Saturday, October 23, 2010

New Video Appears to Show Abuse of Prisoners by Pakistani Soldiers

By THE NEW YORK TIMES, Oct 1, 2010

Graphic video posted on YouTube in May appears to show Pakistani soldiers beating prisoners in the country’s Swat Valley region.

Days after a Web video apparently showing members of Pakistan’s military executing prisoners came to light, another video has been discovered that appears to show soldiers beating suspected militants in Pakistan’s Swat Valley.

As my colleague Jane Perlez reported on Wednesday, the execution video had already raised concerns among American officials worried about how Pakistan’s military has been conducting its battle against militants, with the financial support of the United States.

While American officials said that video appeared to be genuine, a spokesman for the Pakistani Army, Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas, initially told The Times that it had to be fake, since, “No Pakistan Army soldier or officer has been involved in activity of this sort.” But two retired Pakistani senior army officers said they believed that the video was credible.

The next day, pressed by American officials, Pakistan’s military acknowledged that the execution video was genuine, but portrayed the killings as an isolated episode.

On Friday, a person from the Swat Valley, who wanted to remain anonymous for safety concerns, told The Times that the newly discovered video of the prisoners being beaten, which was uploaded to YouTube in May, seemed to have been shot in Khawazakhela, north of the town of Mingora.

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