4 Sep 2008

Iraq to reopen Abu Ghraib prison

9:27 am on 4 September 2008

Iraq plans to renovate and reopen Abu Ghraib prison, the notorious site of executions and torture under Saddam Hussein and later of a US prisoner abuse scandal.

The sprawling prison on Baghdad's western outskirts, which has not been used as a prison since 2006, will also feature a museum of crimes committed under former leader Saddam Hussein, government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said on Wednesday.

Abu Ghraib was a byword for the brutality of Saddam Hussein's reign, and in 2004 the prison gained further notoriety when photos emerged of US soldiers abusing Iraqi detainees.

Pictures showing naked prisoners forced into sexually humiliating poses or cowering in front of snarling dogs unleashed a wave of global condemnation.

No timescale was given for the prison's renovation and eventual reopening.

It was also unclear whether the museum would also document prisoner abuse by US forces.