Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Prison torture -- yes, less horrific than beheading, but absolutely not "horseplay" -- is apparently standard operating procedure in prisons run by our Iraqi allies:

Iraqi guards are torturing prisoners in the south of Iraq and see such brutalisation as part of the job, an Italian military commander was quoted as saying on Wednesday.

Italy, which has some 2,700 troops in Iraq, has said it was unaware of U.S. abuse of prisoners, but the military chief acknowledged that abuse in Iraqi-run prisons was common knowledge.

"We sometimes saw detainees who were half dead with iron burns on their bodies and terrifying bruises from beatings," Colonel Carmelo Burgio said in an interview with Corriere della Sera newspaper published on Wednesday.

Asked if Italian forces complained to the Iraqi guards he said: "Of course, but they were amazed that we were scandalised. For the Iraqi police it is normal practice to greet detainees with 30 lashes"....


The beheading of Nick Berg seems to be effectively (and inappropriately) rendering prison torture a non-story, but this is shameful nonetheless.

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