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Riot at Iraqi Prison, Guards Open Fire, 4 Killed

Iraq is demanding an investigation into yesterday's "riot" at Camp Bucca in Iraq during which U.S. guards opened fire and killed four detainees.

U.S. guards who shot dead four inmates should be put on trial if found to have used excessive force in quelling a riot at a military detention camp, Iraq's human rights minister said on Tuesday. Bakhtiar Amin said he believed two U.S. troops had fired on rioters on Monday but he did not know why. His ministry had sent a delegation to the camp in southern Iraq to investigate.

"If we are convinced there was no justification for the degree of force used then we want them to be tried," Amin told Reuters. "That is what the American side says as well."

This isn't the first time guards at Camp Bucca have been investigated for prisoner abuse. One former prisoner called it a "torture camp." From August, 2003:

[Four guards] are alleged to have punched and kicked several Iraqis, breaking one man's nose, while escorting a busload of prisoners to a POW processing center at Camp Bucca in May in Umm Qasr. The soldiers have said they acted in self-defense.

....The list of allegations, obtained by The Associated Press, included kicking and hitting the prisoners in the groin, face, abdomen, and head, and holding prisoners and encouraging others to kick them.

Three of the soldiers were discharged over the incident instead of facing courts martial.

In May, '60 Minutes II' aired a program about prisoner abuse, that included this comment from one of the soldiers:

The CBS newsmagazine (8 p.m. EDT Wednesday) obtained the video diary of a soldier, whose name was withheld, talking about conditions at Camp Bucca and Abu Ghraib in Iraq where Iraqi prisoners were held. "We've already had two prisoners die ... but who cares?" the soldier says on the tape. "That's two less for me to worry about."

Amnesty International tried to visit in 2003, here's what happened. For a detaled AP article on Camp Bucca and abuse, go here.

Here's a breakdown of punishments in Iraqi prisoner abuse cases up to July, 2004.

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  • Now let us watch how a "sovereign" government works.

    Yes watch our boys go to prison, this war is a joke on the guys in Iraq and a real money maker for the bush business boys, not only will you pay for it but the guys fighting our non war will pay for bush and families for life. Go, go bush war; Oh yes will the U.S. Army just behead the guys or will the iraqis behead our people for culture Miss-understanding? oh maybe this is freedom or globaliztion and the ideals of world brotherhood, and hell Bush will win the al qaeda's Politico of the Year, next stop camps here. I need my VA drugs bad today.

    Re: Riot at Iraqi Prison, Guards Open Fire, 4 Kill (none / 0) (#3)
    by Che's Lounge on Wed Feb 02, 2005 at 10:14:46 AM EST
    Fortunately they were in prison so they must be guilty anyway. So what's the big deal? What was the ratio of guards to prisoners in this one? 14 : 700 like Taguba reported? Sure, blame the guards right off. Rummy skates again. But hey, they had elections!