Categorized | USA, Iraq

Pentagon to release about 200 photos of tortured Afghan, Iraqi prisoners



Pentagon will publish 198 photos of tortured detainees in the US prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan on Friday, a top American civil rights group said. The release comes after a decade-long lawsuit ended in the group’s favor in March.

Jameel Jaffer, director of the ACLU’s Center for Democracy, announced on Wednesday that the US Department of Defense (DoD) would provide public access to previously disclosed images of prisoners being tortured in US detention centers after more than 10 years of staunch resistance to do so.

The ACLU filed a Freedom of Information Act request demanding the government to reveal records, including photos of the alleged abuse of prisoners by US officers in the American detention facilities overseas back in 2004.

Despite President Obama’s initial promise to release the requested materials back in 2009, he then urged Congress to pass a special exemption clause to block the release of photos citing security reasons, adding that the publication of the photos “would not add any additional benefit to our understanding of what was carried out in the past by small number of individuals” and would “further inflame anti-American opinion and put our troops in great danger.”

After a long-running court battle, the US District Court Judge Alvin Hellerstein ruled that the government should “disclose each and all the photographs” referring to the ACLU’s lawsuit in last March.

However, only about 200 images out of some 2,100 pictures will be released on Friday. The major part of the evidence comprising approximately 1,900 photos will remain concealed after US Defense Secretary Ash Carter had invoked his authority under 2009 exemption provision last November.

“I have determined that public disclosure of any of the photographs would endanger citizens of the United States, members of the United States Armed Forces, or employees of the United States Government deployed outside the United States,” he wrote in the certification renewal in support of his decision to appeal the ruling on November 7.

Yet the Pentagon has made some minor concessions in the case with Carter refusing to extend his certification to 198 photographs which are now being processed for release. However, Carter didn’t explain the difference between this series of photos and those remain withheld from the public domain, according to Politico.

The still-classified images consist of collection of photographs taken by the DoD in the period from September 11, 2001 to January 22, 2009 and relate to the treatment of “engaged, captured or detained individuals”, according to the court documents.

The ACLU said it would insist on releasing the whole package of documents. The last major scandal in connection with the release of photos and footages depicting scenes of prisoners’ abuse and humiliation by the American soldiers in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq broke out in 2004. The exposure of horrendous human right violations in the detention center prompted authorities to launch an investigation into the matter as a result of which 11 soldiers accused of sexual abuse in martial trials were incarcerated.

The notorious prison was used for detention purposes by US-led coalition in Iraq until 2006 when the US government handed control over prison to the local authorities. The prison ceased functioning in 2014.

8 Responses to “Pentagon to release about 200 photos of tortured Afghan, Iraqi prisoners”

  1. Robert Awwad says:

    The United States’ torture, abuse and murder of prisoners in Iraq put them at the same level of the gangsters’ state of Israel. That is why they do not condemn Israelis’ violations of Palestinians human and civil rights.

  2. Mohammed ali says:

    They get the punishment from Allahu(swt)saithans

  3. Malik Mehraj Khalid says:

    BBC/CNN/New York Times/UN/Human Rights Groups, you call, we Muslims as terrorists. What name you will give these peacekeepers?

  4. Mostafa H. Kallol says:

    Feel sorrow to see these photographs. Please try to avoid this tipe of barbarik activities with any person if he seems guilty.

  5. Chris skinner says:

    Disgusting no one deserves to be treated like this even prisoners legally held or not deserve dignity not to be treated like animals pictures like this sicken me they deserve to be locked up themselves i most certainly don’t want this done in my name

  6. Lanie says:

    If this is the type of soldiers we have to day, we do not need criminils and terrorists

    If that is the type of soldiers we get today, how do you distinguish between who are soldiers and who are terrorists? Is that the type of people they allow to become soldiers or are they trained to torture and kill? Who sent these thugs to Iraq and Afghanistan in the first place to molest nations in their own countries? I call them sadists and psychopaths. If we had lived in a fair, just world with decent rulers this type of barbarism would not be tolerated. But we don’t. The rulers are bigger criminals than the blue collar offenders with all their fraud, money laundering, murdering, torture, tax evasion, stealing, corruption, deceit, lies, trafficking, exploitation, money-generating wars, disappearing people schemes, racism, etc., etc. The War on Terror is a farce; it is to silence those who threaten to expose the rich elite ‘mafia’ for what they truly are and do. Psychopaths kill or ruin people’s lives who try to go against them or expose them. They are machines, not humans, because they do not feel for others.

  7. shannon washburn says:

    This is inhumane treatment, and its disgusting. We must rise above our enemies. We have slipped into the Abyss of Hell with the rest of the third world. Its no God. Its that these are not Christians doing these abuses. And there are fewer and fewer Christians in the Military, I guess. Just men and women looking for a secure-ish future. Well, when the Military lowers its standards, everything else follows. They arent being supported from within their own ranks, so to me, thats scary. Where would these same hipocrates stand if their superiors asked them to start that treatment on civilians? American civilians.? They obviously cant distinguish between pain and suffering, and plain imprisonment, which in the best of conditions, is bad enough, isnt it? The only ones who deserve that treatment, are those that are well known, and have been proven to have done the very same to others.

  8. Rosie Adams says:

    Perhaps this is what happens when you send grown men into a war and don’t bother to find out and tell them how to construct a peace. There are thousands of US veterans with dreadful tales to tell of their own. Their best friends, blown to pieces before their eyes, trapped in burning tanks, or slaughtered en masse inside a prison for lack of proper telephones. There are some US soldiers who profess to have been sent out on twelve and thirteen tours of duty, with barely a day off in between. This is what happens in war. Violence begets violence and the victim then becomes the perpetrator and the circles go round and round and decrease by degrees until there is only a numbness and a vow to revenge at the epicentre of what remains. All men are brothers on earth. All life matters.


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