18 April 2003
U.S. Releases 887 Iraqi Prisoners
(Remaining Iraqis are awaiting processing to determine their status) (310)
The U.S. military released 887 Iraqi prisoners from an internment facility
in the southern Iraq city of Umm Qasr just one month after the start of
"Operation Iraqi Freedom."
Pentagon spokesman Army Major Ted Wadsworth said April 18 that these
Iraqis were released after it was determined they were not enemy
U.S. military officials convened a tribunal according to Article V of
the Geneva Convention for seven other Iraqis and determined that four
should be reclassified as enemy prisoners of war and two should be
released immediately. Another was a doctor or cleric who was detained
to aid the 6,000-plus Iraqis still awaiting processing.
The following is the text of an article written April 18 by reporter
Jim Garamone for the Defense Department's American Forces Information
Washington -- Coalition forces have released 887 Iraqi prisoners being
held in the Theater Internment Facility near Um Qasr.
Pentagon officials said most were released because it was obvious they
were not enemy combatants. The U.S. military did hold a tribunal under
the Geneva Conventions Article V to determine the status of seven
Of those seven, two were declared non-combatants and released, four
were determined to be lawful combatants and classified as enemy
prisoners of war, and one was a doctor or cleric and was detained to
provide services to the camp population, said Army Major Ted
Wadsworth, a DOD (Department of Defense) spokesman.
The facility is administered by the Army's 800th Military Police
Brigade, an Army Reserve unit based in Uniondale, New York.
There are a total of 6,850 Iraqi prisoners being held in the facility.
"The process of determining the appropriate status of the individuals
will continue," Wadsworth said.
(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)