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Comments by YACCS
Thursday, January 08, 2004

Bungled prisoner release

Bungled prisoner release

Several hundred relatives of Iraqi prisoners gathered outside Abu Ghraib prison - about 35 kilometres west of Baghdad - early in the morning to wait for their release.

Relatives waited for hours outside Abu Ghraib prison

Translators using loudspeakers told the crowd to go to a nearby town where the prisoners were to be taken by bus upon release.

Only some of the relatives believed them, says the BBC's Chris Hogg in Baghdad, while others preferred to remain within sight of the gates.

As the army trucks with up to 80 inmates left the prison at about 1600 local time (1200 GMT), scores of Iraqis jumped into waiting vehicles to follow the convoy.

A short while later, the prisoners were dropped off to be greeted and embraced by relatives.

The coalition spokesman, Dan Senor, refused either to confirm or deny that the freed inmates were the first batch out of 506 the US had said would be released in coming weeks.

"The process for releasing prisoners is under way. Approximately 100 would be ready to be released today," Mr Senor said.

"They (prisoners) are ready, but that is conditional on the guarantors - the tribal and community leaders - we are in the process of contacting them and waiting for them to step forward," the spokesman added.

This is insane. There are no lists of prisoners, no formal release of information, yet, they express shock that the families were pissed that their relatives weren't released. In many cases, the arrests were for reason known only to the soldiers who did it.

posted by Steve @ 7:26:00 PM

7:26:00 PM

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