In Focus: The US Detention System in Iraq

Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been detained by the US, one and a half million have had an immediate family-member detained, almost every Iraqi knows someone who has been through the US detention system.

Few American institutions affect the lives of ordinary Iraqis more directly and profoundly than the US detention system.

At one point during "the Surge" the US was holding 27,000 Iraqis. Today it holds 17,000.

They have not been charged with crimes, but are being held as "security detainees" - a legal classification that will cease to exist on January 1st, when the US military's UN mandate expires.

But for these 17,000 swept up in the American system, there is no clear way out.

By Richard Rowley, David Enders and Alaa Majeed in association with Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and Big Noise Films

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