US forces started releasing some 1,000 prisoners on Monday from the Abu Ghraib prison, the same prison which gained prominence last year after US prison guards there were charged with torturing Iraqi inmates under there watch.
US spokesmen told reporters that the move was a result of requests of the Iraqi government in light of the upcoming Ramadan holiday on October 5 according to AFP.
A US military statement announced, "In the spirit of the holy month of Ramadan, the Iraqi government requested a special release board and worked with multinational forces to expedite the release of more than 1,000 security detainees from Abu Ghraib”.
500 of the prisoners will be released as part of the goodwill gesture on Monday, with another 500 to be released over the course of the week.
According to a US military statement, all those released are free of serious charges, and have "“confessed to their crimes, renounced violence and pledged to be good citizens of Iraq”.
The scandal at Abu Ghraib, located just outside of Baghdad, dealt of severe blow to US credibility in its wake; Lynndie England, one of the soldiers involved in the scandal, is currently facing a court martial in a US military court.