field Manual [texts] and US law by torturing and conspiring to torture the detainees. They also alleged that CACI and L-3 were negligent in failing to prevent the torture.

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