US 'mistreating' Iraqi POWs

Amnesty International says it has gathered evidence indicating US violations of international law by subjecting Iraqi prisoners of war (POWs) to “cruel, inhuman or degrading” conditions at its detention centres in Baghdad.

    Amnesty says US soldiers broke international law

    The human rights watchdog on Monday has said hundreds of Iraqis held at US-run tent camps and former Iraqi government prisons have been denied the right to see families or lawyers and a judge to view their detention.

    Iraqis released from US detention reported having wrists tightly bound with plastic handcuffs and sometimes denied water and access to washroom facilities on the first night of arrest.

    Amnesty said its investigators saw a number of ex-detainees with wrists still scarred by the cuffs a month after their arrests.

    A US military spokesman in Baghdad said military officials could not comment on the report because they had not yet received it.

    Better treatment

    The human rights watchdog wants
    the US to treat Iraqis better

    Amnesty called on the United States and its administrator in Iraq, Paul Bremer, to ensure that detainees are treated humanely and allegations of excessive use of force are investigated.

    The London-based group said the US-led occupation administration said it would improve conditions.

    The occupation team said it would eventually ensure detainees had access to lawyers within 72 hours after being arrested.

    Amnesty officials said Washington needed to respect human rights if it was trying to uphold them.

    Amnesty documented several cases of abuse, including the US occupation force’s jailing of an 11-year-old boy for three weeks.

    On 12 June US soldiers opened fire on rioting detainees, killing one and wounding seven, reported Amnesty.

    It also described the detention of four brothers who had their hands bound and held in the heat of the sun for more than two days. They were also refused water for washing.

    SOURCE: Unspecified


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