U.S. releases 300 detainees in Iraq

By STARS AND STRIPES Published: February 14, 2008

The U.S. military released some 300 detainees from facilities in Iraq on Wednesday and Thursday, bringing the total number of releases for the year so far to 1,617, officials said.

Release ceremonies are now held once each month and are presided over by both U.S. and Iraqi officials.

The former detainees go through a review board process and are released when “they are deemed to no longer be an imperative threat to Iraqi and Coalition forces and the security of Iraq,” according to a news release. They also make a “pledge” to an Iraqi judge to reject violence.

According to the U.S. military, there are now around 24,000 detainees in the U.S. military system in Iraq. They are split between two locations — Camp Cropper in western Baghdad and Camp Bucca in southern Iraq.

They are classified as “detainees” and not “prisoners” because “prisoners are those individuals who have been tried in an Iraqi court of law, convicted of an Iraqi crime and currently serving a prison sentence,” according to a spokesman with the U.S. military detention program.

“Detainees” are people “held in Coalition facilities because they are deemed an ‘imperative threat to security.’”

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