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Wednesday, July 07, 2004
Americans Holding Children Prisoners in Iraq?
A firestorm seems ready to erupt over US handling of children prisoners (yes, you read that correctly) in Iraq so I direct you over to Sadly, No! where Seb has the latest on a scandal that you will probably be hearing much more about in the very near future.
A German television station ran a report on Monday about US troops holding and abusing children in Iraqi prisons. If you understand any German, I highly recommend that you watch the report itself.
If you'll forgive a poor Dark Window translation, here are a couple of key points I took from the television piece (Seb promises to put up a more in-depth translation of the report on his website later):
In this first part, US Sergeant Samuel Provance discusses a scene he witnessed involving a 16-year-old boy.
He was really scared, very alone. He had the thinnest arms I had ever seen. His whole body trembled. His wrists were so thin that we couldn't even get the 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, where they 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 specialist 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. After this, however, the son remained in detention and was put in with the adults.
In another chilling report, an Iraqi television reporter talks about a special camp he saw in which hundreds of children were being held, many "under the age of puberty."
As I said, Seb promises to have a more comprehensive translation of the report up later so I encourage you to stay tuned to Sadly, No! for details. And he has already written more on the subject here.
There's also this report at Aftenposten Norway discussing International reaction to the story:
"These types of attacks are absolutely unacceptable," said a spokesman for Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik. "They violate international law and are morally indefensible."
Odd Jostein Sæter of the prime minister's office told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) Tuesday that Norwegian officials will react "both politically and diplomatically" to their US counterparts.
Neither the imprisonment nor abuse of children "can be tolerated," Sæter said.
As Drudge would say, "Developing..."
Update: Seb now has a much more comprehensive translation of the German report (and a link to the broadcast itself) here. Continue to check back with Sadly, No! for all the latest developments.