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Freed Iraqi Prisoners Allege Abuse By U.S. Captors

14 May 2004 -- Several prisoners released today from the Abu Ghurayb prison in Iraq said they had been abused and humiliated by their American captors.

The former inmates -- interviewed by journalists -- were part of a group of 315 prisoners due to be released today from the prison west of Baghdad, which is at the center of an abuse scandal.

The interviewed former prisoners said the abuse inflicted by U.S. guards included being hung by their hands from walls, threatened with electric shocks, being made to carry heavy loads, and being stripped and humiliated.

Their stories cannot be independently confirmed, but their descriptions are similar to what has been depicted in photographs taken by U.S. soldiers at the prison.

U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld visited Abu Ghurayb yesterday during a surprise visit to Iraq. He said the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal will not destroy the U.S. goal to democratize the country.

In Washington yesterday, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and General Peter Pace both indicated that interrogation techniques used in Iraq violated the Geneva Conventions. (AP/AFP/CNN/BBC)

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