Iraqi witness demands bodies of kin

The first witness to testify in Saddam Hussein's trial on crimes against humanity has demanded that the former regime hand over the bodies of her relatives tortured during the Dujail massacre.

    Saddam is currently on trial for killing 148 Shias in Dujail

    The unidentified witness said on Sunday from behind a beige courtroom curtain on Sunday that her husband, who was a non-commissioned officer in Saddam's army, was tortured to death and that she was arrested.

    "We stayed for a few months in Abu Ghraib prison and we saw young people being beaten in front of us," she told the court.

    "They (guards) kept us every day standing on one foot and they tortured us. My relatives were all tortured in front of us. They said there should be no noise but how do you make no noise with children with you?," she asked.

    Referring to a two-year-old girl who was with her at that time, she said: "When the baby was crying he (the guard) pulled her out of my hands and put her in solitary confinement, I swear to God." She said she was later taken to a desert prison.

    Torture

    Referring to some of her relatives from Dujail who were allegedly tortured and subsequently disappeared in 1982, the witness said: "I don't want compensation, I want to find the bodies of the boys. They didn't hand over the bodies."

    "I request their bodies. Where are they now?," she asked after judge Rauf Rashid Abdel Rahman asked her what she wanted from the defendants.

    "They (guards) kept us every day standing on one foot and they tortured us. My relatives were all tortured in front of us"

    witness in Saddam Hussein's trial

    The witness said she also saw girls handcuffed and blindfolded who were brought in the prison and tortured with electric shocks and beaten.

    "Twenty-five girls were tortured with electric shocks and beaten with cables, the signs of the torture showed on their bodies. I know this because I used to sit next to them and gave them water," she told the judge.

    As she was speaking, one of the defendants Ali Daih Ali got up and asked her through the judge what was her complaint against him.

    She replied saying he was in the Baath party and that he came with the party's militia to arrest her and her family.
    "The charge is baseless, I have arrested no Dujail families," countered Ali.

    SOURCE: AFP


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