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Bush Calls for Punishment in Iraq Prison Abuse - 2004-05-04


The White House says President Bush is urging the Pentagon to make sure the U.S. soldiers photographed mistreating Iraqi prisoners are punished -- amid growing international condemnation of the incident.

Spokesman Scott McClellan today (Monday) described the actions of the U.S. soldiers as "shameful" and said President Bush had discussed the issue with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

The U.S. military said today (Monday) it has reprimanded the six soldiers accused of the abuse at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison -- clearing the way for legal action.

An investigation is also under way into allegations that U.S. intelligence officials encouraged the abuse, which allegedly included beatings and sodomy.

The chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Richard Myers, says the abuse at the Iraqi prison was an isolated incident and not a systemic problem.

But the London-based rights group, Amnesty International, is calling for an independent and public inquiry into all allegations of the torture of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. and coalition troops.

The group says it has received "scores" of reports of ill treatment of detainees in Iraq, including beatings and prolonged restraint.

Information for this report is provided by AP and Reuters.

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