He is a well spoken, handsome lawyer, just a year older than I am. He worked as a diplomat who coordinated NGOs and foreign governments in order to bring aid to his country during the sanctions.
He was detained and accused of being a spy for Saddam Hussein, even though he is not even a Baathist.
He was hung from his ankles for hours in Abu Ghraib, until he passed out.
I ask him what else happened to him in there. He pulls up the legs of his trousers to show me two electrical burns on the inside of his knees, and points to two more on his elbows.
...At the Airport prison (which Iraqis refer to as Guantanamo Airport) he was interrogated five times, then ten more times at Abu Ghraib. At each place he was beaten until he passed out, forced to beat other detainees, deprived of food and water (he lost 25 kilos while in detention), offered no medical care, received threats on his life, was threatened that his wife would brought in and raped in front of him, had rats and cockroaches as cellmates. He was kept in a cell 2 meters by 1.5 meters.
...Maybe you didn’t hear that the lead CIA man who tortured him referred to himself as “Satan.” Or that while he was praying and reading his Koran female soldiers came in and flashed their breasts at him, then sexually humiliated and abused him.
...His home was destroyed while he was in detention.
... Then there is his aunt... A kind, 55 year-old woman who used to work as an English teacher. She was detained for four months, in as many prisons: Samarra, Tikrit, one in Baghdad and of course, Abu Ghraib. She was never allowed to sleep through a night, she was interrogated, not given enough food or water, no access to a lawyer or her family. She was abused verbally and psychologically.
But that isn’t the worst part. Her 70 year-old husband was detained and beaten to death. But that took 7 months.
She’s crying as she speaks of him... as are Abu Talat (my translator) and I.
“I miss my husband,” she says, standing up and addressing the room. “I miss him so much.”
“Why are they doing this to us?” She doesn’t understand what is happening. Two of her sons were also detained, her family completely shattered. “We didn’t do anything wrong,” she sobs. -Dahr Jamail Via Pissed Off Patricia