Torture Returns To Liberated Iraq

Along with anti-gay pogroms, torture is making a comeback:

Muntader al-Zaidi said that when he was arrested after hurling his shoes at Mr. Bush at a December news conference, those inside could probably still hear his screams. He said he was shackled, soaked in water and kept in a place with no heat in the cold night. “I will name later those involved in torturing me, among them high-ranking officials in the government and the Army,” he said. He claimed that he was beaten with pipes and steel cables and that he received electric shocks while in custody.

The Economist reports on the slow migration of al-Maliki toward the techniques of Saddam:

Torture is routine in government detention centres.

“Things are bad and getting worse, even by regional standards,” says Samer Muscati, who works for Human Rights Watch, a New York-based lobby. His outfit reports that, with American oversight gone (albeit that the Americans committed their own shameful abuses in such places as Abu Ghraib prison), Iraqi police and security people are again pulling out fingernails and beating detainees, even those who have already made confessions. A limping former prison inmate tells how he realised, after a bout of torture in a government ministry that lasted for five days, that he had been relatively lucky. When he was reunited with fellow prisoners, he said he saw that many had lost limbs and organs.