Monday, September 11, 2006

lgf: Abu Ghraib Prisoners: "We Want the Americans to Come Back"

As the comment read when I found this link: How Ironic...


Abu Ghraib Prisoners: "We Want the Americans to Come Back"

A week after American forces handed the Abu Ghraib prison over to Iraqi
authorities, prisoners are screaming for the Americans to come back:
Tortured screams ring out as Iraqis take over Abu Ghraib
(Hat tip: Dean.)

How many front page headlines will we see at the New York Times about this?

Conditions in the rest of the jail were grim, with an overwhelming
stench of excrement, prisoners crammed into cells for all but 20 minutes
a day, food rations cut to just rice and water and no air conditioning.

Some of the small number of prisoners who remained in the jail after the
Americans left said they had pleaded to go with their departing captors,
rather than be left in the hands of Iraqi guards.

“The Americans were better than the Iraqis. They treated us better,”
said Khalid Alaani, who was held on suspicion of involvement in Sunni
terrorism. ...

The witness gained access to the prison just days after the Americans
formally handed over control to the Iraqi authorities on Sept 1.

Inside the 100-yard long cell block the smell of excrement was
overpowering. Four to six prisoners shared each of the 12ft by 15ft
cells along either side and the walls were smeared with filth. The cell
block was patrolled by guards who carried long batons and shouted
angrily at the prisoners to stand up. Access to the part of the prison
containing terrorism suspects was denied, but from that block came the
sound of screaming. The screaming continued for a long time.

“I am sure someone was being beaten, they were screaming like they were
being hit,” the witness reported. “I felt scared, I was asking what was
happening in the terrorist section. ”I heard shouting, like someone had
a hot iron on their body, screams. The officer said they were just
screaming by themselves. I was hearing the screams throughout the visit.“

The witness said that even in the thieves’ section prisoners were being
treated badly. ”Someone was shouting ‘Please help us, we want the human
rights officers, we want the Americans to come back’," he said.


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