Abu Ghuraib prisoners speak of 'torture'

Former inmates of the US-occupation run Abu Ghuraib prison near Baghdad still find it difficult to relate their experiences of torture and humiliation, as more pictures of abuse come to light.

    Ex-detainees say acts of abuse were too immoral to talk about

    One of the released detainees who was forced to pose naked in a human pyramid has told Aljazeera that the acts committed against them were so horrible that he still could not get himself to speak about most of it.

    "They wanted to humiliate us. It was disgusting", said Hashim Muhsin.

    "They covered our heads with plastic bags and hit our backs with sharp objects, which added to our wounds".

    "They then took off all our clothes, made us stand next to the wall and carried out immoral acts that I cannot even talk about", Muhsin continued. 

    He said "women soldiers took pictures of naked men and did not care".

    CIA present

    Another released prisoner, Haidir Sabbar told Aljazeera that "CIA officials and two Iraqi and Egyptian translators showed us immoral pictures of the acts that took place" before interrogating them.

    "They then took off all our clothes, made us stand net to the wall and carried out immoral acts that I cannot even talk about"

    Hashim Muhsin
    Released Abu Ghraib detainee

    Seven US soldiers have been reprimanded for the abuse of Iraqi prisoners and six more are under investigation. The reprimands were the first known punishment meted out to soldiers involved in the mistreatment of prisoners at Abu Ghuraib. 

    Last week, an American television channel, CBS, broadcast images showing Iraqis stripped naked, hooded and being tormented by their US captors.

    An internal US army report found that Iraqi detainees were subjected to "sadistic, blatant and wanton criminal abuses", according to The New Yorker magazine.

    Intelligence blamed

    Brigadier-General Janis Karpinski who oversaw the prison, claimed she did not know about the abuse and blamed "military intelligence" for being behind the abuse.

    Prisoners bound and tormented

    "The cellblocks were actually in operation for the interrogations and isolation under the Military Intelligence control," she said. "It was part of the Abu Ghraib prisoner operation but those cellblocks, cellblock 1A and 1B and the prison was actually under the control at that time".

    Karpinski added that "there was one photograph that didn't show the faces completely, but the photograph showed 32 boots (of a lightweight boot)".

    Asked whether she was saying the people who were wearing those boots were CIA or military intelligence, she replied "I'm saying other people than the military police were the ones committing the abuses."

    'Shared responsibility'

    A dead prisoner's body wrapped
    in cellophane and packed in ice 

    Karpinski said she thought "there are others responsible here, not limited to one person or any individual or command. But there is a shared responsibility in this."

    The alleged abuses were said to have involved about 20 prisoners and took place in November and December last year.

    The New Yorker magazine, meanwhile has released additional images of the abuse, including that of the dead body of a prisoner, wrapped in cellophane and packed in ice as well as a group of Iraqis bound and lying on the ground.

    Latest reports by Aljazeera's correspondent, quoting a US military spokesman is that 208 prisoners have been released from the Abu Ghuraib prison.


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