France says Iraq prisoner abuse 'unacceptable'

5th May 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, May 5 (AFP) - France on Wednesday condemned the alleged abuse of Iraqi prisoners by US-led coalition forces, calling the incidents "unacceptable" and saying that if confirmed, they would violate international conventions.

PARIS, May 5 (AFP) - France on Wednesday condemned the alleged abuse of Iraqi prisoners by US-led coalition forces, calling the incidents "unacceptable" and saying that if confirmed, they would violate international conventions.

"As the authorities of the coalition member states said themselves, the treatment of some Iraqi detainees, as it appears in the images released in the media in recent days, is totally unacceptable," said foreign ministry spokesman Herve Ladsous.

"We understand the great range of emotion sparked by such behavior which, if proven to be true, is disgraceful and constitutes clear and inadmissible violations of international conventions," Ladsous added.

Paris had refused to comment on the reports on Tuesday, simply recalling the need to respect the rules of warfare at all times.

The United States is facing mounting international anger after graphic photographs of abuse of Iraqi detainees by US troops were released by CBS News and other media outlets.

Television footage aired last week showed inmates at the Abu Ghraib prison outside Baghdad, some naked, in humiliating, sexually suggestive poses. Some of the images also showed US military personnel pointing and laughing at detainees.

Britain is currently investigating photographs run by the Daily Mirror that allegedly show an Iraqi prisoner being abused by British troops.

"If these allegations are confirmed, those responsible for such acts must be brought before the courts," the French spokesman said.

On Tuesday, US Secretary of State Colin Powell said he was "shocked" by the images, describing the photos as "totally despicable".

The US military has opened criminal investigations into the deaths of 25 prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan, including two homicides, since December 2002, senior army officials said Tuesday.

© AFP

Subject: French news

 

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