[JURIST] AP is reporting that the Pentagon has confirmed that a US soldier at the terror detention camp at Guantanamo Bay kicked a detainee's Koran and that a guard's urine was splashed on the Islamic sacred text.
8:35 PM ET - These instances and several others in contravention of US military rules for treating the Koran [PDF] were disclosed after an investigation [US Southern Command press release, PDF] led by Guantanamo commander Brig. Gen. Jay Hood. Hood said last week that several instances of Koran abuse had been discovered, but did not provide details at that time. Deadly riots broke out in Afghanistan [JURIST report] last month after Newsweek magazine reported that a Guantanamo guard had flushed a Koran down a toilet [Newsweek article]. The magazine later retracted the story [JURIST report] when its source disavowed it, and Hood's investigation turned up no such incident. AP has more. Read the US Southern Command press release on the Hood inquiry [PDF] and the inquiry's description of incidents involving the Koran [PDF]. The materials suggest that a number of "mishandling" incidents were inadvertent; for instance, the urine splashed on the Koran dripped down into a cell from a vent overhead after a guard went outside to urinate, and the Koran in the cell happened to be underneath the vent. The Pentagon has issued this statement:
In 31,000 documents covering 28,000 interrogations and countless thousands interactions with detainees, having issued 1,600 Korans, Southcom found 5 incidents of apparent mishandling by guards or interrogators and 15 incidents of mishandling and outright desecration by detainees. Southcom's policy of Koran handling is obviously serious, respectful, and appropriate. The Hood enquiry confirms that.