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Last Updated: Friday, 24 December 2004, 13:06 GMT
US response to detainee allegations
LTC Barry Johnson, of the US-led Multinational Forces (MNF) in Iraq, gave the BBC the following statement in response to the allegations of detainees in Iraq of arbitrary detention and abuse.
The case of every detainee goes through the Combined Review and Release Board, made up of both Iraqi and Multi-National Force officials, to determine whether that individual poses a security threat and should continue to be detained.

Our detention activities are authorised by UNSCR [United Nations Security Council Resolution] 1546 and are conducted in full accordance with the Geneva Conventions.

I have not had an opportunity to review the Christian Peacemaker Team's report.

However, we take every allegation of abuse seriously and will fully investigate any specific allegations brought to us.

In addition to regular visits by the ICRC [International Committee of the Red Cross] in our camps, we also have a close working relationship with the Iraqi Ministry of Human Rights, which has a constant presence in our camps at both Abu Ghraib and Camp Bucca.

They regularly interact with detainees, providing them with another official channel for raising concerns about abuses and mistreatment.

It is difficult for us to take action based on allegations from unidentified individuals made through unofficial channels such as to media and groups like CPT.

In order to do a proper investigation, we must have access to the person making the allegations.

So we encourage any individual who wishes to make these claims to contact an official in the MNF or the IIG [Iraqi interim government], such as through the Ministry of Human Rights.


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