A Human Rights Watch report asserted that US commanders authorized widespread torture of prisoners [JURIST report] during and even after photos of guards abusing inmates surfaced in the media. Former Abu Ghraib commander Janis Karpinski said in 2005 that former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld [JURIST news archive] personally signed a memorandum authorizing extreme interrogation techniques [JURIST report]. Several US soldiers were convicted of abuse at Abu Ghraib, including former US Army Reserve Staff Sgt. Ivan "Chip" Frederick, who was paroled [JURIST report] in late 2007 after serving three years in prison. The conviction of the only commissioned officer charged in connection with the abuse was annulled [JURIST report] early this year. A number of lawsuits are pending against US military contractors for alleged abuses at Abu Ghraib, including one filed this July [JURIST report] by four former prisoners.
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