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Last Updated: Friday, 18 February, 2005, 09:34 GMT
US releases new abuse allegations
A US military intelligence officer leads an Iraqi prisoner at Abu Ghraib
The US military insists it is pursuing all reports of mistreatment
New allegations of prisoner abuse by US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan have been revealed in documents released by the US Army.

The alleged incidents include beatings and mock executions. In one case, a man said he was hit with a baseball bat.

The documents were the latest in a series obtained via legal action by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

The army says it has looked into the claims, but in many cases investigators failed to prove or disprove them.

The documents released on Friday outline a number of previously undisclosed allegations.

It's increasingly clear that members of the military were aware of the allegations of torture
Anthony Romero
ACLU Executive Director

Among them is the case of an Iraqi man who told army officials that Americans in civilian clothes had beaten him while he was in detention in the central town of Tikrit in late 2003.

He said his interrogators dislocated his arm, hit his leg with a baseball bat, and fired an unloaded pistol into his mouth.

A criminal file was closed because army investigators were not able to verify the allegations.

Limited charges

Another inquiry was triggered by the discovery of pictures of hooded and bound prisoners at a US base in southern Afghanistan.

As a result, eight soldiers were charged with dereliction of duty - but the army says more serious charges of aggravated assault could not be substantiated.

Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse
Images of abuse at Abu Ghraib caused a storm

"No evidence (was) identified to indicate that the bound detainees were in fear of their lives," the army investigation found.

The ACLU says the documents suggest prisoner abuse in Iraq and Afghanistan has been widespread and that the military has tried to suppress the fact.

"It's increasingly clear that members of the military were aware of the allegations of torture and that efforts were taken to erase evidence, to shut down investigations and to humiliate the detainees in an effort to silence them," ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero told AP news agency.

Abuse of Iraqi prisoners by US troops at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison - highlighted in photographs of hooded and naked inmates - sparked international outrage.

Seven soldiers have been convicted by US courts martial in connection with the scandal. Two others are still on trial.

UK troops have also been accused of abuse in Iraq.

Three British soldiers are currently being tried in a military tribunal on charges of mistreating civilians.

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16 Jan 05 |  Americas
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21 Dec 04 |  Middle East
In pictures: Iraqi prisoner abuse
15 Jun 04 |  In Pictures

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