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Journalist: Women raped at Abu Ghraib were later ‘honor killed’

By Daniel Tencer
Saturday, September 11, 2010 22:24 EDT
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Some women who were raped at the US’s Abu Ghraib prison facility in Iraq were later “honor killed” by their families, says a Jordanian reporter who writes on women’s issues.

“In Abu Ghraib, women were tortured by the Americans much more than the men,” Lima Nabil told The Independent. “One woman said she witnessed five girls being raped. Most of the women in the prison were raped – some of them left prison pregnant. Families killed some of these women – because of the shame.”

Nabil, who has reported extensively on the status of women in the Arab world and runs a home for runaway girls, made the comments to renowned foreign correspondent Robert Fisk in an article on honor killings in Jordan. Nabil did not expand on her comments in the article.

Fisk reported that a “very accurate source in Washington” in close contact with military personnel has confirmed “terrible stories of gang rape” by US forces at the now-notorious prison.

The unnamed source told Fisk that images of women being raped were behind the Obama administration’s decision not to release any more pictures of abuses at Abu Ghraib. The original set of images, showing male prisoners being abused, were released in 2004, horrifying and angering the Arab world.

Military and White House officials have repeatedly denied that the Abu Ghraib images still under wraps depict rape.

Allegations that women were raped at the facility have been made for years. In 2004, New Yorker correspondent Seymour Hersh alleged rape at the facility and said the US government has videotape of underage boys being sodomized.

“Some of the worst that happened that you don’t know about … Videos, there are women there. Some of you may have read they were passing letters, communications out to their men. This is at Abu Ghraib which is 30 miles from Baghdad….

“The women were passing messages saying “Please come and kill me, because of what’s happened.” Basically what happened is that those women who were arrested with young boys/children in cases that have been recorded. The boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling. The worst about all of them is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking that your government has. They are in total terror it’s going to come out.”

Lima Nabil’s journalistic career has had its share of controversies. She says she has been threatened over her reporting on the abuse of women in Jordan, and has even had stories officially censored.

Nabil came in for criticism from defenders of Israel for writing a treatise entitled Jerusalem: 5,000 Years of Arab History, in which she links the Jebusite population in the area more than 3,000 years ago to the current Palestinian population — a common claim among Palestinians.

But supporters of Israel have criticized the piece as an attempt to deny Jewish links to Jerusalem.

 
 
 
 
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