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Home >> World
UPDATED: 09:14, February 16, 2006
New photos show Iraq prison abuse
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Further shocking images of alleged abuse of prisoners by US soldiers at Abu Ghraib jail are broadcast by Australia's SBS network

Australian public broadcaster SBS yesterday showed what it said were previously unpublished photographs of the abuse of prisoners in Iraq's notorious Abu Ghraib prison by US soldiers.

The pictures showed one man covered in what appeared to be excrement, another with a gash in his throat and an alleged interrogation room covered in blood. Video footage showed a row of naked men apparently masturbating.

Their release comes amid fury in the Muslim world, where anti-Western sentiment is raging over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, and follows earlier pictures of abuse by US forces at the Baghdad prison leaked in 2004.

"These are the photographs the American Government doesn't want you to see," the SBS announcer said, warning that some of the images shown on the "Dateline" programme could be disturbing.

Some of the US guards who have already been sentenced for their part in the abuse, including Private Lynndie England, are seen in the new photographs. SBS said others that were not broadcast showed her having sex.

Some pictures showed scenes similar to those already seared into the public mind, including different angles of a hooded man with wires attached to his fingers, naked men stacked on top of one another, a naked man hanging upside down from a bunk, and terrified prisoners being menaced by dogs.

The man covered in what appears to be his own excrement was apparently mentally disturbed and was described as a "plaything" of his US guards who "experimented with ways to restrain him" rather than try to help him.

"When the original Abu Ghraib photographs were leaked to the press, members of Congress were given a private viewing of photographs, including the images which appear in this Dateline programme.

"They were shocked by what these extra images revealed of the full horror of the abuses taking place at Abu Ghraib," SBS said.

One man displayed what looked to be burn marks on his left forearm, while another with serious head injuries was covered in blood and lying on a stretcher.

The pictures are the subject of a legal battle in the United States, where the government is trying to prevent their public release, the broadcaster said.

A spokeswoman for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Amrit Singh, told "Dateline" that it hoped the release of the pictures would pressure the US Government to hold senior military officers accountable for the abuse.

A US court granted the ACLU access to the photographs under Freedom of Information Act provisions but the US Government had appealed the decision and the pictures had not been previously shown publicly, SBS said.

"The extent of the abuse shown in the photos suggests that the torture and abuse that occurred at Abu Ghraib in 2004 is much worse than is currently understood," the broadcaster said.

A spokeswoman would not comment on how the photographs had been obtained, but said the channel was "confident in the credibility of the source of these new photographs and videos."

Publication of the original photographs provoked outrage around the world.

Last month, US President George W. Bush said in an interview about the first Abu Ghraib photos: "There's no question ... we were disgraced."

Source: China Daily

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