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Red Cross Says It Discussed Prison Abuse With U.S. Officials

7 May 2004 -- The Red Cross today confirmed that it warned U.S. officials more than a year ago of abuse taking place in U.S.-run prisons in Iraq.

Pierre Kraehenbuehl, director of operations for the International Committee of the Red Cross, said the organization discussed its findings with U.S. officials between March and November 2003. He confirmed that a Red Cross report published today in "The Wall Street Journal" newspaper was genuine.

The report lists U.S. forces' mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners, including beatings, keeping prisoners naked in total darkness, and firing on unarmed prisoners, killing some. It said the abuse was extensive enough to be considered "a practice tolerated by" coalition forces.

U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld today is due to address members of Congress, as some lawmakers call for his resignation over the prisoner-abuse scandal.


Copyright (c) 2004. 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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