WASHINGTON - US military guards rode Iraqi prisoners like animals and forced them to scrape their food from toilets, according to testimony reported with the release of the first video images and more pictures of detainees being beaten and humiliated.
The Washington Post showed excerpts of videos and more pictures from the notorious Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad showing "savage beatings" and of soldiers "appearing to delight in the abuses."
The newspaper published extracts from testimony by 13 inmates who said they were sexually fondled by female soldiers, made to masturbate, sodomized with a baton by male soldiers or forced to curse the Islamic religion.
The images and statements were collected by investigators for the courts martial of seven soldiers charged with abusing detainees, the Post said. One military police guard has already been jailed for a year.
US lawmakers have been shown pictures and video evidence collected as part of the inquiry into the abuse that has brought international condemnation. But none has been made public officially.
A picture on the front page of the Post showed a prisoner in an orange jumpsuit cowering in front of an unmuzzled dog being held back by a soldier.
Another showed a naked prisoner smeared with what appeared to be excrement being forced to walk in front of a baton-wielding guard.
In another, a US soldier is shown with his right fist braced as though he is about to strike one of a pile of bound and hooded prisoners on the ground.
Another picture shows a prisoner wearing a blanket and a hood, slumped over a railing to which he is handcuffed.
A sixth picture shows a prisoner in underwear, with cuffs around his hands and one ankle, stood on two boxes with his back to a wall.
One video put up on the Post website shows naked inmates being dragged across the floor. It said another showed a US soldier who "slaps the man across his left cheek so hard that the prisoner's knees buckle."
Sworn statements given to US army investigators by the detainees in January gave graphic detail of the abuse.
The detainees described being ridden like animals by prison guards, sexually fondled by female soldiers and forced to retrieve food from their toilets.
"They forced us to walk like dogs on our hands and knees," said Hiadar Sabar Abed Miktub al-Aboodi, who was identified as detainee No. 13077.
"And we had to bark like a dog, and if we didn't do that they started hitting us hard on our face and chest with no mercy.
"After that, they took us to our cells, took the mattresses out and dropped water on the floor and they made us sleep on our stomachs on the floor with the bags on our head and they took pictures of everything."
Many detainees said they were forced to strip naked on their arrival at the prison and remained naked for several days, with some forced to wear women's underwear.
One detainee said he witnessed a US Army translator having sex with a boy of between 15 and 18 at the prison.
Another detainee described how US Army Specialist Charles Graner and other US soldiers sodomized another detainee with a phosphorescent light. Graner was also accused of throwing detainees' meals into toilets and then saying "Eat it!"
The detainees provided the names of three US soldiers, two of whom -- Graner and Sergeant Javal Davis -- are among the US soldiers facing courts martial for the abuse of prisoners.
Another detainee said he was kept naked for five days, forced to kneel for four hours with a hood over his head, badly beaten, forced to crawl as he was spat upon, and finally sodomized by a US soldiers with a nightstick.
Another detainee described how US soldiers forced him and several other detainees to form a human pyramid.
Al-Zayiadi described how he was forced to stand on a box wearing a blanket and a hood with electric wires sticking out of his body, in what has become one of the iconic photographs of the scandal.
He said one soldier "came and put electrical wires on my fingers and toes and on my penis, and I had a bag over my head."
Meanwhile, a private contract translator at Abu Ghraib prison has been accused of sexually humiliating prisoners, The Wall Street Journal said.
The man helped hold down three detainees who were "nude, handcuffed to each other and placed in sexual positions," a US official who reviewed a classified portion of an army investigation told the daily.
The employee of Titan Corp, based in California, was not identified and it was unclear if he is the same translator that one inmate at Abu Ghraib said he saw having sex with a teenage detainee, the daily said.
Copyright © 2004 Agence France Presse