Washington has confirmed it is quitting the scandal-hit Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad. Some 4,500 inmates are to be transferred to a new facility. This is the prison the US says was used by Saddam Hussein’s regime to carry out torture and executions. But it also became notorious after American soldiers were photographed abusing inmates there.
General Peter Pace, the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said: “We do have plans to and are in the process of building other facilities to move the detainees under US control out of Abu Ghraib. The facility then will be owned and operated by the Iraqi government and that government will decide when it closes – if it closes.” Eight US soldiers were convicted of abuse in connection with the photographs. Two were jailed for more than eight years. Washington denied it was evidence of systematic abuse, describing those convicted as “bad apples”.