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Families: Bribes Demanded to Release Prisoners
Loved Ones Charge that Ninewa Police are Holding Former Bucca Detainees
03/29/2009 1:00 PM ET
BAGHDAD – Families of newly-released detainees in Mosul are claiming that Ninewa police are holding the former prisoners, released from Camp Bucca prison facility, and demanding large sums of money for their release. There have been reports of similar events in other provinces, but not as widespread.

When prisoners are released, they are turned over to the jurisdiction of the police in whatever province they came from. Around Iraq, several have been found dead or are missing, according to family members. Fear exists among many that the huge influx of former prisoners from prison facilities which the US is closing down is a threat to Iraqi’s stability.

In Ninewa, families have reported being contacted by members of the local police, telling them that, through connections, they could have particular prisoners released – for a price. A source within the security forces stated that police officials who have advance information of a prisoner’s release are then contacting the loved ones, making it sound as though the release had not been planned.

The most damning charges are that several former prisoners with families who have not paid the asking price are still being held in rooms under a stadium in Mosul. All released prisoners face no charges, according to the Iraqi government.

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