U.S. forces beat three Iraqi reporters working for Reuters and subjected them to sexual and religious taunts and humiliation during their detention last January in a military camp near Falluja, the three said on Tuesday.
The three first told Reuters of the ordeal after their release but only decided to make it public when the U.S. military said there was no evidence they had been abused, and following the exposure of similar mistreatment of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad.
An Iraqi journalist working for U.S. network NBC, who was arrested with the Reuters staff, also said he had been beaten and mistreated, NBC said on Tuesday.
Two of the three Reuters staff said they had been forced to insert a finger into their anuses and then lick it, and were forced to put shoes in their mouths.
All three said they were forced to make demeaning gestures as soldiers laughed, taunted them and took photographs. They said they did not want to give details publicly earlier because of the degrading nature of the abuse.
The U.S. military, in a report issued before the Abu Ghraib abuse became public, said there was no evidence the Reuters staff had been tortured or abused. Yeah Right!