Friday, October 05, 2007

US frees 707 Iraq detainees during Ramadan

Above: Detainees pledge not to commit crimes and to assist the government during a release ceremony in September.

US forces in Iraq have released a total of 707 detainees in the first three weeks of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan, the military said Thursday.

"The detainees were no longer determined a security threat and were released," a statement said.

On September 13, when Ramadan began in Iraq, the US military said it would release 50-to-80 detainees a day under Operation Lion's Paw, a joint venture with the Iraqi government.

Freed detainees "must go through our education, enlightenment programs, and have gone through assessments with clerics and clerks," the military said.

Also upon release, they needed to go through the pledge-and-guarantor program, under which they promise to maintain peace and good conduct."

Of those freed so far, 85 percent are Sunnis, 14 percent are Shiites, and 1 percent are others.

Read the rest at the Middle East Times

Related Link:
U.S. begins daily releases of 50-80 detainees for Ramadan