Unreleased abuse photos depict rape, sexual abuse: report

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Published: May 27, 2009 

Unreleased photographs of alleged abuse by U.S. military personnel of prisoners at Iraqi prisons - which President Obama refused to release earlier this month - include images of rape and sexual abuse, according to a new report.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Major General Antonio Taguba, the former army officer who in 2004 investigated and wrote a report on allegations of detainee abuse in U.S. prisons in Iraq, has confirmed the existence of graphic photographs depicting the following:

-An American soldier apparently raping a female prisoner.
-A male translator apparently raping a male detainee.
-A female prisoner having her clothing forcibly removed to expose her breasts.

Other photographs depict sexual assaults on prisoners with a truncheon, wire and a phosphorescent tube, according to the Telegraph story.

The still unreleased photos relate to abuse alleged to have taken place between 2001 and 2005 in Abu Ghraib and six other prisons. Taguba, now retired, supports Obama's decision to block the release of the photos, which Obama had previously said would be released according to a court ruling in support of a lawsuit filed by the ACLU.

"These pictures show torture, abuse, rape and every indecency," Taguba told theTelegraph. "I am not sure what purpose their release would serve other than a legal one and the consequence would be to imperil our troops, the only protectors of our foreign policy, when we most need them, and British troops who are trying to build security in Afghanistan.

"The mere description of these pictures is horrendous enough, take my word for it," Taguba said.

The Telegraph reports:

It was thought the images were similar to those leaked five years ago, which showed naked and bloody prisoners being intimidated by dogs, dragged around on a leash, piled into a human pyramid and hooded and attached to wires.

Mr Obama seemed to reinforce that view by adding: "I want to emphasise that these photos that were requested in this case are not particularly sensational, especially when compared to the painful images that we remember from Abu Ghraib."

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This page contains a single entry published on May 28, 2009 9:00 AM.

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