10,000 detainees released in Iraq this year: US military

August 2nd, 2008 - 3:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Baghdad, Aug 2 (DPA) More than 10,000 detainees have been released from US-run detention centres in Iraq so far this year, compared with some 8,900 released in all of 2007, the US military said Saturday. The release of the detainees was part of its programme to rehabilitate prisoners through religious counselling and education and vocational training, the military said in a statement.

About 21,000 detainees are currently held in US-run detention centres in Iraq, including about a dozen women and over 300 juveniles, according to the statement.

Everyday, US troops detain about 30 people and release 45 detainees on average, the military said, adding that the average detention time is 330 days.

Iraq’s Sunni Arab political alliance, the Iraqi Accord Front, has been urging the Shia-dominated government and the US military to release thousands of detainees - mostly Sunni Arabs - held without charge.

The alliance perceives the release of detainees as a key step to enhance national reconciliation and end Sunni Arabs’ political marginalization.

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