Thursday, July 22 2004 @ 09:48 AM Central Daylight Time
The rape ordeal she suffered at the hands of US soldiers, both males and females, in the notorious Abu Gharib prison will continue to haunt Nadia for the rest of her life.
Though freed now, she is "imprisoned" in painful memories that left her psychologically and physically scarred, paying the price of the brutality and sadism of her American jailers.
Nadia, the name given by a freed Iraqi female prisoner to Al-Wasat, a weekly supplement of the respectable London-based Al-Hayat newspaper, felt it incumbent upon herself to speak out and expose the less-talked-about abuse of female prisoners in US-run detention camps across Iraq.
Her visit to a relative ended up in her detention by American troops, who stormed the home under the preferable excuse of "searching for weapons".
"I tried in vain to convince the impeded interpreter I was a guest, but I lost consciousness to find myself later in a dingy dark cell all by myself," Nadia recalled.
With tears rolling down her cheeks, she told the paper how she was stripped by her "liberators" of the most precious thing an Arab and Muslim women can have: Her virginity.
"A thrill of fear ran through me when I saw US soldiers laughing hysterically with a female solider telling me mockingly in an Arabic accent ‘I never heard about female arms dealer in Iraq’," Nadia said.
"As I tried hard to explain to her that I was wrongly rounded up, the female soldier started accosting and kicking me with my cries and pleas falling on dead ears."
She went on: "She gave me a cup of water and no sooner had I started sipping it than I went into a deep trance to find myself later naked and raped."
Only then Nadia realized that hard times and an uncertain fate were lying ahead.
And days proved her right. The other day, five soldiers fondled and raped her one after another in a distasteful sex orgy on the tunes of culturally offensive heavy metal music.
"One month later, a soldier showed up and told me in broken Arabic to take a shower. And before finishing my bath, he kicked the door open. I slapped him but he raped me like animals and called two of his colleagues, who forced me to have sex with them for up to 10 times," added Nadia.
"Four months later, the female soldier came along with four male soldiers with a digital camera. She stripped me naked and started fondling me as if she was a man while her male colleagues broke into laughter and started taking photos.
"Reluctant as I was, she fired four shots close to my head and threatened to kill me if I resist. Then, four soldiers raped me sadistically and I lost conscience. Later, she forced me to watch a clip of my raping, saying bluntly: ‘Your were born to give us pleasure’."
Naida was set free from the US hell in Abu Gharib after spending up to six months there.
The American soldiers dumped her along the highway of Abu Gharib and gave her a meager of 10,000 dinars to "start a new life".
Too ashamed to return home, she now works as a housemaid for an Iraqi family.
Britain’s mass-circulation The Guardian revealed on May 12 that US soldiers in Iraq have sexually humiliated and abused several Iraqi female detainees in Abu Gharib.
In its May 10-17 issue, the Newsweek said that yet-unreleased Abu Gharib abuse photos "include an American soldier having sex with a female Iraqi detainee and American soldiers watching Iraqis have sex with juveniles."
The Iraqi abuse scandal exploded onto the world stage on April 29 after the CBS news network published several shocking photos of Iraqi detainees tortured and sexually abused by US soldiers.
In a damning report presented to the administration in February, before the outbreak of the scandal, US Major General Antonio Taguba found numerous "sadistic, blatant and wanton criminal abuses" at the prison complex.
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