[JURIST] Dozens of Iraqi detainees were released Sunday as part of a national reconciliation plan announced by new Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki [BBC profile] last week. Maliki promised that 2,500 prisoners held in US detention facilities and Iraqi custody would be released if the detainees "are not Saddam Hussein loyalists or terrorists or anyone who has Iraqi blood on their hands." Sunday's release of prisoners follows the release of 600 prisoners [JURIST report] on Wednesday.
The move is seen as an attempt by the hardline Shiite prime minister to appease the Sunni minority, which is largely responsible for the insurgency against the Iraqi government. Maliki made releasing detainees who were detained mistakenly or without sufficient evidence a priority when he began his term [JURIST report] in May. The US military and Iraqi officials have detained an estimated 28,000 people. Most, like Hussein, are Sunnis. Reuters has more.
6/12/06 9:54 AM ET - An Iraqi Justice Ministry spokesman has said that 230 detainees were released from Abu Ghraib prison [JURIST news archive] and two other detention facilities. AFP has more.