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Profile: Saddam Saleh Aboud


Positions that Saddam Saleh Aboud has held:




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Saddam Saleh Aboud actively participated in the following events:


November 29, 2003-March 28, 2004      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       In downtown Baghdad, Saddam Saleh Aboud, a 29-year-old Iraqi Sunni Muslim, reports to an Iraqi police officer that he believes a car on Saddoun Street is wired with explosives. The Iraqi officer immediately hands the man over to US soldiers and after brief stays at two small detention centers, Aboud ends up in cell block 1A of Abu Ghraib in cell No.42 on December 1. During his stay in the prison he is subjected to beatings and torture. [New York Times, 5/14/2004; The Guardian, 5/13/2004; Independent, 5/14/2004] On the first night of his stay in Abu Ghraib—hooded and with his hands tied behind his back—he is instructed to stand on a box. “I stood like this for an hour, or an hour and a quarter. Then some American soldiers came and they were laughing and some were beating me. They were beating me on my back and my legs. They were beating and laughing. I couldn't bear it and then I fell from the box against the wall and then on to the ground.” The soldiers then removed his hood. “They were talking and then one of them started to urinate on me. Then they started to drop cold water on me.” [New York Times, 5/14/2004; The Guardian, 5/13/2004] According to Aboud, the orders seem to be coming from above. In fact at one point during his detention he asks a soldier, “Why do you torture us?” The soldier responds, “It's not in our control.” [New York Times, 5/14/2004] After 18 days, the torture ends and the interrogation begins. A man named Steve—probably a reference to Steven Stephanowicz, the civilian employee of a private contractor who works in the prison as a professional interrogator—says to him, “If you do not confess, I will have my soldiers rape you.” Aboud subsequently answers all of his interrogators' questions, but provides them with bogus information. “Whatever they asked me, I said yes. They told me I was from Ansar al-Islam [a militant Iraqi group] and I said yes. I told them the leader of Jaish-e-Mohammad [another Iraqi militant group] was my cousin. They asked me about Zarqawi [a Jordanian militant thought to be in Iraq] and al-Qaeda and I said yes even though I don't know who they are.” [New York Times, 5/14/2004; The Guardian, 5/13/2004] Some time later, prisoners in Aboud's cell block are told that the Red Cross will be coming by to inspect the facility. They are told by the translator not to reveal how they had been abused. “Look all of you. The Red Cross will come to you today and if you say anything more than what is allowed then you will see a very, very dark day today and tomorrow will be darker and so on and so on,” Aboud will later recall the translator saying. Prior to the expected visit, several prisoners are relocated elsewhere in the prison. When the Red Cross arrives, Aboud says nothing. “I couldn't say anything to her [the Red Cross human rights monitor] because there was a translator and an American soldier standing behind her.” [The Guardian, 5/13/2004] When Aboud finally leaves the prison, he is warned: “One of the soldiers told me: ‘You were inside the prison and you saw some good things and some bad things. Forget the bad things and remember only the good.’ ”
People and organizations involved: Steven Stephanowicz, Saddam Saleh Aboud

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