Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Abu Ghraib: Women, Elderly, Insane, Foriegners, CHILDREN

Seb's scoop has inspired me to research a bit.

1. It is not only Iraqis who were/are being held and tortured at Abu Ghraib. I blogged a while ago a PRIMA News mention of Ukrainian prisoners held in Iraq.

2. Dr. Cole posted over a month ago the revelation of women being tortured at Abu Ghraib:

A scandal that has not yet broken in the press is the story of how many women ended up in US prisons. The fact is, few were suspected of having themselves committed a crime or an act of insurgency. Rather, they were taken as hostages or potential informants because their husbands or sons were wanted by the US military. This kind of arrest, however, is a form of collective punishment and not permitted under the Fourth Geneva Convention governing military occupations of civilian populations. The sexual abuse of these women is therefore a double crime.

Eventually these photographs of abused or tortured Muslim women are likely to leak, and the reaction in the Muslim world will be explosive. One shakes one´s head in bewilderment as to what the Bush administration thought they were doing.

3. Regarding Hersh and his hints that children were tortured at Abu Ghraib, here is the original Brad DeLong post. Here is the same story, within a Hersh profile, coroborated by the Chicago Tribune

4. Monday's Paknews contains a brief mention of the Der Spiegel story. Yet another instance where the Arab World is appraised of our thuggery, which gives rise to rage, which in turn is interpreted by US as "Freedom Hating" and/or intense jealousy of our joyous consumer culture with its many choices of chewing gum and fabric softeners.

Keep some skepticism, given the source, but here's an Arab News story of a freed Saudi's testimony of what he saw at Abu Ghraib:

However, others had been, including one Iraqi “who suffered immense torture. The Americans stripped him of his clothes in winter time, sprayed him with water, then threw him to the ground and took turns at beating him until he was unconscious,” Al-Qaisoom said.

He said “many” prisoners, including two in his own camp, died after they were denied medicines for kidney, liver and heart conditions or the like. One Kurd was sexually abused and died when prison guards shelled a camp “without reason.”

Food was also scarce, and the treatment got worse when there was fighting between US forces and resistance fighters, such as in Fallujah or in Najaf and Karbala.

“There are all sorts of bizarre things in Abu Ghraib — prisoners more than 90 years old, insane people and children,” he said.

(Emphasis Added)

See also this testimony:

Farmer Khalid Abbas said his 16-year-old son had been detained for nine months after a coalition raid on his home in Khalidiyah, west of Baghdad.

"They took my money, destroyed my car and took my son. I have nothing - they even hit my wife and broke her leg," he said.

For posterity, or in case you missed it, this is the Sydney Morning Herald article linked to by Seb and General Glut.

Update -- See also here and a passing reference to women and children here.