Sunday, 8 May 2011
The past is always with us
Media Lens report (May 4th): In November 2004, the UN's Integrated Regional Information Network reported the impact of Operation Phantom Fury, a combined US-UK offensive, on
’s third city, Fallujah: Iraq
'Approximately 70 per cent of the houses and shops were destroyed in the city and those still standing are riddled with bullets.' ('Fallujah still needs more supplies despite aid arrival,' http://www.irinnews.org, November 30, 2004)
An Iraqi doctor, Ali Fadhil, reported of the city:
'It was completely devastated, destruction everywhere. It looked like a city of ghosts. Falluja used to be a modern city; now there was nothing. We spent the day going through the rubble that had been the centre of the city; I didn’t see a single building that was functioning.' (Fadhil, ‘City of ghosts,’
NY Times reports (May 2nd): he first time the Iraqi Army arrested him, he said, soldiers burst into his shop in Baghdad, dragged him out in handcuffs and a blindfold, and took him to a filthy, overcrowded prison. Beatings, rape, hunger and disease were rampant, and he expected at any moment to be killed. He was held for four months, until December 2008.
During an interview here, the shopkeeper, 35, a balding, stocky man wearing a T-shirt and slacks, was calm and soft-spoken at first, but grew increasingly loud and agitated as he told his story. He described enduring episodes of torture, threats by captors to go to his house and rape his wife, and daily horrors like the suicide of a young prisoner who electrocuted himself with wires from a hot plate after being raped by soldiers.
The interview took place at a treatment center that opened in northeast
in December 2008 to help Iraqis who were tortured in their own country or who suffer from other war trauma. It is a branch of the Center for Victims of Torture. Amman