- Title: IRAQ: OVER 100 IRAQI PRISONERS RELEASED BY U.S. FORCES.
- Date: 8th January 2004
- Summary: (W5) ABU GHRAIB PRISON, BAGHDAD, IRAQ (JANUARY 8, 2004) (REUTERS) 1. GV/MV: EXTERIOR OF ABU GHRAIB PRISON WITH PEOPLE WAITING OUTSIDE (2 SHOTS) 0.13 3. GV: TWO U.S. MILITARY TRUCKS CARRYING PRISONERS DRIVING FROM PRISON/ PRISONERS WAVING TO THEIR RELATIVES AND FRIENDS 0.26 4. GV: PRISONERS STANDING ON STREET 0.33 5. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic), RELEASED PRISONER, JAMAL, SAYING: "Thanks to God we were released and we hope that all prisoners be freed." 0.41 6. CU: PRISON INMATE NUMBER WRITTEN ON THE BACK OF A PRISONER 0.44 7. GV/PAN: PRISONERS WITH THEIR RELATIVES AND FRIENDS 0.52 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 23rd January 2004 12:00
- Location: ABU GHRAIB , BAGHDAD, IRAQ
- Country: Iraq
- Reuters ID: LVA7WGQ59Z2JXIAFFD881WGVXOC2
- Story Text: Over a hundred Iraqis held by the U.S. forces
were released to cheering from their relatives and friends.
Two U.S. Army truckloads of prisoners released from
the Abu Ghraib prison west of Baghdad on Thursday (January
8), the first Iraqis to be freed under a new U.S. amnesty
Impatient crowds who had been waiting since early
morning outside the prison, yelled and clapped as they saw
military trucks driving out of the prison carrying
Two green Army trucks carrying about 66 prisoners each
left the prison and drove away. As the Army trucks left,
scores of Iraqis jumped into waiting vehicles to follow the
Hundreds of Iraqis were at the gates of the feared Abu
Ghraib prison near Baghdad waiting for the release of
friends and relatives they hope are among around 100 people
the U.S. coalition in Iraq had said it would release under
the amnesty, introduced Wednesday.
The Americans have detained around 9,000 Iraqis in the
eight months since overthrowing Saddam Hussein, most of
whom are being held at Abu Ghraib.
Many have been rounded up in raids and are suspected of
carrying out insurgent activities against U.S. and
coalition troops. But hundreds of others were detained
merely for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Paul Bremer, the U.S. administrator in Iraq announced
the amnesty on Wednesday, saying low-threat detainees
rounded up since April and held without charges would be
released as part of efforts to promote reconciliation with
Officials say many of the detainees were directly
responsible for attacking U.S. and allied forces, while
others were detained merely for being suspicious.
Some 506 prisoners deemed not to have what Bremer
called bloodstained hands have been earmarked for release,
with the first batch out on Thursday.
The new policy follows the capture of Saddam Hussein
last month, which U.S. officials say has led many more
Iraqis to cooperate with the occupation, and comes as the
United States prepares to hand over power to Iraqis at the
end of June.
Officials with the U.S.-led coalition say they hope a
carrot-and-stick approach -- freeing low-level threats
while stepping up the hunt for members of the former regime
still at large -- will create more peace and security.
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