Baghdad, Iraq (Rotters) – A combined Iraqi American task force raided a suspected government detention center last Thursday in Baghdad, and discovered over 600 prisoners crammed into the tiny location, with 13 of them requiring hospitalization secondary to apparent mistreatment. US forces are refusing comment as to what manner of abuse the prisoners might have been subjected to. The facility is apparently under the auspices of a commando unit of the Department of the Interior Ministry. This comes after the discovery last month of 169 malnourished and tortured prisoners.
The interim Baghdad government has insisted upon an apology from the US forces over this latest incident. The government insists that the task force in actuality raided an early vote polling station for the upcoming Iraqi elections. The government insisted that it is making every effort to assure that all citizens are allowed to vote, including the elderly, the hospitalized, and prisoners. Upon casting their votes for the current Shi’ite ruling party 56 Sunni prisoners were released after Iraqi judges determined there was no longer any need to hold them. 75 have been transferred to the central Rusafa Prison, where they will be afforded the right to vote again, as discrepancies were found on their voter registration forms. Adel al-Lami, the director general of the electoral commission, urged, “Please stay away from political conspiracies. There is no political reason for this.”
White House spokesperson Scott McClellan stated, “It is exciting to see the Iraqis fully embracing an American style of democracy. It is also heartwarming to see a proud group of Iraqis willing to endure such torturous conditions, just to be able to cast their vote in a free election. American voters would do well to remember this, the next time they face a long line at their precinct station. The Bush administration apologizes wholeheartedly for any mistakes made by American forces in this incident. Indeed, our boots on the ground have been reassigned and instructed to help facilitate in whatever means possible the upcoming Iraqi election process.”