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Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Witness A describes torture by Saddam

Today it will be reported that a woman identified as "Witness A" will testify to being tortured at Saddam's trial. She was 16 at the time of the incident, and was detained for four years. Weeping, she will claim:
I was forced to take off my clothes, and he [Wadah al-Sheik, an Iraqi intelligence officer] raised my legs up and tied up my hands. He continued administering electric shocks and beating me.

... I was beaten up and tortured by electrical shocks.

A photograph of a prominent Sheikh found tortured by the new Iraqi government shows him hanging from the ceiling in "a traditional style". Full size and more photographs of recent abuses can be found at Alive in Baghdad's photostream.
She will say outright that she was raped (source).
I begged them [not to force me to undress], but they hit with their pistols ... They made me put my legs up. There were five or more, and they treated me like a banquet.
When asked by the judge which of the defendants she wanted to accuse, "Witness A" identified Saddam. "When so many people are jailed and tortured, who takes such a decision?" she said.


Blogger elendil said...

Come on people, make the connection.

7/12/05 8:02 am  
Blogger HC said...

This is sick. How can we treat each other like this?

9/12/05 5:13 pm  
Blogger elendil said...

I think a group of people became convinced that these acts were necessary to avert a greater evil. Saddam's defence lawyer Ramsey Clark was recently quoted as saying something like "Saddam was at war, and he had to deal with a Shia uprising". This woman's detention and abuse was a consequence of that. Right now, the new Iraqi govt is dealing with a Sunni uprising. The man's corpse pictured hanging is a consequence of this.

As to how we can treat each other like this, I guess as a deeper philosophical question I can't answer that, beyond stating the mechanisms by which it occurs. Certainly it happens frequently enough for it to be, as abbhorent as it is, a part of human nature. It is an aberration, but not an anomaly. The implications of this are disheartening. It is, it would seem, within us all. Torture doesn't just convict the torturer, it convicts us all.

10/12/05 11:46 am  

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