Pentagon refuses to reopen abuse inquiry

The Pentagon has refused to reopen an investigation into allegations
by three Iraqis working for Reuters that they were abused by US forces.

Reuters said the investigation, during which none of the three was interviewed, was inadequate and should be reopened.

The
three Iraqis, along with another Iraqi freelance journalist working for
US network NBC, were detained by US soldiers in January while covering
the shooting-down of a helicopter near Falluja. When released, the
Iraqis said that they had been subjected to beatings, torture and
sexual humiliation.

Lawrence Di Rita, special assistant to US
defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld, said Central Command and Pentagon
lawyers had reviewed the military’s initial investigation.

“The
investigation was found to be sufficient and no basis was found to
reopen it,” Di Rita said in a letter received by Reuters this week.

Reuters
global managing editor David Schlesinger said he was very disappointed
that the department of defense had chosen not to reopen a clearly
flawed investigation.

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