U.S. guards face abuse charges in Iraq

The United States is committed to the worldwide elimination of torture and we are leading this fight by example. – George W. Bush, June 2003.


Six U.S. navy guards will face courts-martial for allegedly assaulting prisoners and filling a cellblock with pepper spray following a disturbance at the main U.S. prison in Iraq, the military announced Thursday.

The charges arise from a May 14 incident at Camp Bucca, which houses about 18,000 of the 21,000 detainees held by the U.S. in Iraq, according to navy spokeswoman Cmdr. Jane Campbell.

The trouble began when several guards were attacked by detainees, who spit and threw containers of human waste at them, Campbell said.

Two prisoners were allegedly beaten and eight others were locked overnight in a cell that was filled with pepper spray and had the ventilation shut off, she said.

The trials are expected to be held within 30 days.

Seven other sailors received nonjudicial punishment for failing to report the incidents, Campbell said. Two had their charges dismissed, while others were reduced in rank or faced suspended punishment, she added, declining to be more specific.


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