Abu Ghraib Release Upsets Iraqis

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BAGHDAD, Aug. 8 (UPI) — Iraqi citizens expressed outrage after a U.S. Army corporal accused of torture at the country’s Abu Ghraib prison was released from prison during the weekend.

The U.S. army released Charles Graner from a Fort Leavenworth, Kan., prison during the weekend after he served more than six years of a 10-year prison sentence. He, along with six members of his military police company, was charged in 2004 with abusing prisoners at the Abu Ghraib detention facility west of Baghdad.

One Iraqi man, Riyadh Khalifa, 37, told the Voices of Iraq news agency that the decision to release Graner was humiliating to the thousands of Iraqi civilians jailed and killed following the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

“He must be retried and sentenced to death or life imprisonment or else his retrial by an independent Iraqi court,” he was quoted as saying.

His comments echoed others who called for an Iraqi trial for Graner.

The uproar comes as Iraqi officials consider the withdrawal deadline for U.S. forces in the country. U.S. military forces under a 2008 status of forces agreement are to leave Iraq by the end of December.

Lawmakers in Baghdad gave the country’s prime minister the authority to consider hosting U.S. military trainers beyond the deadline.

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