Monday, September 03, 2007
Recent footage from prison camps in Baghdad uncovered harsh living conditions for those detained there. The prison camps consisted of outdoor tents made of wire mesh and covered with plastic sheets. Some of the prisoners were not even fully clothed and fervently protested their innocence, claiming that they had been in prison for years without even having been seen in a court room or by a judge. According to Iraqi Vice President Tareq al- Hashemi, these tented camps now hold 2,779 prisoners who were removed from over-crowded Iraqi prisons. Although the camps are said to have air-conditioning and 24 hour electricity, no official seems willing to take the responsibility in getting court dates for the prisoners. A General at the prison stated, "The prisoners arrived just a month ago. It is not our fault that some have been held for a year or two years without going before a judge." The situation seems slightly more hopeful in light of the fact that Hashemi visited the prison camps in an attempt to form some semblance of order and that his office gave footage of the injustices at the camps to a global television agency to be broadcast. But when will the situation be rectified? And why does it happen in the first place? If a large-scale public imprisonment occurred in the U.S. on these same terms it would be corrected immediately, or so I would like to think; at the very least people would be up in arms about the injustice happening around them. Why, then, are things so different in a country like Iraq- and will they ever change? Is this injustice proof that a new government is not enough to change the social ills in a society, or is Iraq actually on a slow progression toward a better system?
Posted by ashley at 11:40 AM