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The Abu Ghraib prison has been closed, reopened, and rebranded since the 2004 prisoner abuse scandal. Karim Kadim/AP
Prisoner Abuse

Obama attempts to censor new Abu Ghraib abuse photos

New photographs of prisoner abuse claim to show inmates being raped and sexually abused.

US PRESIDENT Barack Obama has moved to censor new images of prisoner abuse from the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq which allegedly show prisoners being raped and sexually abused.

The photographs were handed over as part of a military investigation into prisoner abuse dating from 2004, but the existence of pictorial evidence into the abuses was unknown until now.

Military reports into the abuse allegations compiled at the time included the allegations of rape and sexual abuse, but the army general who conducted the enquiry, Major General Antonio Taguba, revealed to the Daily Telegraph that photographic evidence existed to back up the claims.

The pictures also show sexual assaults on inmates using phosphorescent tubes and truncheons, while others show female prisoners being forced to strip and expose their breasts.

The individuals involved in the abuses have already been prosecuted. President Obama had earlier committed to releasing the photographs, following a court judgement in favour of the American Civil Liberties Union seeking their publication, but has changed his mind after lobbying from senior military officials who fear their publication would inflame anti-American opinion in the Muslim world.

Obama added that the photos were “not particularly sensational, especially when compared to the painful images that we remember from [earlier photographs involving] Abu Ghraib.”

Taguba has endorsed Obama’s decision to block publication of the photographs.

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