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Bush Expresses 'Disgust' at Iraqi Prisoner Abuse - 2004-05-01


President Bush has expressed "a deep disgust" about photographs depicting Iraqi prisoners being abused by U.S. soldiers in Iraq.

Speaking at the White House Friday, Mr. Bush denounced mistreatment of prisoners, saying such behavior "does not reflect the nature of the American people."

The U.S. military has filed criminal charges against six soldiers in the case and more soldiers are expected to be charged. A senior American military officer in charge of the prison has been suspended.

One of the soldiers facing charges, Staff Sergeant Chip Frederick, reportedly told U.S. television (CBS) that the way the U.S. military ran the prison led to abuse.

Photographs showing the abuse have been published and broadcast around the world. They were first aired Wednesday by the American television network CBS which says they were taken last year.

In some of the pictures, American soldiers are shown laughing, as naked male prisoners are stacked in a pyramid or positioned to simulate sexual acts. Another photo shows a hooded man standing on a box with wires attached to his hands. CBS says the man was told, falsely, that if he fell off the box he would be electrocuted.

The photographs reportedly were taken inside Abu Gharib prison, which was a notorious penitentiary during the rule of ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

The photographs have sparked outrage around the world. The Arab League called on those responsible to be brought to justice for the "savage acts."

On Friday, Britain's Defense Ministry launched an investigation into photographs of an Iraqi prisoner apparently abused by British troops.

Information for this report is provided by Reuters and AFP.

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