(That Is, If It Ever Closes - Pentagon Says Reports of Abu Ghraib's Demise Greatly Exaggerated.)
By David Edwards on 3/17/2006, 5:26am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


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Last week the U.S. military announced plans to handover control of the infamous Abu Ghraib prison to Iraqi authorities.

Chris Floyd points out that the Pentagon quietly retracted the idea that Abu Ghraib would be closed in the near future. The following statement was released by the Pentagon:

"The United States always has planned to transfer authority for all detention facilities in Iraq to the Iraqis, but announcements regarding the imminent closure at the Abu Ghraib prison are premature, defense officials said today. News reports that the U.S. military intends to close Abu Ghraib within the next few months and to transfer its prisoners to other jails are inaccurate, officials said.

"There's no specific timetable for that transfer or for closure of the Baghdad prison, they said. Decisions regarding Abu Ghraib and other detention facilities in Iraq will be based largely on two factors: the readiness of Iraq's security forces to assume control of them and infrastructure improvements at the facilities"

Regardless of when (or if) the U.S. closes Abu Ghraib, NGO's and Iraqi citizens agree that prisoners will continue to be abused in other facilities throughout Iraq. According to Khalid Rabia'a, spokesman for the Baghdad-based Prisoners' Association for Justice (PAJ):

Torture has been practiced by the US as well as by Iraqi military officials,

The handover of Abu Ghraib won't stop the suffering and human rights abuses.

The video in this post is a news report by the independent Arab News Network (ANN) broadcasting out of London, England. In the video, several Iraqis share their thoughts on the closing of Abu Ghraib and the continuing prisoner abuse in Iraq.