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Prison Abuse Whistle-Blower Guarded

August 18, 2004|From Associated Press

HAGERSTOWN, Md. — The Army reservist who tipped off investigators to abuse of Iraqi prisoners by fellow soldiers is in protective military custody because of death threats, family members said Tuesday.

Spc. Joseph Darby, 24, received the threats after his role was revealed in May, his sister-in-law, Maxine Carroll, said.

Carroll said in a telephone interview from her home in Windber, Pa., that she didn't know where Darby was. She refused to put a reporter in touch with his wife, Bernadette, who is Carroll's sister.

Darby's mother, Margaret T. Blank of Corriganville, said soldiers moved his and his wife's belongings out of their apartment. She said the Army Reserve's 99th Regional Readiness Command called her weekly to tell her that her son and daughter-in-law were OK, but nothing more.

A spokesman for the command did not return a call from Associated Press.

Seven members of Darby's unit, the 372nd Military Police Company of Cresaptown, have been charged with abusing detainees at Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad last fall. One of them, Spc. Jeremy Sivits, has pleaded guilty and been sentenced to a year in prison.

Darby testified by telephone Aug. 6 at a pretrial hearing for Pfc. Lynndie England. He said he agonized over whether to turn in photos of his fellow soldiers' acts, but did because he feared the mistreatment would continue.

Carroll appeared Monday on ABC's "Good Morning America" with Bernadette Darby, who said she was surprised by the vicious response of some friends and neighbors to what she considered an act of bravery.

"People were -- they were mean, saying he was a walking dead man, he was walking around with a bull's-eye on his head. It was scary," Darby said.

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