- 30 Days of Terror & Torture (The Sands Chronicles Book 1)
- 'Drill another hole in his buttocks'
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Then Qusay and his guys come in. I'm dancing with this nurse and suddenly Qusay is at my side. He just pulls back his jacket and shows me his gun. I said to the nurse, 'You can stay if you want but we're leaving. If he spotted a woman he fancied in the street or at a reception, he would send his henchmen to fetch her.
Some prisoners went in headfirst and died quickly, while others were put in feet first and died screaming. The witness said that on at least one occasion, Qusai supervised shredding-machine murders. At sunset two men entered. She recalled they said they had to take routine security precautions in advance of a meeting with Uday Hussein.
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They slipped a black hood over her head and tied her hands behind her back. The anxiety, which had mounted through the day, flared into terror. She was taken down to a lower level in an elevator and then along a passageway that seemed narrow because of the way the two men bumped against her. She was pushed into a room and tied, spread-eagle, to a bed. I said, "I am like your sister; please don't do this.
They said if our sister married an Indian and started a network against the government, we would kill her. I kept praying, calling for Jesus and the Virgin Mary. I prayed to Muhammad. They damned them all. Two of them. I couldn't see them.
30 Days of Terror & Torture (The Sands Chronicles Book 1)
They kept raping for four days as well as I can remember. They took my honor. She was routinely beaten and she said the Major, in a grotesque joke, kept three sticks on a wall hanging under the names Jesus, the prophet Muhammad and Imam Ali, whom Shiite Muslims believe is Muhammad's true heir.
Whichever holy man a prisoner called out for determined which stick they were beaten with. The Major, she said, also routinely used electric shock and once set a police dog on her in a small room; the scar of the bite mark is still on her arm. Hanna also identified his superior at the academy. One man says his son was hung for belonging to a Shiite political group.
Another man says his father and uncle were hung in front of him when he was a year-old. Entire families were slaughtered.
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Among them are old women with no teeth. What harm could they do?
'Drill another hole in his buttocks'
Saddam Hussein was nothing but a dictator and a killer. It's a disaster. It's a crime that cannot be described. We were told to bury him as fast as possible. He says it's a hard thing to talk about, even now. When he does, he describes sadistic brutality with matter-of-fact detail. His tormentors did everything to stop him from sleeping so that he didn't know whether it was night or day. Then they tie your legs and hands and they put you under a water tap. Then they let the water tap drip. You cannot move your head and they say you have to confess.
They put a lot of salt on your feet and they bring in the goat to lick your feet. You can't trust anybody. Even if you are alone in the toilet, you can't say anything. Maybe your wife will hear it. Look at the skeletons now tenderly reburied in simple wooden coffins. Talk to Nasir al-Hussein, who was only 12 at the time of the mass arrests. He, his mother, uncle and cousins were piled on buses. They turned off on to a farm road and the executions started. People were thrown into a pit, machine gunned and then buried with a bulldozer.
Nasir crawled out of the mass grave, leaving his dead relatives behind. Instead, we were sent to prison and had our heads shaved when we returned to Baghdad. Family friends were assassinated, tortured, or just disappeared. Many of the people who carried out the coup were later tortured there. It was dubbed the 'Palace of the End.
In attempts to exhume bodies on Saturday and today, Iraqis retrieved the remains of eight victims, none of whom, however, appeared to have died recently. Some were executed for speaking in a religious way when greeting his men. A woman was killed for wearing a veil. Sheik Jaafar's men told us our house would be destroyed if even one relative came to console us,' said Qadir, whose spare living room is adorned with a photo of President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Shaati cannot remember if the women and children beside him screamed as the bullets hit, or whether the men in the hole moaned as they died.
He only recalls a moment of hollow silence when the soldiers stopped shooting. Then came the throaty rumble of a backhoe and the thud of wet earth dropping on bodies. He survived but saw hundreds of other innocents buried in another of Saddam Hussein's anonymous mass graves. After the beatings and electric shocks, Suriya Abdel Khader would find herself once again in the fetid cell, a room so crowded that most prisoners could only stand. The women died upright, then slumped to the floor, but Ms. Abdel Khader remembers registering only a dull flash of annoyance whenever that happened.
When his time came, Mr. Shaati was ordered to remove his T-shirt and rip it into strips that were tied over his eyes and around his hands. The prisoners were herded onto a bus, everyone holding on with their teeth to the shirt of the person in front of them. When they arrived at a field - Mr. Shaati is still not sure where - their grave had already been prepared. No one fell or even cried. I was positioned very close to the corner, maybe second or third from the wall. Then they started shooting. Somehow I wasn't hit.
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By then, I guess, they didn't go to the trouble of shooting all of us. Shaati, alive but choking on dirt, wormed his way out of the ditch. He punched through the earthen blanket with his head, and worked himself free of the cloth straps. Gulping the cold night air, he knew that all his soldierly ideas about honor and country counted for nothing. Her tormenters would hang her from a hook in the ceiling by her arms, which were bound behind her back. Sometimes they added electric shocks. Sometimes they beat her on the soles of her feet until they were engorged with blood and her toenails fell off.
She was There was no water, no bathroom.
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The only food was two big pots they brought in, one with dirty rice and one of soup. You had to fight for it. If you were strong and healthy, you'd get food. If you were weak, you'd wait. He knelt in a hole at the edge of a cemetery near the village of Muhammad Sakran, just outside Baghdad. The faded writing on a plastic armband in the grave told him this was his brother, Abdelhussein.
Mohani held the skull and gently brushed the dirt from the eye socket. Then he wept.