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Pentagon Kills Investigation Into Case of Abused Reuters Workers

News Standard | March 24, 2005
By Chris Shumway

In a letter to Reuters, the Pentagon says it will not reopen an investigation into the case of three unembedded Iraqi journalists who say US soldiers tortured and sexually abused them while they were working for the London-based news service last year.

"I'm very disappointed that the Department of Defense has chosen not to reopen a clearly flawed investigation into a very troubling incident," Reuters Global Managing Editor David Schlesinger said Tuesday in response to the letter.

The Pentagon told Reuters it was satisfied with the results of its initial investigation, which did not include interviews with the three Iraqis. It concluded its letter to Reuters by recommending that media organizations embed their reporters with US military units.

Soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division detained the three Reuters employees in January 2004 while covering the downing of an American helicopter by rebels near Fallujah. The journalists say soldiers beat them and subjected them to sexual humiliation similar to that practiced by US jailers at Abu Ghraib prison around the same time. They were released without charges three days after being detained.

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