GENEVA—The United Nations’ top human rights official called on Tuesday for the U.S. and Iraq to investigate allegations of detainee abuse contained in Wikileaks’ release of American military documents.
The online whistleblower put out nearly 400,000 field reports by American soldiers on Friday. Many of them contained reports of severe abuse by Iraqi forces, and showed that U.S. troops did not intervene to halt the violence in many cases .
U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said the information adds to “concerns that serious breaches of international human rights law have occurred in Iraq.”
Pillay said that the U.S. and Iraq should prosecute anyone believed responsible for torture, unlawful killings and other abuses.
The documents show that U.S. forces turned detainees over to Iraqi forces even after signs of abuse.
They also show that U.S. interrogators continued to question Iraqi detainees, some of whom were still recovering from injuries or whose wounds were still visible after being held by Iraqi security forces.
Defense Department spokesman Col. Dave Lapan told reporters the Pentagon suspects Wikileaks may have even more classified U.S. data than previously reported, but declined to characterize it. The group is believed to have another 15,000 Afghan war field reports, 260,000 diplomatic cables and U.S. video of casualties in Afghanistan.
The U.S. has said that the release of secret Afghan and Iraq war documents threatens national security.