US allies accused of prison abuses

Some Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib say they have been abused by occupation troops from Poland and other countries, according to copies of statements to Army investigators obtained by AP.

    Abuse picture (above) published by The Washington Post

    The report cited witness statements, which also include new and more detailed allegations of abuse by military intelligence soldiers, including a civilian interpreter's accusation that an Army interrogator forced a prisoner to walk naked through a cellblock.


    The records of interviews by Army Criminal Investigation Division agents obtained by the AP include new allegations that coalition forces had beaten prisoners before turning them over to the US. 


    Sgt Antonio Monserrate, an Army interrogator, told investigators two detainees had been "injured by the Polish Army." Monserrate referred to the inmates by their prison identification numbers, but did not provide any further details.


    Polish occupation forces operate in south-central Iraq. Prisoners also accused Iraqi forces of abusing them, but named no other country in the documents obtained by the AP.


    Poland has rejected the allegations, saying they were unfair.

    Army spokesman Colonel Zdzislaw Gnatowskiat also said no interrogations had taken place at a detention facility at al-Hilla south of Baghdad under the command of Polish forces.


    Occupation forces beatings


    Other civilian and military workers at Abu Ghraib mentioned claims by prisoners that they had been beaten by "coalition forces" before arriving at the US-run prison outside Baghdad.


    Iraqi prisoners were forced to
    strip and were sexually humiliated

    "Many detainees complained about physical abuse while in detention caused by CF (coalition forces), not US forces," civilian intelligence analyst Luke Olander told investigators.


    The statements also give new details about abuses allegedly directly ordered by US military intelligence soldiers.

    Civilian translator Baqir Nasif told an interviewer one US military interrogator forced a prisoner to walk naked through the prison while saying, "Look at me!" Nasif said he could not remember the interrogator's name.


    At least two US military interrogators - Sgt Ben Hill and Spc Gary E Webster - said their fellow military intelligence troops told the guards to keep detainees awake and blast loud music at them.


    Seven soldiers - all enlisted military police who worked as guards - are facing military charges for allegedly abusing prisoners at Abu Ghraib last fall.


    Most of the soldiers charged say military and civilian intelligence operatives encouraged them to beat and humiliate Iraqi prisoners to make them more pliable during interrogations. Top Army officers have said they never condoned any abuse.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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