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U.S. Describes Cases Of Koran Mishandling

4 June 2005 -- The United States military has for the first time given details of the "mishandling" of the Koran by American personnel at the U.S.-run Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba for terrorist suspects.

The Pentagon said in a written statement released late on 3 June that in one case, a U.S. soldier deliberately kicked a prisoner's Koran in violation of the military's rules for handling the Muslim holy book.

In other confirmed incidents, the military said water balloons thrown by prison guards caused an unspecified number of Korans to get wet; a guard's urine came through an air vent and splashed on a detainee and his Koran; an interrogator, who was later fired, stepped on a Koran during an interrogation; and a two-word obscenity was written in English on the inside cover of a Koran.

In the last case, the U.S. military said it was not clear whether the obscenity was written by a guard or a prisoner.

U.S. military officials say the investigation has found no credible evidence that American personnel ever flushed a Koran down a toilet at Guantanamo, as was reported in a "Newsweek" magazine story that was later retracted.

(Reuters/AP)

Copyright (c) 2005. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org



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