[News] Abu Ghraib crimes
News at freedomarchives.org
News at freedomarchives.org
Thu Oct 21 09:04:31 EDT 2004
Soldier says Abu Ghraib interrogators told him to stage mock electrocution
Suzanne Goldenberg in Washington
Thursday October 21, 2004
A US soldier on trial for abusing Iraqi prisoners told a Baghdad court
martial yesterday that he hooked up wires around a hooded detainee in a
mock electrocution at the behest of military and civilian intelligence
Staff Sergeant Ivan "Chip" Frederick, 28, pleaded guilty to five charges
including assault, indecent acts, mistreatment of detainees, and
dereliction of duty. He is expected to be sentenced today.
Under an arrangement secured with the prosecution, Sgt Frederick will
testify at the trials of other soldiers linked to the prisoner abuse
scandal in return for reducing the gravity of charges against him.
Sgt Frederick, an army reservist, is the second member of the 372nd
military police to plead guilty in return for lesser charges, and the most
senior of the seven unit's soldiers charged so far to stand trial.
In his testimony yesterday, he described a prison regime where policy was
set by military and civilian officials involved in the interrogation of
prisoners. However, Sgt Frederick played a pivotal role in the events at
His experience as a prison guard in civilian life led his superiors to put
him in charge of the night shift in the main prison block at Abu Ghraib,
including the tier where the abuse was photographed.
Yesterday, he told the presiding military judge, Colonel James Pohl, that
he had played a role in constructing one of the most harrowing images of
the abuse that surfaced last April: the photo of a hooded detainee,
standing on a box, with wires emerging from his hands.
"I took one and wrapped it around his finger. Sgt [Javal] Davis put one on
his hand, Spc [Sabrina] Harman one on his toe," Sgt Frederick said.
He said military and civilian interrogators regularly asked prison guards
to set conditions for detainees, and he believed that officials wanted him
to scare the prisoner to help with interrogation. However, he had
misgivings: "I knew it was wrong at the time because I knew it was a form
He went on to describe his role in other episodes, including the occasion
when he hit a detainee in the chest with such force that the prisoner
needed medical attention, and forcing Iraqi prisoners to masturbate in
front of US soldiers.
He said his command gave him little guidance on the law governing the
treatment of prisoners. "I had no support when I brought things up to my
command. They told me to do what [military intelligence] told me to do."
Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2004
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