US military returns Abu Ghraib prison to Iraqis

US military returns Abu Ghraib prison to Iraqis

[JURIST] The US military on Saturday formally relinquished control of the Abu Ghraib prison [JURIST news archive] to the Iraqi government, according to an Iraqi spokesperson, after it was emptied of US detainees [JURIST report] last week. The spokesperson said the government has not decided how it will use the prison in the future.

Historically, Abu Ghraib was used by former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] as a torture facility, and the US has faced pressure to close Abu Ghraib since scandalous photos [JURIST report] of US troops abusing Iraqi prisoners there surfaced in April 2004. A Human Rights Watch report released in July claimed that US commanders authorized [JURIST report] widespread torture of Iraqi detainees during and even after the Abu Ghraib scandal. Reuters has more.