Five soldiers charged for punching kicking detainees
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Five US soldiers in Iraq charged with abuse
BAGHDAD - Five U.S. soldiers in Iraq alleged to have punched and kicked Iraqi detainees have been charged with abusing them, the U.S. military said on Monday.
"The allegations stemmed from an incident on September 7 in which three detainees were allegedly punched and kicked by the soldiers as they were awaiting movement to a detention facility," the military said in a statement.
U.S. soldier Lynndie England, 22, was sentenced by a U.S. military court on September 27 to three years' jail after being convicted of abuse, including being photographed pointing to the genitals of a naked Iraqi detainee in Abu Ghraib prison.
Monday's statement said the soldiers from the 75th Ranger Regiment were charged on Saturday with violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice but gave no other details.
"All allegations of abuse are taken very seriously and investigated thoroughly, and appropriate action is taken based on the findings of the investigation," the statement said.
England was the last of a group of U.S. soldiers to be convicted of abuse at Abu Ghraib, including Charles Graner, her former boyfriend, who is serving 10 years.
The prisoner abuse scandal provoked global outrage and deepened Iraqi resentment of occupying U.S. troops.
U.S. forces are holding 13,885 prisoners at several detention centers in Iraq, according to figures from the military last week, including 5,074 at the vast Abu Ghraib complex in western Baghdad.
Iraqi families, human rights groups and some Iraqi government ministers, including the justice minister, complain that too many Iraqis are being wrongfully detained for too long without due process.
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