US inspectors find signs of Iraq prisoner abuse

US inspectors find signs of Iraq prisoner abuse

[JURIST] Recent US-led inspections of Iraqi-run prisons in Baghdad and Tal Afar have revealed signs of prisoner abuse [press briefing transcript] and overcrowding, a US military official said Friday. Maj. Gen. William Webster, who commands security forces in Baghdad, confirmed there is a problem of overcrowding, but denied the existence of any evidence of recent abuse in the facilities:

As a result of the investigation surrounding the Jadriya facility, otherwise known as the bunker facility where a number of detainees were found to be abused, the Iraqi government and General Casey's headquarters has initiated a series of inspections of detention facilities throughout Iraq. And the first two of those inspections were conducted on MOI or interior facilities, and they're — while there were overcrowded conditions, there was no — there were no signs of recent abuse. There were detainees who talked about having been abused before, and some of them showed signs of that. And this committee of both the Iraqi government and the U.S. government and the coalition are continuing their investigation and inspections.

The investigation was prompted by the recent exposure of secret prisons [JURIST report] run by Iraqi security forces where detainees were abused and tortured. The discoveries have led to rumors [JURIST report] that Iraqi Interior Minister Bayan Jabr [CBS profile] will resign, and frustrated US efforts to transfer control of all existing prisons to Iraqi forces. Reuters has more.