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UPDATED: 08:35, May 19, 2004
US troops abuse Reuters local staff in Iraq
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The Reuters news agency said on Tuesday that three of its local staff in Iraq were allegedly subjected to sexually degrading treatment after being detained in January.

It was unveiling the ordeal of its employees after the US military had concluded there was no evidence that the Reuters staff had been tortured or abused, the news agency said.

The Reuters employees were allegedly abused at two US military bases, after being detained for covering the shooting down of a UShelicopter near the flashpoint city of Falluja.

Earlier reports said Baghdad-based cameraman Salem Ureibi, Falluja-based freelance TV journalist Ahmad Mohammad Hussein al-Badrani and driver Sattar Jabar al-Badrani were held for three days before being released without charge.

The three detainees were quoted by the Reuters as saying that they were forced to make demeaning gestures as soldiers laughed, taunted them and took photographs.

Among other things, they were allegedly deprived of sleep, had bags placed over their heads, were kicked and hit and forced to remain in stress positions for long periods.

The Reuters report came in the wake of the scandal involving the mistreatment of detainees at Abu Graib prison near Baghdad.

Source: Xinhua

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