Suffer the Children

From Holden:

The Red Cross says Coalition forces are holding more than 100 Iraqi children in their prisons. Forget for a moment if you can the fact that these are children. Why, a month after the “transfer of sovereignty”, are coalition forces holding any prisoners? These people, heaven help them, should have beeen transferred to Iraqi authorities long ago.

Back to the children. They are being abused, raped, tortured, and even killed while in the custody of US and British forces. Yet our media is too busy covering the latest bogus terror alert to bother to pick this story up.

An Iraqi TV reporter Suhaib Badr-Addin al-Baz saw the Abu Ghraib children’s wing when he was arrested by Americans while making a documentary. He spent 74 days in Abu Ghraib.

“I saw a camp for children there,” he said. “Boys, under the age of puberty. There were certainly hundreds of children in this camp.” Al-Baz said he heard a 12-year-old girl crying. Her brother was also held in the jail. One night guards came into her cell. “She was beaten,” said al-Baz. “I heard her call out, ‘They have undressed me. They have poured water over me.’”

He says he heard her cries and whimpering daily – this, in turn, caused other prisoners to cry as they listened to her. Al-Baz also told of an ill 15-year-old boy who was soaked repeatedly with hoses until he collapsed. Guards then brought in the child’s father with a hood over his head. The boy collapsed again.


Amnesty International is outraged by the detention of children. It is aware of “numerous human rights violations against Iraqi juveniles, including detentions, torture and ill-treatment, and killings”. Amnesty has interviewed former detainees who say they’ve seen boys as young as 10 in Abu Ghraib.