[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 January, 2005, 01:53 GMT
Abu Ghraib inmates recall torture
Spc Charles Graner arrives on day two of his military trial at Fort Hood, Texas
Spc Charles Graner was accused of being 'primary torturer'
Two Muslim detainees at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison have told a court martial that they were tortured and humiliated by a US soldier on trial for abuse.

A Syrian witness described Specialist Charles Graner as Abu Ghraib's "primary torturer", and said he was force-fed pork and alcohol, against Islamic law.

Another inmate, forced to masturbate in public, said US troops tortured Iraqis "like it was theatre for them".

Spc Graner, who denies all charges, faces up to 17 years in jail.

He is the first soldier to face court martial over the images of prisoner abuse at the Baghdad jail that caused worldwide outrage.

Spc Graner denies charges of assault and conspiracy to mistreat prisoners.

His court martial is being held at a military base in Fort Hood, Texas.

'Laughing and whistling'

Hussein Mutar, an Iraqi sent to Abu Ghraib for stealing a car, was forced to masturbate in public and piled onto a pyramid of naked men.

Mr Mutar, who struggled throughout his video testimony, compared his jailers to the deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

A group of bound Iraqi prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad, Iraq in this undated photo. (AP Photo/Courtesy of The New Yorker)
Pte Jeremy Sivits
Sgt Ivan Frederick
Specialist Megan Ambuhl
Facing trial:
Pte Lynndie England
Specialist Charles Graner
Sgt Javal Davies
Specialist Sabrina Harman
"This changed the perspective on all Americans. [Even] Saddam did not do this to us," he said.

"I couldn't believe in the beginning that this could happen, but I wished I could kill myself because no one was there to stop it.

"They were torturing us as though it was theatre for them."

Syrian fighter Amin al-Sheikh, in a video deposition recorded last month in Iraq, admitted going to the country in 2003 to fight US-led forces, and being involved in a shootout with guards at Abu Ghraib after being given a gun by an Iraqi guard.

After being injured in the gun fight, he said, he was taken back to his cell, where Spc Graner jumped on his wounded leg and hit his wounds with a metal baton.

He said the military policeman made him eat pork and drink alcohol, violating his religion, and made him insult the Islamic faith.

He said a Yemeni detainee had told him that Spc Graner made him "eat from the toilet".

Asked if the defendant appeared to enjoy abusing prisoners, Mr Sheikh said: "He was laughing, he was whistling, he was singing."

'Face of the enemy'

The soldier's defence argues that the abuse was sanctioned by his superiors, and defence lawyer Guy Womack said Mr Sheikh's testimony helped Spc Graner.

"It was the face of the enemy. It's very clear that he hates America," he said.

The defence is due to begin its case on Wednesday, when Spc Graner is scheduled to testify.

Three guards from Spc Graner's 372nd Military Police Company have pleaded guilty to abuse charges.

Three others, including Private Lynndie England, who also features in photos from Abu Ghraib and with whom Spc Graner has since had a child, are awaiting trial.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific