New Tales of Prisoner Abuse


Last week, we referred to an article in The Guardian (U.K.) about the abuse and torture of Iraqi women held in U.S.-run jails. Today, we received from the International Occupation Watch Center ( a report of interviews conducted with men and women who had been in U.S.-run jails. Here’s a segment:

“In a tent we were 20 women, ten of them were arrested for political reasons. . . . The others had different charges. The female tent was facing male tents. We could see them. There were bathrooms made of wood. They do not reach the ground, in fact there are at least 50 centimeters between the ground and the wooden wall of the bathroom. Our feet and legs could be seen when we go to the bathroom, which was very embarrassing and opposite to our religion.

“One morning, female prisoner S., who was an old, very respectable lady, was having a bath when a woman soldier, accompanied by many men soldiers, called her. S. put the clothes on her wet body, tied her hair, and run to the yard where she was called. The woman soldier said, ‘We want to search you.’ It was a strange order because she had nothing on, apart from her prison dress. We realized that they wanted to humiliate her. She was put between two soldiers, her arms stretched vertically, her legs opened as wide as she could. The woman soldier began to [search] her. She pinched her, pressed parts of her body, opened her hair, pulled it strongly and searched it severely, and then she hit the women between her legs. She repeated this for four times, each time from one side. By then, we were sure that she was humiliating the woman in front of the male prisoners. The message was clear: These are your women in our hands, either you confess or . . . “