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Children in Iraqi prisons

[Edited excerpts from "Sadly, No!" blog. Thanks to Holden for bringing this to our attention today on Eschaton.]

Yesterday, we posted the video from a German TV report about alleged abuse and detention of children in Iraqi prisons.

The (partial) translation of the report is below. It was prepared by our staff and Pete from The Dark Window. Links to the original video and text (in German) are below.

"Sgt. Samuel Provance spent half a year stationed at Abu Ghraib. Today, 5 months later, we meet him in Heidelberg. His superiors have strictly forbidden him to speak to journalists about what he experienced in Abu Ghraib. His conscience troubles him. He discusses a 16-year old he handled:

"He was very afraid, very alone. He had the thinnest arms I had ever seen. His whole body trembled. His wrists were so thin we couldn't put handcuffs on him. As I saw him for the first time and led him to the interrogation, I felt sorry. The interrogation specialists threw water over him and put him into a car, drove him around through the extremely cold night. Afterwards, they covered him with mud and showed him to his imprisoned father, on whom they'd tried other interrogation methods.

"They hadn't been able to get him to speak, though. The interrogation specialists told me that after the father saw his son in this condition, his heart was broken, he started crying, and he promised to tell them anything they wanted."

Iraqi journalist Suhaib Badr-Addin Al-Baz explains how he was picked up while reporting and jailed 74 days in Abu Ghraib:

"There I saw a camp for kids, young, certainly not yet of puberty age. There must have been hundreds of kids. Some were released, others are certainly still there."

Streaming video from SWR

Full German transcript

Downloadable clip of the TV report. (9MB, RealVideo 10 format.) The streaming video from SWR is 14MB and of slightly lower quality.

Other details in first "Sadly, No!" report on topic:


Spiegel Magazine, July 4, 2004

[Original in German -- our translation. -S,N!:]

"US Soldiers said to have abused jailed children

"According to the International Red Cross, more than one hundred children find themselves in Iraqi prisons, including the notorious Abu Ghraib prison. According to a report aired on the TV program 'Report,' coalition troops are also thought to have abused children and minors.

According to a press release issued by the network that broadcast the report:

"In an exclusive interview granted to Report Mainz, Samuel Provance, a non-commissioned officer who served in the Abu Ghraib prison, US military intelligence officers harrassed a young girl in her cell. Military police intervened only when the 15 to 16-year old girl had been partially undressed.

"Suhaib Badr-Addin Al-Baz, a reporter for the Al-Jazeera network who spent 74 days at Abu Ghraib, says that a girl of approximately 12 years of age was beaten by US soldiers."

"UNICEF has confirmed that Iraqi children have been imprisoned by foreign troops in Iraq."

Originally posted to Jules Siegel on Wed Jul 07, 2004 at 05:27 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Still Not Horrific Enough. (none)
    Remember Rummy saying that the Abu Gereib(sp) scandal was worse - much worse than was known?  Was it not Sy Hersh who said he saw everything and that it included nothing less than rape of children?  I may be over-remembering there...
    •  You remember right (none)
      Torture and Rumors of Torture by Brad DeLong

      Seymour Hersh at the University of Chicago, according to someone who says he was there: "He said he had seen all the Abu Ghraib pictures. He said, 'You haven't begun to see evil...' then trailed off. He said, 'horrible things done to children of women prisoners, as the cameras run.'

      "He looked frightened."

      •  Gracias. (none)
        I would've never been able to dredge that up.  I'm all for getting disaster-boy out of the White House, but if they want to keep mum on that (while metting out justice), fine by me.  My stomach could stay settled and Iraq wouldn't erupt into mass revolt.
  •  This won't be forgotten (none)
    I listened to the SWR TV report and sources and numbers presented are sound.

    The Pentagon hasn't made a statement about the accusations so far. British Department of Defense says British Armed Forces have not detained children or teenagers in prisons.

    Rumsfailed's Children Left Behind (Bars). Well, wwere they one of his famous known unknowns or rather unknown knowns or were the children simply and disgustingly "dumbsfailed" ?

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