July 8, 2004 – The International Red Cross believes US-led forces are holding more than 100 Iraqi youths in military detention facilities, including the infamous Abu Ghraib prison. Speaking on a German TV news magazine program, Florian Westphal, a Red Cross representative said, "Between January and May of this year we've registered 107 children, during 19 visits in 6 different detention locations" controlled by US troops in Iraq. Westphal suggested that the number of youths detained could be even higher.
Based on the German report, the international organization Save the Children is calling on the Danish government, which has forces in areas where children have been detained, to begin immediately working to gain their release.
According to UNICEF, "The classification of these children as detainees is worrisome because it includes unspecified length of detention without contact to their families pending further proceedings or legal actions."
In addition to the detentions, the German TV program reported that US soldiers have testified that they saw other soldiers sexually abusing and torturing Iraqi youths. Samuel Provance, a US Army Staff Sergeant and Abu Ghraib whistleblower, reported that interrogators pressured a teenage Iraqi girl to undress and soaked a 16-year-old boy with water, made him stand outside in the cold, and then covered him with mud.