United States troops were told not to investigate allegations of torture by Iraqi security forces, according to documents found in the war logs.
A comprehensive trawl of the secret military files show that US soldiers witnessed, or were told of, more than 1,300 cases of detainee abuse by Iraqi authorities. But following the Abu Ghraib scandal of 2004, they were given explicit orders not to investigate unless coalition personnel were involved.
The logs reveal that more than 180,000 people were detained in Iraq between 2004 and 2009. This is equivalent to one in 50 of the male population. In comparison, the number of people detained in Afghanistan, which has a similar population, was 7,500.
Most of those detained in Iraq detentions were in state-run centres.
Graphic: Detentions in Iraq
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism has found 1,365 reports of alleged torture in Iraqi police stations, prisons and army bases which were logged between May 2005 and December 2009. The alleged brutality was reminiscent of the worst excesses of Saddam Hussein’s regime. They describe men and women blindfolded, beaten with cables, their genitals electrocuted, fingernails ripped out, sodomised with bottles and hoses.
And yet within the secret files are two orders which tell ground force troops not to investigate these allegations of abuse.