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UPDATED: 17:00, May 21, 2004
Privilege trampling on human rights -- World focuses on Iraqi prisoner abuses by US troops
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The past two months have been unforgettable to people all over the world, who seem to feel the endless sorrow and humiliation as they have seen US soldiers abuse Iraqi captives.

Amid the boiling condemnation, the US released Monday, May 17, an annual report on its efforts to improve human rights, which is considered the most "satiric" human rights issue since the human society entered the "civilized" 21st century.

The disgusting pictures mirroring degraded morality shocked people since the tragedy was all directed by the United States, who has always raising the flags of "freedom", "democracy" and "human rights" and called himself "world leader". Now his three flags have been taxed down by the prisoner abuse scandal.

Prisoner abuse scandal getting worse: captive rejected to be treated as dog

Iraq :

US New Yorker, May 15: the stunning abuse scandal in Abu Ghraib prison originated from US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's approval on a variety of measures in interrogation.

Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh wrote that Rumsfeld approved in 2003 a special "highly secret operation plan" in which "physical punishment and sexually humiliating measures on Iraqi prisoners are encouraged in order to get more intelligence on resistance in Iraq". Rumsfeld nodded at the abuse and US President George W. Bush and his national security advisor Condoleeza Rice have also been aware of it.

Women captives facing gloomy prospects
However, what is told is only part of the story. What happened to those female prisoners, who were more seriously hurt, is rarely known to the public. US soldiers not only maltreated Iraqi women prisoners, but also videoed and took pictures at the meantime. In Abu Ghraib prison alone, US female soldiers have taken over 1, 500 photos on the atrocities of the fellows. Photos and video also recorded how Iraqi women were forced naked, even "US soldiers raping Iraqi women".

On May 14 local time, British newspaper Independence reported, another Iraqi captive who has been abused by US soldiers disclosed to the public his identity. The captive called Saddam Saleh was jailed in 2003 year-end, and after that US soldiers forced him to strip naked and he has been maltreated for as long as 18 days.

On May 19, ABCNEWS published two new photos taken at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq showing Spc. Charles Graner and Spc. Sabrina Harman posing over the body of a detainee who was allegedly beaten to death by CIA or civilian interrogators in the prison's showers. The detainee's name was Manadel al-Jamadi.


"I swear all the pictures broadcast on TV are my experience." The 47-tear-old Afghanistan captive told his sorrows after viewing photos on prisoner abuse.

Prisoner abuse worsened as US army stationed in Iraq declared investigation twice. There are 20,000 US soldiers in Afghanistan assigned to track al-Qaeda and Taliban members. Now several hundred suspects are jailed in detention centers scattering in Afghanistan. According to the Human Rights Organization, US soldieries' outrage there is "systematic".


On May 15 local time, just when the two British former prisoners in Cuba's Guantanamo were claimed to have been maltreated, another Briton gave testimony claiming that he suffered inhumane treatment when jailed there, and the process was completely videoed.

Having failed to bare the torture, a captive once envied the dog home next to his cell, whose home is a wooden, grass-carpeted, and air-conditioned room. The captive once asked US soldiers for the treatment as the dog's but was rejected: "The dog is staff member of US army".

There is a "punishment squad" in Guantanamo - composed of special forces of Delta Force- in charge of prisoner abuse. They spray pepper on prisoners, beat them, clear their beard, hair and eyebrows, even poke them in the eye. There has always been someone videoing the process any time there was prisoner abuse. The whole process makes people feel that US soldiers are abusing prisoners with organization and plan.

Global uproar: Why US government let it go?

United Nations

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said on May 13 that the abuse scandal will surely have negative impact but the United Nations (UN) will continue to perform its duty. Annan issued a statement on May 12 condemning the abuse in which all people were urged to abide by law and international principles and parties concerned hoped to treat prisoners according to the Geneva Convention.


As to the stunning prisoner abuse by US and British soldiers, China condemned the deed violating international conventions. China held that the wrongdoers should be punished after thorough investigation. The United States and Britain should strictly observe international conventions such as Geneva Convention and actually guarantee the basic human rights of the captives and prisoners.


Yuri Fedotov, Russian Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs said on May 5, UN should investigate into the abuse scandal. "Obviously the abuse is infringement upon human rights. It makes the process of recovering the order in Iraq complicated, and led to more averse against foreign occupation." The vice minister also briefed Russia's stand that the examination work on the issue should be handed to UN Commission on Human Rights.

United States

Survey results published by Newsweek on May 15 shows, as affected by the war on Iraq and the abuse scandal, the general approval rating of Americans for Bush's job decreased to a new low of 42 percent.

The survey also shows, that on Bush's handling Iraq issue dropped to 35 percent, 9 percentage points lower than in April with 57-percent dissatisfaction.


According to the online edition of British Sunday Times on May 15, the latest poll tells, nearly 50 percent Britons agree that Tony Blair should resign before the next election. The poll says 46 percent voters are not optimistic of Blair's political prospect. Another 22 percent think that even if Blair should quit immediately even if he won the next election.


French President Jacques Chirac said on May 13 that US abuse scandal is the same as the beheading of US businessman Nicholas Berg, which also ignited "resentment and strong furiousness" throughout the international community. Chirac expressed his condemnation of the barbarianism and agreement to US condemnation of and measures for the problem.


German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder resolutely condemned the two crimes mentioned by French President and held that the beheading is a disgusting crime, a terrorist murder which can not be forgiven despite whatever excuse.


