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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 February 2006, 13:25 GMT
Iraq condemns Abu Ghraib images
Image of suspected Abu Ghraib abuse. Courtesy SBS television

The Iraqi government has condemned the latest images of the abuse of Iraqi detainees at the US-run Abu Ghraib prison in 2003.

PM Ibrahim Jaafari said his government would act to prevent further abuses.

Human Rights Minister Narmin Uthman called for those responsible to be tried by an international tribunal.

The US government says the perpetrators have been punished, and criticised the publication of the new images saying they could incite violence in Iraq.

Australian TV on Wednesday aired previously unseen images of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib in 2003.

The images on SBS TV are thought to be from the same source as those that caused an outcry around the world.

'Serious affair'

A statement issued by Mr Jaafari's office welcomed Washington's denunciation of the abuses shown in the pictures, but reiterated Iraqi disapproval.

Image of suspected Abu Ghraib abuse. Courtesy SBS television

"The Iraqi government condemns the practices revealed through the recent pictures that show Iraqi prisoners being tortured and it will take responsibility for preventing such acts," it said.

An official said "this serious affair totally contradicts human rights and should not be repeated".

On Wednesday, the Iraqi human rights minister also condemned the abuses.

"We, the Iraqi government and the Iraqi people strongly condemn all types of torture in any prison, and at the hands of anyone," Ms Uthman said.

The pictures will further blur and confuse this already tricky situation
Jonathan Christian, London

Ms Uthman said the scandal "had had a great impact on changing the Americans' policy towards Iraqi prisoners in general" and that her ministry had not found evidence of any recent torture at Abu Ghraib.

But she said she was still not satisfied with the treatment of Iraqi detainees by US or UK troops.

"Everyone who is found guilty of using torture should be punished," Ms Uthman said.

"The culprits of this abuse must be severely punished before an international tribunal and not just an American or British court."

'Shocked and dismayed'

28 April 2004: CBS shows images from 2003 of inmates being subjected to abuses by US soldiers
30 April: Six US soldiers are charged. Three more are charged later.
6 May: President Bush apologises for abuse
19 May: First soldier to be court-martialled in this case is sentenced to jail. More convictions will follow
21 July 2005: Government files court papers to try to stop more images of abuse being made public
29 Sept: Judge rules 87 unseen pictures of Iraqi inmates abused by US troops should be released
15 Feb 2006: Australia's SBS TV broadcasts previously unpublished images

In Geneva, a spokeswoman for the International Committee of the Red Cross said the latest images clearly show violations of international humanitarian law.

US civil liberties groups have also called for an inquiry.

Campaigners say they hope publishing the new images will spur government action against senior officials responsible for policy at the jail.

But it seems there is little political or indeed public appetite for a painful wound to be reopened, and the images are getting less prominence in the US media than elsewhere, the BBC's James Coomarasamy in Washington says.

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