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February 26, 2006

Sharing responsibilities for Abu Ghraib

It was only some hours since the latest video about tortures in the prison of Abu Ghraib was shown on channel Rainews24, at 7 a.m Feb 22, when the Italian government denied any involvement. The video by Sigfrido Ranucci (author also of the reportage on the use of napalm during the Falluja siege) contains an interview with the sadly famous ‘hooded’ detainee of the Iraqui prison, whose picture has appeared all over the world. The former detainee, Ali Shalal al Kaisi, states that some Italian contractors did play a role in the tortures of Abu Ghraib, by taking part in aggressive interrogations of prisoners and committing abuse together with some American soldiers.

“The Italian government doesn’t know anything about the presence of Italian citizens at Abu Ghraib – they point out from Rome – In any case we absolutely exclude that these people are soldiers or public officers”.

Several national newspapers such as La Repubblica, Il Corriere della Sera and La Stampa gave the news about the video one day in advance on their web sites. The left leaning paper L’Unità wrote on that day that “Italian mercenaries, too, tortured prisoners in Iraq”, then adding that “these people get paid a huge amount of dollars to kill and wage war under the flag of the United States of America”. The article also described the government’s attitude as “an attempt to avoid responsibilities, not a real denial“.

The MP for the Democratic Party, Ds, Fabio Mussi called for an explanation from the government before the Parliament. But, almost simultaneously, the Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was saying that “they don’t know anything and, in any case, if there were mercenaries at Abu Ghraib, it’s not their problem”.

Watch the video on Rainews24.

Posted February 26, 2006 09:54 AM


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