Thursday, September 02, 2004

Torture and Child Rape Continue in American Detention Centers

American Lawyer Finds New Evidence of Recent Torture in Iraq
by Lisa Ashkenaz Croke (bio)
Brian Dominick (bio) contributed to this news article.

Aug 30 - While the latest reports investigating the widely condemned events at Abu Ghraib prison attempt to close the book on the Pentagon's culpability with a somber critique, new evidence gathered for a class action lawsuit filed against two US-based private contractors could prove that the scandal at Abu Ghraib was far from an isolated series of incidents perpetrated by a few rowdy "bad apples" working the night shift during Ramadan.

An attorney representing former detainees says his recent fact-finding mission to Baghdad uncovered dozens of cases of physical and psychological abuse, sexual humiliation, religious desecration and rape in ten US-run prisons throughout occupied Iraq.

The NewStandard spoke with Michigan-based attorney Shereef Akeel, who interviewed some 50 former detainees about their time and treatment in US custody. Part of the legal team behind a class action lawsuit against the firms for their employees' involvement in prison abuse at US-run facilities in Iraq, the former immigration lawyer found himself traveling to meet face-to-face with the people he is representing in the American court system.

His team has documented abuse dating from July 2003 to as recently as last month, when an Iraqi boy just fifteen years old says his captors at an American facility raped him. "He was told to go on all fours naked and was sodomized from behind," Akeel conveyed the fifteen year-old's testimony. "He said they made him dance and he was crying."

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