We had a server outage, and we're rebuilding the site. Most of the site features won't work. Thank you for your patience.
imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Arent you glad you marched for this?

by Mr Harry P Ness Sunday, Apr. 06, 2003 at 5:24 PM

You are the enablers of this wretched regime...

Iraq gives up its grim secrets

Abandoned warehouse is a tomb for hundreds of tortured and executed Iraqis From Paul Harris in Al Zubayr, Southern Iraq THE coffins are laid out in neat rows in an abandoned warehouse. In each lies a crumpled bag of bones, old and dusty but still recognisably human. Out of the open end of one sack, a skull can be seen buried in the fragments of skeleton. Its eye sockets are empty. Its teeth are smashed. Two ribs point out like accusing fingers. Something terrible happened here. Something murderous. Something evil. The proof lies in a cargo container nearby. Its metal door hangs open and inside are pages and pages of files. Each sheaf of notes contains a picture of a man or woman. Each and every one has been shot in the head. Their wounds are mangled and gaping. Many of them barely look human any more as the anonymous photographer chronicled their dead faces. It is a horror almost beyond words. It is hard not to look at the black-and-white photographs -- two for each victim -- and wince. Yet each was a brother, a father or a son; or a mother, a daughter or a sister. Each had a past and hopes for a future, yet each ended here, in this dry and dusty hall of the dead. There must be at least 200 of them in the plywood coffins, roughly hammered together by a hurried carpenter. All of them are in bags, jumbled together in sad piles of remains. 'Whoever they are, they have been desecrated in their death. No one should ever treat the dead like this,' said Sgt Simon Brain, a veteran of tours in Bosnia, who has seen places in the Balkans that look similar to this. 'That is in two countries now that I have seen mass graves,' he added with a shake of his head. There are signs of torture too. Outside the warehouse stands a wall. It is dotted in the centre with a spray of bullet holes. Nearly all of them are at head height. There is a ditch behind it. If anyone was shot against the wall, their blood would have drained cleanly away. In another warehouse, a dozen tiny concrete cells have been built of breeze blocks inside the hangar. In some of them, portraits of Saddam Hussein stare from the grey walls. In several, an iron pole has been hung from the roof. Dangling from it are cruel, rusting metal hooks. They are ideal torture chambers. 'We can't speculate on what this is until an investigation,' a British military spokesman said. But one officer, speaking privately and looking in shock at the warehouse, was more blunt. 'Just look at those photos. Look at this place. 'People were being tortured and executed here,' he said. The warehouse has now been declared off limits after being discovered by British soldiers of the Third Regiment of the Royal Horse Artillery yesterday morning. An investigation is now to be launched into exactly who lies in the coffins. War crimes investigators have been alerted to the discovery and the building sealed off and guarded. Though it is hard to imagine who would want to go inside. The warehouse lies on a sprawling and abandoned military base on the outskirts of Az Zubayr, a small town near Basra. Nobody lives nearby. It can only be reached by travelling on rough and pitted mud causeways that traverse a lunar landscape contaminated by oil leaks from nearby refineries. Multi-coloured slicks soak into the dust of the drained salt marshes as they bake in the midday sun. There is no sign of life apart from the stray dogs that swarm over this part of Iraq. The base itself is a mess. Most of the buildings have been trashed or looted and destroyed over the previous decade or so of war and sanctions. There are holes in many of the buildings and roofs missing from some of the barrack huts, yet the warehouse of bones was locked and intact. There is little doubt that the bones are at least several years old. No flesh remains on the long brown leg and arm bones or bits of rib. Only a few tufts of tough black hair lie scattered on the floor, where dogs have tugged at a few of the bags and spilled their grim contents on the unforgiving concrete. But there is no doubt the base was inhabited until only a few weeks ago. Among the buildings are Iraqi army shirts still in their bags, new gas mask respirators, signal huts for an artillery unit and maps with military drawings upon them. Yet the Iraqi soldiers who were living here were literally living beside the corpses of hundreds of people. Exactly who they were is so far a mystery. But there are a few clues. Some of the bags are made of plastic and inside them can be seen a few pieces of military equipment. The green belt of the Iraqi army is plainly visible in several of the sacks. Were they soldiers suspected of disloyalty in recent years? Were they Shia rebels from 1991, many of whom were in the army? More than 50,000 Shia were killed by the forces of Saddam Hussein in their doomed revolt. Are these some of their corpses? In most of the bags there is no trace of clothing. Just bones. In one sack a single photo lies. It is a simple ID card. On it a middle-aged man stares out. He has black hair, a long face and a drooping moustache. In life he would perhaps have looked pensive. But lying, half-covered by his own dusty remains, the man pictured within looks sad and forlorn. He looks regretful for the life stolen from him. A splotch of bloodstain on the corner of the card is reminder enough of the brutality of how all his hopes died. It is hard to stay in the warehouse long. In one corner, empty coffins are stacked four or five high. Whoever was doing this grim work was stopped before they finished their task. That is a small mercy but no respite for those already dead. Inside the hangar, the air is still and thick with dust. It hangs close around the clothes and almost makes one retch to think what is being breathed into the lungs of those who have ventured inside. It is a relief to leave such a charnel house. Outside, the sun is shining over southern Iraq. There is a stiff breeze that blows some of the bone dust away. But inside the horrors remain, testimony to the crimes of a regime that is itself now being killed. Yet these are not isolated horrors. Last night allegations of the torture and murder of dozens of children by Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party also came to light, with bodies discovered hanging from street lighting. The killings were carried out after the party headquarters in Basra was bombed last week, said some Iraqi women, one of whom's niece had been killed. Families believed to have been aiding coalition forces were targeted. Interpreter Vanessa Lough, formerly attached to the UN and based in Basra said: 'In one street alone they said three children could be seen hanging from the lamp posts, and around the corner one child lay burnt on the ground. 'The women said some of the children's bodies are now being held in the city's hospital mortuary.'

Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 11 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
Funny thing though ... Tricky Dick Sunday, Apr. 06, 2003 at 7:40 PM
smoking gun four legs good two legs bad Sunday, Apr. 06, 2003 at 7:42 PM
The legacy of a mad man Fred Sunday, Apr. 06, 2003 at 7:51 PM
Excuse me, but..... Just Holding My Own...for Now Sunday, Apr. 06, 2003 at 8:10 PM
GMAFB Ginny's Daughter Sunday, Apr. 06, 2003 at 8:18 PM
IRAN IRAQ WAR Haven't forgotten Sunday, Apr. 06, 2003 at 10:49 PM
Spin, Spin, Spin steve Sunday, Apr. 06, 2003 at 11:25 PM
Hypocrisy G4BRUIN Sunday, Apr. 06, 2003 at 11:50 PM
Bingo! daveman Monday, Apr. 07, 2003 at 12:31 AM
Wrong Again Conservative Carlos Malvado Monday, Apr. 07, 2003 at 7:39 AM
oh the creativity david thompson Monday, Apr. 07, 2003 at 7:59 AM

Local News

Woolsey Fire: Worst News of 2018? J01 12:18AM

Oppose Environmentally-Harmful Development D10 4:03AM

Oppose Environmentally-Harmful Development D10 3:58AM

OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center Presents Night for Hope O30 5:38PM

Marshall Tuck’s racist dog whistle O27 5:01AM

Marshall Tuck’s ethnocentrism contradicts Californian values O27 4:32AM

Contra Costa-Hawkins O25 3:48AM

Debunking Some Anti-Prop 10 Propaganda O12 6:56AM

Why Should California Choose De Leon Over Feinstein? O10 9:55PM

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Paraphysique de proxémie guerrière J18 7:59AM

MACROTHSCHILD J17 9:38PM

FARCELONA 8.17.2017 J17 3:23PM

DEAD MAN LIVING J17 10:46AM

DIARY OF A CON MAN J16 10:40PM

PR Debt Cancel, Judge Reviews Cofina Debt J16 9:04PM

Réseautage, fragmentation du capital J16 4:20PM

Paraphysique de manipulation mentale et sociale J15 9:51AM

The Global Justice Project and Human Survival: We're Badly Off Track J15 5:08AM

The Global Justice Project and Human Survival: We're Badly Off Track J15 5:08AM

The Global Justice Project and Human Survival: We're Badly Off Track J15 5:08AM

Markets as a Fetish, Globalization, and Dissent Management J14 1:03PM

State Debts - The Primal German Fear J13 5:09PM

Sans liberté, sans égalité, sans fraternité J13 8:09AM

From Progressive Neoliberalism to Trump - and Beyond J12 9:22PM

Copper Cures Cancer J11 1:42PM

Steven Taylor, Investor who Evicts J11 9:24AM

Du sectarisme, des sectes, des clans J11 8:10AM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen J10 6:34PM

Patrick Kilpatrick discusses and signs Dying for Living J09 11:51PM

SexActs vs Sexuality USA 2018 Invitations to Power Marriages without Affection J09 8:36PM

Changer de mentalité, changer de société J09 9:17AM

Teacher Strike? Time for Labor Studies J09 6:26AM

December 2018 Honduras Coup Update J08 10:12PM

Paraphysique de la désespérance J07 9:38AM

The Unification Church with Rev Moon is in La and Orange Counnties J07 9:07AM

Time to Start Imagineering a Post-Ayatollah Iran J05 10:00PM

L'écomorphisme, du culturel et du temporel J05 10:33AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy