By Kim Sengupta, Diplomatic Correspondent, The Independent/UK, April 29, 2010
The torture of prisoners in Iraq jails was widespread under Saddam Hussein’s regime. Now human rights activists claim that similar abuses are taking place on government orders
A secret Iraqi government prison, where detainees were subjected to horrific abuse and at least one died from his injuries, was described yesterday as being “worse than Abu Ghraib”.
Its prisoners, who were mainly Sunni Arabs, included a wheelchair-bound British national. Freed captives told the New York-based organisation Human Rights Watch that they were raped, tortured with electric shocks and suffocated.
All had been taken to the covert jail, at Muthanna airfield west of Baghdad, after being arrested by security forces and accused of involvement in the long-running insurgency. Following American pressure, the prison was hurriedly closed last week and its 431 inmates were transferred to the Iraqi capital as reports of torture emerged.