‘The Man Under The Hood’ From The Notorious Abu Ghraib Prison Speaks Out – After 15 Years

The cost of the war are always people – their lives, their psyches and livelihood. The wounds and more than that the dents that embed themselves in one’s personality are long lasting and will continuously come back to haunt you. The affected aside, no sane human being with a heart can stop themselves from thinking what people in these war-torn countries are facing, whether they have any link with them or live in the same geographical region or not.

Protesters symbolically re-enact the mistreatment of detainees at the U.S.-run prison at Abu Ghraib, an incident that sparked worldwide outrage, during a rally marking the sixth anniversary of the fall of the Iraqi capital to American troops in Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, April 9, 2009. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)

The memories have kept flashing in front of our eyes repeatedly and one of those terrifying images was this infamous photograph ‘’the man under the hood’’. The majority might already remember it because it is quite tough to forget about it. The photo was taken in the known for its terrors Abu Ghraib prison.

Picture And Caption Taken From New Yorker Magazine, 2004

Fifteen years after it, the man under the hood has finally spoken. Ali Al Qaisi speaks to Middle East Eye, recalling his worst days in the prison. During the war, the US army and CIA were indulged in a never-ending series of crimes against humanity and kept subjecting the detainees at Abu Ghraib prison to the worst form of physical, sexual and mental abuse.

The Man Under The Hood: Ali al Qaisi

Al Qaisi was one of the victims who was wrongfully arrested and spent the time in this notorious prison that still gives him nightmares. Speaking on the context of that disturbing image, Al Qaisi said that as soon as one enters the prison, they hang them on the door of the metal cell, then electrocute them and urinate on them.

They would later take a broomstick, break it in half and penetrate the private parts leaving worst of wounds that needed surgical operations. Remembering his ordeal, Al Qaisi also said that once a child was raped in front of his father. He says that it’s hard to recover, even after years as the psychological and physical trauma is permanent.

‘’Until today, I cannot have a bathtub in my bathroom because them I remember the waterboarding. I’m still suffering from nightmares … as if it was yesterday’’

The brutality at the Baghdad central prison caught attention back in 2004 when pictures of the insides were published, later closing it. After that, many former detainees have spoken about their experiences, each one of them equally disturbing and wrenching.

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