New photos, testimony detail more prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib
WASHINGTON -- Some prisoners at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison were ridden like animals, fondled by female soldiers, forced to curse their religion and required to retrieve their food from toilets, according to a published report Friday.
The Washington Post, in its Friday editions, also published new photographs and shots from a video of the alleged abuse and sexual humiliation of Iraq prisoners by U.S. soldiers. The newspaper said the material, including secret sworn statements from prisoners, came from evidence being assembled from investigations into possible criminal charges against U.S. soldiers.
The photographs depict a U.S. soldier apparently preparing to strike a shackled detainee, a hooded inmate collapsed with his wrists handcuffed to the railing and a baton-wielding soldier appearing to order a naked detainee covered in a brown substance to walk a straight line, though his ankles are shackled.
Staff Sgt. Ivan L. "Chip" Frederick is the soldier in the photo of a naked man covered with a brown substance standing with his arms outstretched and his ankles shackled, said Frederick's uncle, William W. Lawson. Frederick is also shown in a video clip on the Post Web site, watching while another soldier apparently hits a detainee in the face and then forces a second detainee to take a position on all fours.
Many of the worst abuses that have come to light from the Abu Ghraib prison happened on a single November day amid a flare of insurgent violence in Iraq, the deaths of many U.S. soldiers and a breakdown of the American guards' command structure.
Nov. 8 was the day U.S. guards took most of the infamous photographs: soldiers mugging in front of a pile of naked, hooded Iraqis, prisoners forced to perform or simulate sex acts, a hooded prisoner in a scarecrow-like pose with wires attached to him.
Frederick's civilian lawyer, Gary Myers, said he hadn't seen the pictures but the fact that Frederick appears in some images from Abu Ghraib "is not necessarily news to us." Myers declined to comment on Frederick's role in the alleged abuse of Iraqi prisoners.
The Post said it obtained hundreds more pictures and several digital videos of the abuse. In one photo, a cornered inmate is cowering as a soldier tries to restrain a large black dog with both hands. In another, a soldier appears to be kneeling on naked detainees.
In secret testimony to military investigators in mid-January, detainees said they were beaten and humiliated by American soldiers working the night shift at Tier 1A in Abu Ghraib during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, according to the Post.
The Post also said detainees told investigators they were forced to denounce Islam or force-fed pork or liquor, required to masturbate in front of female soldiers, threatened with rape, and made to walk on all their hands and knees and bark like dogs.
Eating pork, drinking alcohol, and masturbation are forbidden in Islam.
"They said we will make you wish to die and it will not happen," the newspaper quoted one detainee, identified as Ameen Saeed Al-Sheik, as saying.
Arab television networks Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya on Friday broadcast the six photos published in the Post and read out the humiliations forced on the Iraqi prisoners.
"Because the scandal is big, it is turning into a snowball which, the more the Bush administration tries to control, the more is revealed by the media," an announcer for Al-Arabiya said while the photos were being shown.