WASHINGTON -- Government documents made public Thursday provide fresh details about allegations of abuse by guards at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and other detention facilities in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
They include incidents in which a female prisoner was sexually humiliated by US military intelligence officers and a male inmate was shot at to force cooperation.
Meanwhile, a military judge has ordered two US Army reservists to stand trial in Baghdad for allegedly abusing Iraqi inmates at Abu Ghraib. Specialist Charles Graner Jr., 36, of Uniontown, Pa., will face a court-martial Jan. 7, while Sergeant Javal Davis, 26, of Maryland, is set to be tried Feb. 1.
The US documents, obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union under court order, include an internal FBI memo from last May that shows bureau employees based at Abu Ghraib witnessed a number of troubling incidents, but ''did not believe [that what they saw] rose to the level of misconduct or mistreatment."
The materials also describe the deaths of three Abu Ghraib prisoners, all reportedly of heart attacks, within days of each other in August 2003, weeks before the now-infamous episodes of photographed abuse began occurring at the prison.
Eight US soldiers have been charged with crimes in the Abu Ghraib scandal. Three have pleaded guilty, and one, Staff Sergeant Ivan L. ''Chip" Frederick II, was sentenced Thursday to eight years in prison.
The latest documents were released after a federal court directed the Defense Department and other government agencies to comply with the ACLU's request under the Freedom of Information Act for more details about alleged prisoner torture and abuse.
''After more than a year of stonewalling, the government has finally released some documents, though many are heavily redacted," said Amrit Singh, an ACLU staff lawyer. ''Unfortunately, the government continues to withhold records that would show who was ultimately responsible for the systemic abuse of detainees."
A preliminary review of some of the newly released material showed one case in which three US soldiers were each ordered detained for a month, fined up to $750, and reduced in rank for an incident in October 2003 in which a female Iraqi prisoner was partially stripped, abused, and threatened with more physical harm.
The woman told army investigators that she was in her cell at Baghdad's Al-Salhyat Prison when three military interrogators escorted her to an abandoned cell. While one soldier ''acted as a lookout," the woman said, another held her hands behind her back while the third soldier ''forcefully kissed" her. She said she then was taken downstairs and shown a naked Iraqi man.