First Fatima, now Nadia. And we know there are many more.
(I’d like to challenge the democracy lovers out there to show me a workable way they can take their governments to account for causing this individual so much suffering. Actually, I’ll make it easy for the democracites: show me a workable way that stories of the suffering in Iraq can be aired internationally and as frequently as the coverage the we witnessed on 9-11 or 7/7 and since.)
Below is an article in it’s original form. Please ignore errors in translation.
Nadia is one of the victims of the American mercenaries in Abu Ghraib prison. She was detained for unknown reasons. When she was released from the prison, didn’t throw herself into the arms of her family as most of the oppressed prisoners released have done dose, especially when he is being fueled by the fire of the oppression and a yearning for his family.
Simply, Nadia escaped immediately after she left prison, not because of the shame that will follow her because of some crime she has committed but because of what she and the other Iraqi captive women have been subject to; rape, and torture by the hands of the American mercenaries in Abu Gharib prison. The walls of the prison tell many tragic stories but what Nadia tells is the living truth and a living hell.
Nadia begins her story:
‘I was visiting one of my relatives, and suddenly the American forces attacked the home and started to inspect it. They found some light weapons. So, they arrested all people in the home including me. I tried to explain to the interpreter, who was accompanying the American patrol, that I am just a visitor. However, my trials failed. I cried, begged them, and I lost consciousness from fear when they took me to Abu Gharib prison.
Nadia continues ‘they put me alone in a dark and dirty prison cell. I expected that I will be released soon, especially when the investigation proved that I hadn’t committed a crime’
Nadia elaborated while tears poured down her cheek, a telling sign of just how much she has suffered.
‘The first day was so burdensome. The cell was malodorous, humid and dark, and this condition increased the fear inside me more and more. The laughs of the soldier outside the cell made me even more scared. I was afraid of what would happen to me. For the first time I felt that I was in a difficult gridlock and that I had entered an unknown world that I would not get out of.
In the middle of these different feelings, I heard a voice for an American soldier woman who was speaking in an Arabic language. She said to me: ‘I didn’t imagine that the weapons’ traders in Iraq are women.’ When I started to explain to her the circumstances of the situation, she beat me cruelly. I cried and shouted ‘By Allah! I am oppressed, By Allah! I am oppressed’
The soldier showered me with insults in a way that I have never thought possible or that I would ever be subjected to under any circumstances. Then, she started to deride me saying that she was monitoring me all the day via the satellite, and that they can track their enemies even inside their own bedrooms by American technology.
Then she laughed and said: ‘I was watching you when you were making love with your husband.’ I replied in a confused voice ‘But I am not married’.
She beat me for more than one an hour and she forced me to drink a glass of water, and I knew later that they put a drug in it. I regained my consciousness after two days to find myself naked. I knew immediately that I have lost something that all the laws in the earth will not be able to return it to me once again. I had been raped. A hysterical fit attacked me and I started to hit my head violently against the walls till more than five American soldiers head by that soldier women entered the cell and started to beat me, and they raped me alternately while they laughing and listening to a loud music.
Day by day the scenario of raping me was repeated. And every day they invent new ways that are crueler than the prior ways.’
She went on describing the horrible acts of the American criminals:
‘After about one month, a Negro soldier entered my cell and threw me two pieces of American military clothes. He said in weak Arabic language to wear them. After he put a black bag on my head, he led me to a public toilet where there are pipes for cold and hot water and he asked me to bathe. He then closed the door and left.
I was so exhausted and feeling pain, and despite the tremendous number of the bruises in my body, I poured out some water on my body. Before I finish my bath, the Negro soldier came in. I frightened, and I hit him in the face with the water bowl. His reaction was so tough. He raped me cruelly and spit on my face, then he left and returned with two soldiers who returned me to the cell.
The treatment continued that way, to the extent that sometimes I was raped ten times in a day, the matter which affected my health negatively.’
Nadia continued in revealing the American horrible actions made against the Iraqi women, saying:
‘After more than 4 months, a woman soldier woman came, and I concluded from her conversation with other soldiers that her name is Mary. She said to me ‘now you have a golden opportunity, since an officer who has a high position will visit us today, if you deal with him positively, you would be released, especially because we are sure you are innocent.’
I replied, ‘If you are sure of I am innocent, why you don’t release me?’
She screamed in nervousness, ‘The only way that guarantees your releasing is to be positive with them.’
She took me to the public toilets, and she supervised my bath while she was holding a thick stick, hitting me by it if I didn’t perform her orders. Then, she gave me makeup, and warned me not to cry and ruin my makeup. Then she took me to an empty small room where there was nothing but a cover on the floor, and after one an hour she came accompanied with four soldiers who was holding cameras. She took off her clothes and she harassed me as if she was a man. The soldiers were laughing and listening to a noisy music, and taking photographs to me in all poses, and they were emphasizing on my face. The woman asked me to smile otherwise she is going to kill me, and she took a gun from one of her colleagues and fired four bullets near my head, and swore that the fifth bullet will be fired in my head.
After that, the four soldiers raped me alternately the matter which made me lose my consciousness. When I regained the consciousness I found myself in the cell and the traces of their teeth, nails and cigarettes are in everywhere in my body.’
Nadia stopped narrating her tragedy to wipe her tears, then she continued: ‘After one day Mary came and told me that I was cooperative, and I will be released but after I watch the film that they have shot. I was in pain when I saw the film, and she (Mary) said: ‘you have been created for the sole purpose for us to enjoy’. At the moment I became very anger and I attacked her although I was afraid of her reaction, and I would kill her except for the interfering of the soldiers. When the soldiers released me she showered me with hitting, then they left me.
After this incident, nobody harassed me for more then one month; I spent that period in the praying and invocation to Allah, the All-Mighty who has all power, to help me.
Mary came with some soldiers who gave me the clothes that I was wearing when they arrested me and took me to an American car. Then they threw me on the highway road after giving me 10,000 Iraqi Dinars.
I went to a home that was near the place where I have been thrown out and since I know the reaction of my family, I preferred to visit one of my relatives to let them know what happened after my absence. I knew that my brother had held a consolation board for me for more than 4 months, and they considered me as a dead person.
I understand the knife of shame is waiting for me. So, I went to Baghdad where I found a good family who lodged me, and I worked with this family as a maid and governess for their children.
Nadia wonders in pain, regret and bitterness:
‘Who will quench my thirst? Who will return my virginity? What is the offense of my family and kin? I have inside me a baby, and I don’t know who his father is.’
And she ends her story here.
There’s an expression frequently used in the Muslim world to describe the west, it is the all too familiar words, ‘double standards’.
Speaking in London about the inflamed tensions between Mr Karzai and Islamabad, Mr Bush said “Obviously it’s a testy situation there… And if I’m the president of a country and people are coming from one country to another — allegedly coming from one country to another — to kill innocent civilians on my side, I’d be concerned about it. But we can help. We can help calm the situation down and develop a strategy that will prevent these extremists from, you know, from developing safe haven and having freedom of movement.”
I suppose the US strikes on Pakistani soil are different in the eyes of Mr. Bush and others who choose to stand behind him.
Yes obviously Mr Bush, it is a testy situation. And Pakistanis are concerned about it. But you can’t help because it is your government that’s the problem. And yes, Pakistanis can calm the situation and should develop a strategy that will prevent the ‘extremist US army’ from developing a safe haven in Pakistan and having the freedom of movement to kill their own people.