July 2, 2004 – Three soldiers from the US Army's Fourth Infantry Division have been charged with manslaughter in the drowning of an Iraqi civilian, US military officials announced today. The charges stem from a January death of Zaydon Ma'moun Fadhil Al-Samarai, an Iraqi truck driver. The soldiers allegedly handcuffed Al-Samarai and forced him over a bridge on the Tigris River in Samarra. Troops targeted Al-Samarai for allegedly violating a curfew order in the city. The incident came to light after Al-Samaraiâ€™s mother appealed for an investigation into her sonâ€™s death in an open letter to US President George Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Aljazeera reports.
A second Iraqi man, Marwan Al-Samarai, Zavdon Mahâ€™mounâ€™s cousin, survived the incident after swimming to the riverbank. A fourth solider is charged with assault because the second victim survived.