17 September 2004

This ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco

A few more bad apples. It’s starting to look as American as bad apple pie:

Allegations that American soldiers routinely tortured and maltreated detainees have emerged from a third Iraqi city, renewing fears that abuse similar to that inflicted in Abu Ghraib jail in Baghdad has been systematic and widespread.

American soldiers in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul beat and stripped detainees, threatened sexual abuse and forced them to listen to loud western music, according to statements seen by the Guardian.

[…] Haitham Saeed al-Mallah, a Mosul-born engineering graduate, says his house was raided by seven American soldiers in January. “I was handcuffed and hooded and was then taken to an unknown place which they call ‘the disco’, where they played very loud music as one of their means of torture.”

He adds: “They left me standing for hours, handcuffed and hooded, which made me quite disorientated. Then I was kicked very hard on my stomach, which was followed by continuous beating with a stick and with their boots until I fell unconscious. I only woke up after they poured over my head very cold water, which caused me great suffering.”

Mr al-Mallah says he was taken to a room where there was a “group torture”.

He adds: “I heard nothing but screaming and suffering of detained Iraqis. The usage of cold water along with beating seemed to be a standard procedure. We were then asked to perform exhausting exercises of squatting while they were playing extremely loud (and dirty) music.

“Whoever fell to the ground out of exhaustion would receive painful beating and cold water. We were prevented from going to the toilets despite our pleas, which made many of us soil ourselves.”

[…]

Mr al-Mallah says the next day, he saw “a young man of 14 years of age bleeding from his anus and lying on the floor.

“He was Kurdish and his name was Hama. I heard the soldiers talking to each other about this guy, they mentioned that the reason for this bleeding was inserting a metal object in his anus.”

Mr al-Qutaji, who was detained in March, says he and other Iraqi lawyers have been unable to stop abuses because US forces have been given immunity from prosecution.

Guardian

There are around 100 children being detained, and there have been other claims of children being raped while in US custody. But the glass is half full according to the Washington Post, who report that things are immensely improved at Abu Ghraib these days. They don’t specifically mention fewer children being raped, but let’s assume it’s an oversight.

© mathew 2017