Abu Ghraib detainee shares emotional testimony during trial against Virginia military contractor

(16 Apr 2024)

Alexandria, Virginia – 16 April 2024
1. Various STILLS, artist sketches depict Salah Al-Ejaili, foreground with glasses, a former Al-Jazeera journalist, before the U.S. District Court

ARCHIVE: Baghdad, Iraq – Exact date unknown, 2003
2. STILL, this late 2003 photo obtained by The Associated Press shows an unidentified detainee standing on a box with a bag on his head and wires attached to him in the Abu Ghraib prison

ARCHIVE: Abu Ghraib, Iraq – 17 May, 2004
3. Wide shot, pan of Abu Ghraib prison
4. Soft focus shot through fence of detainees
5. Pan along line of prisoners with heads not visible
6. Exterior shot of entrance to prison from inside compound
7. Interior shot of soldiers on guard
8. Interior of prison, guard walks past
9. Prisoners putting hands between bars
10. Low level shot of prison hallway
11. Pan of exterior of cellblock

ARCHIVE: Washington – 7 May, 2004
12. SOUNDBITE: (English) Donald Rumsfeld, US Defence Secretary:
"I feel terrible for what happened to these Iraqi detainees. They are human beings. They were in US custody, and our country had an obligation to treat them right. We didn’t, and that was wrong. So to those Iraqis who were mistreated by members of the US armed services I offer my deepest apology. It was inconsistent with the values of our nation, it was inconsistent with the teachings of the military to the men and women of the armed forces and it was certainly, fundamentally, un-American."

ARCHIVE: Baghdad, Iraq – 22 June 20024
13. STILL, a detainee in an outdoor solitary confinement cell talks with a military police officer at the Abu Ghraib prison on the outskirts of Baghdad, Iraq
A former detainee at the infamous Abu Ghraib prison described to jurors in Virginia the abuse he suffered in more than a month of incarceration in 2003.

It included beatings and being threatened with dogs.

The testimony Monday from Salah Al-Ejaili marks the first time Abu Ghraib survivors have been able to bring their claims of torture to a U.S. jury.

His testimony revives the 2004 photographs of detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib that became a worldwide scandal. Al-Ejaili and two other Abu Ghraib detainees are suing Virginia-based military contractor CACI.

They accuse the company’s civilian interrogators of contributing to their abuse. The company denies wrongdoing.


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