“Why would I lie?”
“Maliki: amnesty for ‘deceived’ insurgents,” from Agence France-Presse:
BAGHDAD: Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on Sunday announced an amnesty for those detainees who had been “deceived” into joining the insurgency in Iraq. The amnesty, he told a news conference, would not apply to those found guilty of killings or planting bombs.
“I asked the legal department and I asked the political council for national security, and they all agreed it is necessary to grant amnesty for those who were deceived or those who committed minor contraventions,” Maliki said.
“We believe some prisoners were deceived and their families will prevent them from returning to terrorism,” he said. “This amnesty will not cover those who have been convicted of killings or planting explosives.”
It was not immediately clear how many detainees would be affected by the amnesty.
And among them, how many are foreign nationals?
On Thursday, the US military released 500 Iraqi detainees at a ceremony attended by Maliki at Camp Victory, a large military base near Baghdad airport.
The prime minister told reporters the prisoners had been released “on a humanitarian basis,” adding that it was part of a broader national reconciliation program his government embarked upon last year.
Around 20,000 detainees are held in US-run prisons in Iraq, mostly in Camp Bucca near the southern port city of Basra and at Camp Cropper near Baghdad.
Most of them are believed to be Sunni Arabs detained during military operations
across the country on suspicion of aiding the anti-US insurgency and have been held without
charge for months or years.
The US military says the average time a detainee spends in one of its two prisons is one year.
The rate of recidivism would also be an interesting statistic.