Following Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's visit to Iraq and tour of the infamous Abu Ghraib prison, 315 detainees were released today.
Hundreds of relatives of the detainees stood outside the prison waiting the release. Some of those released have made comments as to the unsafe
conditions of Abu Ghraib, which is a common target for resistance mortar shells and to humiliation suffered at the hands of their captors.
American Troops Release 315 Iraqi Detainees From Abu Ghraib Prison
After spending over nine months in the prison, Hussein Sami did not complain of physical abuse. However, he said he and other prisoners were under
psychological pressure, with guards repeatedly shouting and insulting inmates. The prison was also unsafe because Iraqi insurgents sometimes targeted
it with mortar rounds.
Sami arrived at his house in the Dora neighborhood of Baghdad, and family members slaughtered a sheep at the gates in celebration. He claimed he was
never told why he was arrested. His father and brother were left behind at Abu Ghraib, Sami said.
Another former prisoner, Mohammed al-Musawi, complained that he was humiliated by guards at least once during his 11-month incarceration.
"They forced me to take all my clothes off and female prison guards were whispering and laughing at me, " Musawi said while sitting in a room with
tribal leaders. He was arrested in Baghdad's Hurriyah neighborhood, for allegedly participating in an attack against a U.S. tank.
Musawi spoke of other detainees who left interrogation rooms with bruises, apparently from beatings.
"After taking some of the detainees into the interrogation rooms, they would come out with bruises and swellings in their bodies," he said.
Nahidah Abdulkarim, a housewife who said her three sons were detained by U.S. forces in January, stood in a dusty field and peered through the barbed
wire fence at the prison.
"I am so eager to see them again so that I can kill all the bad and ugly thoughts that my sons had been abused inside the prison," she said. "Every
time I see the pictures of the abused Iraqi prisoners, I die a hundred times."
Police Lt. Col. Omar Aljuburi said he came to check on the possible release of his two cousins, who were arrested in the northern town of Kirkuk for
allegedly participating in the insurgency against U.S. troops. Aljuburi said the allegations were false.