Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Room 63

Reuters via Yahoo (article by Michael Gregory and Paul Tait):

'BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Men and women were tortured for days and babies left to die in an interrogation facility which featured a meat grinder for human flesh, the first prosecution witness to face Saddam Hussein told the court on Monday.

After weeks of delay and legal arguments over security and the legitimacy of the court, the trial of Saddam and seven co- defendants on charges of crimes against humanity heard confusing but graphic witness evidence of torture and summary execution.

"I swear by God I walked by a room and on my left I saw a grinder with blood coming out of it and human hair underneath," said 38-year-old Ahmed Hassan, who said he had been kept in room 63 at the Hakmiya intelligence headquarters in Baghdad.
"My brother was given electric shocks while my 77-year-old father watched," Hassan said. "They told us, 'why don't you confess, you will be executed anyway'," he said.

"One man was shot in the leg with two bullets... Some people were crippled because they had their arms and legs broken."

He said they were held in Hakmiya for 70 days. While they were there a woman told a guard that her infant baby needed milk or he would die.

"He died and the guard threw him from the window," Hassan told the court. "Pregnant women gave birth in the prison. Their babies died."
Read the full article at the link.