An Iraqi woman kisses her husband soon after his release from Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad, Iraq, September 15. Hundreds of prisoners were released from Abu Ghraib Wednesday. AP
BAGHDAD (AFP) - The US military released 275 detainees Wednesday from the notorious Abu Ghraib prison centre as part of the first wave of prisoners released by a new Iraqi-US commission, the military said.
"The release today was approximately 275, with 25 of those being juveniles," said Lieutenant Colonel Barry Johnson.
The detainees' cases were all reviewed by the new nine-member Combined Review and Release Board. It includes six Iraqi officials - two each from the justice, human rights and interior ministries - and three colonels from the US-led multinational division.
The board formerly consisted of just three US colonels who reviewed detainees' cases and recommended whether they should be freed. The US military has released thousands of detainees from Abu Ghraib since the spring after revelations emerged of the abuse of Iraqi prisoners last autumn.
Overcrowded facilities was one of the factors that helped fuel the lawless atmosphere in the prison, paving the way for the scandal.
Seven prison guards have been charged in the case and up to 45 military personnel are expected to face court martial.