Court Orders Release of Images of Detainee Abuse at Abu Ghraib

September 29, 2005 12:00 am

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NEW YORK – A federal judge has ordered the release of photos and videos of detainee abuse at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison, saying that the photos may answer important questions about government accountability. In seeking the release of the images, the American Civil Liberties Union and its allies said the images are a critical component in the quest for public accountability.

Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein today agreed, saying publication of the photographs will help to answer questions not only about the unlawful conduct of American soldiers, but about “”the command structure that failed to exercise discipline over the troops, and the persons in that command structure whose failures in exercising supervision may make them culpable along with the soldiers who were court-martialed for perpetrating the wrongs.””

The following quote can be attributed to ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero: “Today’s historic ruling is a step toward ensuring that our government’s leaders are held accountable for the abuse and torture that happened on their watch. The American public has a right to know what happened in American detention centers, and how our leaders let it occur.”

The court’s ruling is online at

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