New York The group Human Rights Watch said in a report released today that U.S. military commanders encouraged abusive interrogations of detainees in Iraq, even after the Abu Ghraib prison scandal called attention to the issue in 2004.
Between 2003 and 2005, prisoners were routinely physically mistreated, deprived of sleep and exposed to extreme temperatures as part of the interrogation process, the report said.
"Soldiers were told that the Geneva Conventions did not apply, and that interrogators could use abusive techniques to get detainees to talk," wrote John Sifton, a senior researcher at Human Rights Watch.
A Pentagon spokesman, Cmdr. Greg Hicks, said he wasn't aware of the report, but noted the military is reviewing its procedures regarding detainees following a Supreme Court ruling that the Geneva Conventions should apply in the conflict with al-Qaida.