Wednesday, February 15, 2006
By ROBERT H. REID, Associated Press Writer -- Wednesday evening, 6 minutes ago
BAGHDAD, Iraq - New images, such as the one at left, showing Iraqis abused by U.S. guards at prison three years ago threatened Wednesday to enflame public anger already running high over footage of British soldiers beating youths in southern .
This image is from video made available Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2006 by the Special Broadcasting System in Australia is said by the broadcaster to shows a prisoner being abused. The Australian television network said the images of prisoners were made at the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad in late 2003, and were among photographs the American Civil Liberties Union was trying to obtain from the U.S. government under a Freedom of Information request. SBS refused to give details on the source of the photographs, and the authenticity of the images could not be verified independently. (AP Photo/SBS/Dateline)
Images of naked prisoners, some bloodied and lying on the floor, were taken about the same time as earlier photos that triggered a worldwide scandal and led to military trials and prison sentences for several lower-ranking American soldiers.
Many of the pictures broadcast Wednesday by Australia's Special Broadcasting Service, including some that appear to show corpses, were more graphic than those previously published. One of the video clips depicted a group of naked men with bags over their heads standing together and masturbating. The network said they were forced to participate.
Some key Iraqi officials urged their countrymen to react calmly since the pictures were old and the offenders had been punished.
In the Middle East, where there have been widespread anti-Western protests recently over caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya TV aired some of the Australian station's footage but refrained from using the most shocking and sexually explicit images. CNN also broadcast excerpts.
Iraq's acting human rights minister, Nermine Othman, said she was "horrified" by the pictures and would study whether any action could be taken against those responsible, even though some offenders have been imprisoned.
"There will be two kinds of reactions from Iraqis," she told The Associated Press. "One will be anger and others will feel sorry that they (SBS) didn't give them to the Iraqi government to investigate. Why use them? Why show them? We have had enough suffering and we don't want any more." spokesman Bryan Whitman said the Defense Department believed the release of additional images of prisoner abuse was harmful and "could only further inflame and possibly incite unnecessary violence in the world."Dave Haigler, Abilene, Texas
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