Iraqi museum still bears traces of Saddam-era torture

There are interrogation halls and special torture equipment and cells, used for not only for adults but also for children

Iraqi museum still bears traces of Saddam-era torture

A museum in Iraq’s Kurdish Regional Government’s province of Sulaymaniyah still shows signs of the abuse people suffered during the era of Saddam Hussein.

The Red Security National Museum, named after its red walls, exhibits remains of its victims including watches, clothing and other objects as well as windowless cells - which witnessed the Saddam regime’s torture.

Medical doctor Kamuran Karadagi was a political prisoner in the building when he was taken from home on the night of May 5, 1990.

Today, he owns a pulmonology clinic in front of the museum. 

Karadagi told The Anadolu Agency on Monday that he was a member of a regime-opposed radical leftist organization: “I was taken to the torture room without being given a chance to speak."

"I was hanged by my hands and they applied electricity to my body. This torture continued for 26 days. I stayed alone in a single-cell for six months. After that I was taken to another political prisoner’s cell,” he recounted.

“On March 7, 1991, Kurdish people broke my cell door and took us out from there. After that I learnt about the rebellion in Kurdistan; Sulaymaniyah was rescued from the Baathist regime,” he continued.

The building was used a security headquarter by the Baath regime during the 1980s, according to museum director Aka Garip.

The construction of the building finished in 1985 and it was used a prison for political prisoners for around six years, Garip added.  

The building has been a museum since 1997. 

There are interrogation halls and special torture equipment and cells, used for not only for adults but also for children, Garip said.

Tanks and heavy weapons are still in the museum garden, left as they were since the first day the museum was founded.  

Inside the museum there is also another exhibition, which focuses on the al-Anfal Campaign that, according to Human Rights Watch, "at least 50,000 and possibly as many as 100,000 Kurds" were systematically and deliberately murdered in 1988.   

The museum director also mentioned Turkey’s Cannes-winning, Turkish-Kurd director Yilmaz Guney, who mainly portrayed working-class people’s lives on film: “There is a movie theater and in front of it a bronze sculpture of Guney in the museum to remember Yilmaz Guney, who is very important to Kurds.”


Güncelleme Tarihi: 18 Kasım 2014, 00:02

Muhammed Öylek