'Ghost' detainee investigation urged

Sept. 10, 2004 at 12:37 PM

NEW YORK, Sept. 10 (UPI) -- Human Rights Watch Friday called for an independent investigation into allegations dozens of Iraqi detainees have been hidden from the Red Cross.

U.S. Army investigators told Congress Thursday detainees at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison -- ranging from two dozen to as many as 100 -- were hidden from the International Committee of the Red Cross at the request of the CIA.

The CIA's inspector general is investigating reports agency officers hid the prisoners from the Red Cross, which on the face of it is a violation of the Geneva Conventions.

"Secret detention is the gateway to torture," said Reed Brody, special counsel at the New York-based human rights group. "History shows that when people are taken off the books, they become vulnerable to mistreatment, torture and even 'disappearance.'"

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