THE HAGUE, Netherlands -- Dutch military interrogators abused dozens of Iraqi prisoners in 2003, dousing them with water to keep them awake and exposing them to high pitched noises and strong lights, a Dutch newspaper reported Friday.
Responding to the allegations reported by respected broadsheet De Volkskrant, Defense Ministry spokesman Joop Veen was quoted as telling the newspaper that "things happened that did not go according to instructions."
Veen was in a meeting with Dutch Defense Minister Henk Kamp early Friday and did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment.
The alleged prisoner abuse happened when Dutch troops were stationed in Iraq's Muthana province. The Netherlands had about 1,400 troops stationed in the southern province until their withdrawal last year. There are currently 15 Dutch soldiers serving in Iraq.
According to De Volkskrant, the interrogations were carried out by members of the Dutch Military Intelligence and Security Service in November 2003 in buildings of the Coalition Provisional Authority in the town of Samawah, which is on the Euphrates River about 370 kilometers (230 miles) southeast of Baghdad.