Tuesday, July 27, 2004

A writer for Arkansas Indymedia says he spoke to a colonel in the Defense Department press office, who confirmed the imprisonment of Iraqi teenagers:

Call 703-545-6700 – DOD information - and speak to Commander Hatledge who may refer you to Lieutenant Colonel Joe Yoswa at 703-697-0657.

Joe was quite helpful when I called, a nice guy. He confirmed that the US Military does imprison children in sweeps made by patrols in Iraq. He confirmed that whole families are frequently arrested, dragged from their homes in the middle of the night. The patrols decide on the spot who gets taken away. After that the families are taken before a “committee” who then decides who to release and who to imprison. The highest ranking officer on the “committee” is a Colonel.

Joe told me that at the present time the US Military has 58 juveniles imprisoned in Iraq. According to Joe, none of these children are younger than 14 and none of them are female. These statements are contradicted by accounts from the German TV broadcast. Joe denied that any children have been abused.

This matches what another military spokesman told China's Xinhuanet.

Go here for a transcript of that German TV broadcast, which asserts that serious abuse of young people has taken place in the prisons.

(Link via the Blue Lemur.)

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