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on May 15 US prisoner abuse is reckless trampling on international law and general ethics and morality and facts prove that United States is the first to blame for treading on human rights.


Italian government issued a statement on May 14, strongly condemning the crime and hoped criminals can be given due punishment. The statement called the deed "extremely indecent and abject", but refused to accept criticisms that Italy was jointly and severally liable. Italy claimed unawareness of the problem before it was disclosed, and the guilty are "soldiers of other countries stationed in Iraq".


Communiqu�� issued on May 14 strongly condemned the atrocities. It said, US soldiers severely broke international humanitarianism and principles on human rights and believed that US will do in-depth investigation into the issue and finally punish the guilty.


Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher criticized on May 13 US soldiers' humiliating captives and Iraqi armed gangs killing US contractor. The foreign minister said the scandal is unbearable, and would be condemned by the whole world.

Abuse snapshots
From Vietnam to Iraq
US prison for abuse
Prison abuse show

Voice of Media

People's Daily: Privilege Tramples on Human Rights

Currently America's occupation of Iraq is met with tenacious resistance and its so-called "big Mideast democracy plan" is widely boycotted. The prisoner abuse scandal has badly discredited the country and ruthlessly exposed the unjustness of American-style force culture and the emptiness of its sense of superiority. For some American politicians, it's better to give up their arrogance and cowboy style at an earlier date.

Russian Kommersant: Buss, Rumsfeld shelter each other

The scandal has become a major political issue. Commentators are more concerned about the destiny of the captives, and the impact the scandal would have on US political figures.

US government realized, in the crisis, the target is too close to the highest level, so it hoped to divert the public attention, started to accuse officials below and ordinary soldiers. As to how long the top figures can resist, time will tell us. Now the president and his followers are relatively safe.

Financial Times: prisoner abuse to ignite political crisis

The disclosed a US businessman's beheaded by terrorists aroused social turbulence. The already published photos on US armies in Iraq torturing, coercing and sexually humiliating Iraqi captives have acted as evidence and the quake after the latest cruel snapshots will probably turn into a political crisis.

German Die Welt: US arrogance already smashed

US can not make sense with news on cruel prison abuse on one hand and himself claiming "lighthouse of all countries, torch bearer of democracy and human rights". US arrogance has been shattered, and there are louder and louder calls for his withdraw and even Rumsfeld's leaving will not be able to help it.

French Liberation

United States, should be a small country of the third world, its leaders would not worry his subordinates would be tried at the international court for their guilt. But just as people expected, powerfulness is the best explanation. Actually Bush gave his subordinate go-ahead for prison abuse and slaughter just by declaring that God "sides with us". Ironically, He tried to turn Iraq and the entire Middle East into regions with more democracy, freedom and justice to defend for US occupation on Iraq. In fact, the occupation on Iraq has been changing the United States, damaging his democratic ideal of seeking justice and respect human rights.

Washington Post: Bush should reform interrogation system

One thing to take the blame for the scandal in Abu Ghraib prison is the irrational interrogation system. Despite immeasurable loss caused by the issue, Bush went on defending the system which not only runs wild in Guantanamo, al-Qaeda, but also Iraq, Afghanistan and other detention centers. Bush praised on May 10 Rumsfeld as doing "an excellent job" and called again the abuse as the mistake of "a tiny percentage" of soldiers. These are no at all correct response to one of the biggest shames a country suffers. Bush administration should reform the interrogation system.

Nitizens: Is this human rights in US's eyes?

When US soldiers pay homage to the Stars and Stripes with Iraqi captives' rights and esteem, on the US altar, the belief in fairness, justice, religion freedom has long lost its prevalent value. Therefore US needs not be surprised by indignation and condemnation throughout the world. Net surfers also expressed their strong condemnations of the barbarianism of US soldiers.

US report a satire of human rights "promotion" in world. (Plain Truth, posted: 05/19/2004 01:53 PM)

"The US State Department, issuing its annual human rights reports, but did not mention human rights violations by the US Forces....."

Not surprising at all! That's the nature of the Americans politicians' characteristics and the show of arrogance and hypocrisy. That's the hallmark of America's 'democracy and human rights'.We just don't have to be bothered by that biased and incredible report. It means nothing to the rest of the world! (Batuman, posted: 05/19/2004 01:42 PM)

The US, and to an extent other coalition countries like the UK, cannot repair its image. Maybe a year ago something could have been done, but its too far gone now. (Enri, posted: 05/19/2004 03:27 AM)

US is now a politically and morally bankrupt democracy! The US invading army have deliberately, consciously and systematically abusing the Iraqi prisoners and treat them as sub-humans. This kind of democracy and human rights are totally not acceptable to the world standard. This is the ugliest side of the US democracy and human rights which the Americans are fanatically pushing others to adopt and practise. How would anybody to expect China to follow and adopt it? (Batuman, posted: 05/18/2004 10:12 PM)

1. US faces a hypocrisy problem and credibility crisis.

2. Why does US want to fix what is wrong with 101 countries and does not want to fix its own problems?

3. US must first remove the beam from its eyes before it can remove the specks of other nations.

4. When will US fix its twin deficits and stop practicing fiscal irresponsibility?

5. When will US fix its structural flaws of corrupt politics?

6. When will US fix its flawed and failed legal system that enriches lawyers at the expense of justice and victims?

7. When will US fix its rotten capitalism driven by greed and injustice? (Patriot, posted: 05/18/2004 05:45 PM)

By People's Daily Online

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