Iraqi female detainees have been illegally detained, raped and sexually violated by United States military personnel. Women who stay at home in traditional roles are more likely to be imprisoned as bargaining chips by US troops seeking to pressurize male relatives, according to the New Statesmen (UK)1. In December 2003, a woman prisoner, “Noor”, smuggled out a note stating that US guards at Abu Ghraib had been raping women detainees and forcing them to strip naked. Several of the women were now pregnant.2 The classified enquiry launched by the US military, headed by Major General Antonio Taguba, has confirmed the note by “Noor” and that sexual violence against women at Abu Ghraib took place. Among the 1,800 digital photographs taken by US guards inside Abu Ghraib there were, according to Taguba's report, images of naked male and female detainees; a male Military Police guard “having sex” with a female detainee; detainees (of unspecified gender) forcibly arranged in various sexually explicit positions for photographing; and naked female detainees.3 The Bush administration has refused to release photographs of Iraqi women prisoners at Abu Ghraib, including those of women forced at gunpoint to bare their breasts (although these have been shown to Congress). 4 UK Member of Parliament Ann Clwyd (L) has confirmed a report of an Iraqi woman in her 70s who had been harnessed and ridden like a donkey at Abu Ghraib and another coalition detention centre after being arrested last July. Clwyd said: "She was held for about six weeks without charge. During that time she was insulted and told she was a donkey."5
I wonder how the donkey is perceived in the Iraqi culture?
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