Prisoners Raped, Tortured in Secret Baghdad Prison

Human Rights Watch details abuses
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 28, 2010 6:07 AM CDT
Prisoners Raped, Tortured in Secret Baghdad Prison
In this April 22, 2010 file photo, an Iraqi soldier closes the front gate to an Iraqi-run prison in Baghdad, Iraq.   (AP Photo/Karim Kadim, File)

They were hung by their feet and whipped, suffocated with plastic bags. If they passed out, they were revived with electrical shocks to the genitals. That's just a taste of the horrors prisoners describe in Human Rights Watch's report on the recently revealed Iraqi-run secret prison in Baghdad, where suspected Sunni militants were sent without due process, according to the New York Times. “Abu Ghraib was a picnic” compared to this place, said an influential Sunni leader.

Human Rights Watch interviewed 300 male detainees yesterday. They said 42 still bore fresh wounds, and many described being raped and sodomized with broomsticks or gun barrels. “The horror we found suggests torture was the norm,” said a group official, demanding prosecutions for those “responsible for this systemic brutality.” The mere existence of the place has been a political bombshell in Iraq. Nouri al-Maliki has denied the torture allegations, calling them a “smear campaign” from foreign embassies. (More Iraq stories.)

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