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11:55

Iraq: Former Abu Ghraib detainees recall days of torture on 15 anniv. US Iraqi invasion

March 20, 2018 at 08:15 GMT +00:00 · Published

Former prisoners recalled days of torture at the Abu Ghraib prison (also known as the Baghdad Central Prison) on the 15th anniversary of the start of the 2003 US military intervention in Iraq, when speaking from Berlin and Baghdad.

Former Abu Ghraib detainee Ali Al Qasi, who had fled to Berlin through Jordan, said that "every person who had been detained was subjected to violations, torture, sexual abuse, humiliation, rape, and lots of other bad things."

Al Qasi argued that "what we saw, what we have been through. I think what happened in Iraq was a huge mistake. It crushed our psyches." He went on to say that "if only one percent of what is spent on war is spent on this centre [to rehabilitate detainees physically and psychologically], there wouldn't be terrorism in Iraq."

Former Abu Ghraib prisoner Emad Al-Lamy was reportedly arrested when he was leaving a mosque and held in custody for a number of years despite proven innocence. Al-Lamy recalled, "When the Americans came in, with their tanks and everything, we thought they would rid us of this unjust regime. Everyone would have his home, his car, just like good Arab countries, or the West even. But it turned out to be the opposite. They were evil killers of Muslims and everyone." He added, "The world's top criminal is the United States. We realised we had misunderstood it."

On March 20, 2003, a US-led military intervention in Iraq to overthrow Saddam Hussein began, which the US dubbed 'Operation Iraqi Freedom.' On May 1, then US President George W. Bush declared an end to major combat operations, while the US did not formally withdraw all combat troops from Iraq until December 2011.

Abu Ghraib prison facility was located some 32 kilometres (19,8 miles) west of Baghdad. Following the start of the US military intervention in Iraq in 2003, the facility was also used by the US-led forces. The US transferred control of the facility to the Iraqi government in 2006. The prison was closed down by Iraqi authorities in 2014 amid concerns that the facility could be seized by Sunni insurgents that controlled large areas in Anbar Province.

Eleven low-level US soldiers were convicted relating to the Abu Ghraib scandal.

11:55
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Description

Former prisoners recalled days of torture at the Abu Ghraib prison (also known as the Baghdad Central Prison) on the 15th anniversary of the start of the 2003 US military intervention in Iraq, when speaking from Berlin and Baghdad.

Former Abu Ghraib detainee Ali Al Qasi, who had fled to Berlin through Jordan, said that "every person who had been detained was subjected to violations, torture, sexual abuse, humiliation, rape, and lots of other bad things."

Al Qasi argued that "what we saw, what we have been through. I think what happened in Iraq was a huge mistake. It crushed our psyches." He went on to say that "if only one percent of what is spent on war is spent on this centre [to rehabilitate detainees physically and psychologically], there wouldn't be terrorism in Iraq."

Former Abu Ghraib prisoner Emad Al-Lamy was reportedly arrested when he was leaving a mosque and held in custody for a number of years despite proven innocence. Al-Lamy recalled, "When the Americans came in, with their tanks and everything, we thought they would rid us of this unjust regime. Everyone would have his home, his car, just like good Arab countries, or the West even. But it turned out to be the opposite. They were evil killers of Muslims and everyone." He added, "The world's top criminal is the United States. We realised we had misunderstood it."

On March 20, 2003, a US-led military intervention in Iraq to overthrow Saddam Hussein began, which the US dubbed 'Operation Iraqi Freedom.' On May 1, then US President George W. Bush declared an end to major combat operations, while the US did not formally withdraw all combat troops from Iraq until December 2011.

Abu Ghraib prison facility was located some 32 kilometres (19,8 miles) west of Baghdad. Following the start of the US military intervention in Iraq in 2003, the facility was also used by the US-led forces. The US transferred control of the facility to the Iraqi government in 2006. The prison was closed down by Iraqi authorities in 2014 amid concerns that the facility could be seized by Sunni insurgents that controlled large areas in Anbar Province.

Eleven low-level US soldiers were convicted relating to the Abu Ghraib scandal.

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