The Prisoner Shows Daily Abuse at Abu Ghraib

Abu Ghraib prison is notorious for images that surfaced in 2003 showing horrific abuses of Iraqis by US soldiers, but a new documentary aims to highlight the plight facing many innocent Iraqis by depicting the humdrum misery there.

The Prisoner Shows Daily Abuse at Abu Ghraib
Christine Kearney


Abu Ghraib prison is notorious forimages that surfaced in 2003 showing horrific abuses of Iraqis by US soldiers,but a new documentary aims to highlight the plight facing many innocent Iraqisby depicting the humdrum misery there.

US filmmaker Michael Tucker won critical acclaim for hisdocumentary Gunner Palace, about American soldiers taking up residencein Saddam Hussein's former palace.

Now his film The Prisoner, or: How I Planned toKill Tony Blair, made with his wife Petra Epperlein, tells the story ofYunis Khatayer Abbas, an Iraqi journalist captured by American soldiers in2003.

In the film, Abbas recalls the humiliation of hisinterrogation, which led to him being told he was suspected of plotting toassassinate British prime minister Tony Blair, before being sent to Abu Ghraib.

But the film does not focus on any of the graphicimages or depictions of abuses that made the prison an international scandal.And that is exactly the point, Tucker told Reuters in an interview.

"People are so jaded with basic human sufferingthat unless it is sensational, they don't respond to it," he said.

"Treated Like Animals"

The interrogations, innocent Iraqis like Abbassuffer every day, deserve as much attention as the now infamous photographs ofabuse at Abu Ghraib, Tucker said.

"We can't forget these are civilian peoplebeing treated like animals," he said.

Benjamin Thompson, a former Army specialist alsofeatured in the film after he befriended Abbas while stationed at Abu Ghraib, toldReuters that "the scandal basically diverted everyone's attention awayfrom anything that wasn't in those photographs."

"It was like no matter what happened there aslong as we didn't stack people and make pyramids (of them) we were doing agreat job," said Thompson, who returned from Iraqto Ohio, the US, two years ago and wentback to civilian life.

"In reality, what was taking place was adehumanizing policy of lack of care, medical attention, food, and basicoperational security," he said.

Tucker said his film aims to put human faces onIraqis like Abbas, whom he believes were misunderstood by Americans.

"I don't think that we have really ever hadsomeone in film that the average person can connect with and really see the warin human terms," said Tucker, noting Abbas's sense of humor.

In one scene, the Iraqi recalled laughing wheneventually being told by American interrogators he was being held captive oversuspicions he plotted to attack Blair.

"What he was charged with was so absurd,"said Tucker, who uses footage of Abbas being captured by soldiers after heaccompanied them on the raid. "It just shows how poorly the intelligencesystem works."

Tucker said he hoped politicians will come up withbetter solutions and security for Iraq and take a simple message fromhis film: "They need to start caring about the human consequences of thiswar."

 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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