News and Information

US troops 'made Iraq abuse video'
March 8, 2005

A prisoner is led away at Abu Ghraib prison, Baghdad
The US army is investigating hundreds of alleged abuses in Iraq
A group of US soldiers made a video of themselves kicking a badly wounded Iraqi prisoner and trying to make the arm of a corpse wave, it has emerged.

The footage was among a compilation of recordings made by some soldiers in the Florida National Guard who were in the Iraqi city of Ramadi until last year.

Entitled Ramadi Madness, the tape was revealed in army documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union.

The army did not bring charges, deeming it "inappropriate" but not criminal.

Scenes from the 27-minute video appeared on the Palm Beach Post website on Monday.

It shows a US soldier kick in the face a prisoner who was bound, with gunshot wounds and lying on the ground.

There's no justification for kicking an enemy prisoner of war when he's wounded on the ground in front of you and about to die
Jameel Jaffer
ACLU lawyer

In another part of the video, a soldier grabs the arm of an Iraqi truck driver who has been shot dead and tries to make the corpse wave to the camera.

Each section of the video has its own title.

One scene shows burned and dismembered bodies following a massive blast. Another shows US troops driving through a village shouting "Get out of the way, we're trying to drive here!"

Abuse inquiry

The video was made while the soldiers served as part of the 124th Regiment in the restive city of Ramadi, some 70 miles (110km) west of Baghdad, before returning home a year ago.

Its existence was revealed in more than 1,000 pages of documents obtained in a lawsuit by ACLU as part of its investigations into alleged Iraq prisoner abuse.

The video itself was not released, and a military investigation found the video footage showed "inappropriate rather than criminal behaviour".

"Clearly, the soldiers probably exercised poor judgement... and I'm sure that they were admonished by their command for their actions," army spokesman Lt Col Jeremy Martin was quoted by Reuters news agency as saying.

But ACLU lawyer Jameel Jaffer says he finds it hard to understand why nobody has been held accountable.

"There's no justification for kicking an enemy prisoner of war when he's wounded on the ground in front of you and about to die," he says.

"Clearly, there's some stuff in this video that's inappropriate but not criminal. But then there's quite a lot of other stuff in here that does seem to be criminal."


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