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More countries condemn US abuse of prisoners
Updated: 2004-05-16 10:58

More countries joined the international community during the last few days in condemning the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by US soldiers and urging the punishment of the perpetrators.

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Saturday described the United States as "the world's worst human rights violator and a graveyard of human rights for its violation of international law and the Islamic ethics and culture."

It said the United States should settle all its human rights issues before acting as the "world judge of human rights."

Peru said Saturday that the acts of abuse "violate the rules of international humanitarian law" and it "condemns every act of torture, whatever its nature and origin."

Italy said Friday that it "severely condemned" the abuse episodes and wanted to see the perpetrators "justly punished."

The staunch US ally stressed that it had been unaware of the mistreatment before it came into light and the perpetrators were soldiers of "other countries in the coalition," other than the 3, 000 Italian troops serving in Iraq.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher also strongly condemned the abuse scandal, urging the United States to act swiftly against any US soldiers who have been shown to mistreat Iraqi prisoners in Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison.

"This is a disgrace. More than that it is a crime," he said.

He also condemned the killing of Nick Berg, a US businessman shown beheaded in a videotape posted Tuesday night on a militant Web site.

Moroccan protesters on Wednesday launched a sit-in before the US Embassy against the US acts of abusing prisoners and killing innocent civilians.

The protesters called on the United Nations and the international community as a whole to take reasonable steps to protect the rights of Iraqi prisoners.

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