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New U.S. Commander Says Abu Ghurayb Will Stay Open

8 May 2004 -- The new commander of U.S. detention facilities in Iraq says the Abu Ghurayb prison in Baghdad will continue to operate, despite calls for its closure amid a scandal over abuse of prisoners by U.S. troops.

Major General Geoffrey Miller said today that such abuses will not happen again and that Abu Ghurayb is now being run in accordance with the Geneva Conventions.

"Currently, we will continue to operate at the Abu Ghurayb facility. As many of you know, we have made a decision to reduce the number of detainees who are at that facility, to between 1,500 and 2000. So we will continue to reduce the size of the detainee population. We will continue to conduct the interrogation mission at the Abu Ghurayb facility," Miller said.

Miller led a team to Iraq last summer to make recommendations on how to improve the efficiency of Abu Ghurayb. He said he recommended military police should assist interrogators by observing prisoners 24 hours a day to understand their mental states.

Miller was previously the commander of the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.


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