Saddam Hussein: Crimes and Human Rights Abuses

Thursday, February 27th, 2003

According to Saddam Hussein: Crimes and Human Rights Abuses, a report on the human cost of Saddam’s policies by the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Hussein’s regime has used the following means of torture:

Eye gouging: Amnesty International reported the case of a Kurdish businessman in Baghdad who was executed 1997. When his family retrieved his body, the eyes had been gouged out and the empty eyesockets stuffed with paper.

Piercing of hands with electric drill: A common method of torture for political detainees. Amnesty International reported one victim who then had acid poured into his open wounds.

Suspension from the ceiling: Victims are blindfolded, stripped and suspended for hours by their wrists, often with their hands tied behind their backs. This causes dislocation of shoulders and tearing of muscles and ligaments.

Electric shock: A common torture method. Shocks are applied to various parts of the body, including the genitals,ears, tongue and fingers.

Sexual abuse: Victims, particularly women, have been raped and sexually abused, including reports of broken bottles being forced into the victim’s anus.

“Falaqa”: Victims are forced to lie face down and are then beaten on the soles of their feet with a cable, often losing consciousness.

Other physical torture: Extinguishing cigarettes on various parts of the body, extraction of fingernails and toenails and beatings with canes, whips, hose pipes and metal rods are common.

Mock executions: Victims are told that they are to be executed by firing squad and a mock execution is staged. Victims are hooded and brought before a firing squad, who then fire blank rounds.

Acid baths: David Scheffer, US Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes, reported that photographic evidence showed that Iraq had used acid baths during the invasion of Kuwait. Victims were hung by their wrists and gradually lowered into the acid.

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