Under Saddam Hussein certain prisons were notorious for routine mistreatment of prisoners. Al-Rashidiya Prison, on the Tigris River north of Taji, reportedly had torture chambers. The Al-Shamma'iya Prison, located in east Baghdad, held the mentally ill and is reportedly the site of both torture and disappearances. The Al-Radwaniyah Prison is a former prisoner-of-war facility near Baghdad and reportedly the site of torture as well as mass executions. This prison was the principal detention center for persons arrested following the civil uprisings of 1991, and is estimated to hold more than 5,000 detainees.
Ushering in a new era for Iraq's prison system, the country's first class of new prison guards graduated from training at a ceremony 14 August 2003 in Baghdad. The Coalition Provisional Authority is pleased to announce that 34 guards, including Iraq's first woman corrections officer are ready to serve the prison system. The new guards completed a three-week training course where they were instructed by both Iraqis and Coalition forces. The course included work in the prison environment, conflict resolution, and other practical, on-the-job training classes. The guards were stationed at the Tasferat and Russafa prison facilities in Baghdad. The first female graduate headed for the Al-Asiliah facility also in Baghdad, which houses mostly women and juveniles.
In January 2004 the report of the International Committee of the Red Cross on U.S. treatment of detainees in Iraq, reported that the main places of internment where mistreatment allegedly took place included battle group unit stations; the military sections of Camp Cropper and Abu Ghraib Correctional Facility; Al-Baghdadi, Heat Base and Hubbania Camp in Ramadi governate; Tikrit holding area (former Saddam Hussein Islamic School); a former train station Al-Khaim, near the Syrian border, turned into a military base; the Ministry of Defense and Presidential Palace in Baghdad, the former mukhabarat office in Basra, as well as several Iraqi police stations in Baghdad. Many of these locations are difficult to identify based on the reported place names, which in many cases do not correspond to the place names used by the US military.
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