New Details of Prison Abuse Emerge
Hussein Mohssein Mata Al-Zayiadi, detainee No. 19446, told investigators that he was one of the hooded prisoners shown in photographs masturbating before American soldiers. "They told my friend to masturbate and told me to masturbate also, while they were taking pictures," he said.
Al-Zayiadi also said he and other detainees were beaten and tossed into separate cells.
"They opened the water in the cell and told us to lay face down in the water and we stayed like that until the morning, in the water, naked, without clothes," he said in his statement.
He also said soldiers forced him and others to perform like animals.
"Did the guards force you to crawl on your hands and knees on the ground?" a military investigator asked.
"Yes, they forced us to do this thing," Al-Zayiadi said.
"What were the guards doing while you were crawling on your hands and knees?"
"They were sitting on our backs like riding animals," Al-Zayiadi said.
He said the guards took pictures of the incident.
Al-Zayiadi also described what has become one of the iconic photographs in the prison abuse scandal.
"They brought my friends, Haidar, Ahmed, Nouri, Ahzem, Hashiem, Mustafa, and I, and they put us two on the bottom, two on top of them, and two on top of those and one on top," he said. "They took pictures of us and we were naked."
Another publicized photograph -- that of a hooded detainee hooked up to wires and standing on a box -- is also described in the statements.
"On the third day, after five o'clock, Mr. Graner came and took me to room Number 37, which is the shower room, and he started punishing me," said Abdou Hussain Saad Faleh, detainee No. 18170. "Then he brought a box of food and he made me stand on it with no clothing, except a blanket. Then a tall black soldier came and put electrical wires on my fingers and toes and on my penis, and I had a bag over my head."
Al-Sheik said he was arrested on Oct. 7, and brought to Abu Ghraib, where he was put in a tent for one night. The next day, he was transferred to the "hard site," the two-story building that held about 200 prisoners and contained Tiers 1A and 1B.
He said a bag was put over his head and he was made to strip. He said American soldiers started to taunt him.
"Do you pray to Allah?" one asked. "I said yes. They said, '[Expletive] you. And [expletive] him.' One of them said, 'You are not getting out of here health[y], you are getting out of here handicapped. And he said to me, 'Are you married?' I said, 'Yes.' They said, 'If your wife saw you like this, she will be disappointed.' One of them said, 'But if I saw her now she would not be disappointed now because I would rape her.' "
He said the soldiers told him that if he cooperated with interrogators they would release him in time for Ramadan. He said he did, but still was not released. He said one soldier continued to abuse him by striking his broken leg and ordered him to curse Islam. "Because they started to hit my broken leg, I cursed my religion," he said. "They ordered me to thank Jesus that I'm alive."
The detainee said the soldiers handcuffed him to a bed.
"Do you believe in anything?" he said the soldier asked. "I said to him, 'I believe in Allah.' So he said, "But I believe in torture and I will torture you.' "
© 2004 The Washington Post Company