Oh Jeez. Didn’t think the news out of Iraq could get any worse? Especially after the stories and pictures of American service members abusing Iraqi prisoners? Brace yourself.
- “We were slaves in American kitchens. We barely got two hours of sleep. Any slip-ups and we were tortured for days,” says Hameed.
- “Once I told the kitchen in-charge that as I was a devout Muslim I could not cook pork. I was beaten up with rifle butts,” says Hameed’s brother Shahjahan.
- “Iraqi militia attacked our camps several times. At times, officers used us as shields,” adds Hameed.
These are the accounts of Indians with visas for Kuwait ending up as virtual slaves in U.S. military camps in Iraq.
You’ve read the stories and seen pictures of the brutal treatment of Iraqi prisoners at the hands of Western soldiers. This is the account of Indians with visas for Kuwait ending up as slaves in US military camps in Battlefield Iraq.
In August 2003, 25 such workers — of whom Hameed, Shajahan and two others were from Kerala — paid Rs 75,000 each to obtain Kuwaiti work visas. In Kuwait, they were told they were to travel for two days to reach the work site. “When the journey ended we realised we were in Baghdad. We were handed over to another agent who took us to a military camp in Mosul,” says Hameed.
The Americans in the camp told the Indians that they had purchased them for a hefty amount, and that they were to work in the kitchen and do other odd jobs. [emphasis mine]
One almost hesitates to read the news anymore. Every story out of Iraq seems worse than the one before.