Wednesday, September 05, 2007


U.S. troops have detained over 22,000 Iraqis in prison camps

(Azzaman) - U.S. invasion troops detain more than 22,000 Iraqis in their prisoner camps across the country, senior government officials say. The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said many of those languishing in U.S. jails are innocent and have been incarcerated for long periods without trial or charges. Most of the prisoners come from central Iraq where an anti-U.S. rebellion is raging. The region is predominantly Sunni.
Vice-President Tareq al-Hashemi is leading the campaign to free the prisoners and see to it that U.S. prisoner camps meet international standards and that the jailers respect prisoner rights. Hashemi is determined to have all the innocent Iraqis in U.S. jails freed as quickly as possible, one official said. The officials said there are currently more jails in Iraq than under former leader Saddam Hussein.
The Iraqi government has no jurisdiction over U.S.-administered jails and has no say in U.S. troops’ military operations which normally result in arbitrary and summary arrests. The U.S. has agreed to release 50 Iraqi prisoners a day during the holy month of Ramadan. But the number falls short of Hashemi’s expectations who wanted to see most of the prisoners released.
Hashemi is said to have demanded U.S. troops pay reparations to prisoners arrested without charges. Hashemi’s adviser, Omer al-Jibouri, said the government has reached what he called ‘a working paper’ with U.S. occupation troops under which U.S. jailers violating human rights will be persecuted. Jibouri did not say how the government will punish U.S. troops at a time they are immune from prosecution and trial by Iraqi courts.

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