An Australian television network today broadcast photographs and video clips it said were previously unpublished images of the alleged abuse of Iraqis held in military custody at Abu Ghraib prison.
The images were taken at Abu Ghraib in late 2003 at about the same time as previously published photographs of Iraqi prisoner abuse, the Special Broadcasting Service's "Dateline" programme reported.
This handout image from Australian public broadcaster SBS TV allegedly shows a prisoner in Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison being displayed by US soldiers with his throat cut in Baghdad in 2004. SBS has shown what it said were previously unpublished photographs of the abuse of prisoners by US soldiers in Abu Ghraib(AFP/SBS)
The images shown by SBS were consistent with the earlier photographs, which triggered outrage at alleged abuse by soldiers, a congressional investigation and military trials for some of those involved.
No one in the images broadcast today could clearly by identified as military personnel. But men wearing combat-style uniforms and holding dogs on leashes appear in at least one of the images.
Many of them were more graphic than the images published earlier, showing apparently dead bodies, injuries and sexual acts.
One of the video clips shown by SBS was of a group of naked men with bags over their heads standing together, masturbating. Another video showed a man repeatedly beating himself against a wall.
Among the photographs, one showed a man with a deep cut on his neck, and another of the same man surrounded by men dressed in khaki shirts and pants, with one of the men pointing at the wound.
SBS said the images were among photographs the American Civil Liberties Union was trying to obtain from the government under a Freedom of Information request.
A district court in September upheld the request in a ruling covering scores of photographs and several videotapes. Government lawyers said it was considering an appeal, and the images were not immediately released.
In a statement e-mailed to The Associated Press, SBS said the ACLU had not seen the images sought under the Freedom of Information request, so it had not been able to confirm whether they were the same as those broadcast today.
But the general description of the photographs the ACLU is seeking "is consistent with the photographs we are releasing," the SBS statement said.
SBS refused to give details of the source of the photographs, and it was impossible to independently confirm their authenticity.
"Dateline is confident in the credibility of the source of these new photographs and videos," the SBS statement said. "They are entirely consistent with descriptions of the unreleased photographs and videos from various army reports into the abuses."
At a Senate Armed Services Committee inquiry in May 2004, Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld testified that not all known photographs of the abuses at Abu Ghraib had been publicly released.
"Beyond abuse of prisoners, there are other photos that depict incidents of physical violence toward prisoners, acts that can only be described as blatantly sadistic, cruel and inhuman," Rumsfeld said.
Copyright 2006 Associated Press