US Hands Over Last Iraq Prison

A milestone for sovereignty, challenge for the government
By Emily Rauhala,  Newser User
Posted Jul 15, 2010 5:33 AM CDT
Detainees outside their cell block at Camp Cropper, the last U.S.-run prison in Iraq.   (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo, File)

(Newser) – The last American-run prison in Iraq will be handed over to the Iraqis today, marking the end of a massive US prison system that has processed more than 100,000 Iraqis since the fall of Baghdad. Tariq Aziz and other former high-ranking members of Saddam Hussein's regime were handed over to Iraqi authorities ahead of the changing of the guard at Camp Cropper. Around 200 detainees will remain in American hands until next year.

The transition is seen as a milestone for Iraq, but also a challenge for its fledgling government. "We have been running dozens of prisons, and we are confident of our ability to run all prisons," an official tells the AP. But even prisoners are wary: Some say they receive far better treatment in American custody than in Iraqi jails.

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