Libya worse than Gitmo


The Palestinian doctor who was held in Libyan custody along with five Bulgarian nurses on charges they infected hundreds of children with HIV, has described in detail how they were tortured during their eight-year ordeal. Ashraf Alhajouj, 38, said he was beaten, held in cages with police dogs and given electric shocks, including to his private parts. He said that he and the nurses were sometimes put together naked in the same room and tortured.


"For the first days I was locked up with three dogs who were ordered to attack me. My leg is full of scars and marks from where they bit me [and] I had a big hole in my knee," he said.

Later, he said, wire cable that had been stripped of its plastic coating, was wound round his penis and he was dragged "screaming and crying" across the floor. He was also given electric shocks with a generator-style machine.

"They put the minus cable on my finger and the plus cable on my ear or my genitals. The most painful thing was their ability to increase the speed of the electricity flow. When I fell unconscious they would throw cold water over my naked body and then begin all over again," he said. The torture times were set for between 5pm and 5am and continued for 13 months. The nurses were submitted to similar treatment.

"Sometimes we were tortured in the same room. I saw them half-naked, they saw me completely naked when I was being electrocuted. We heard each others' whimpering, crying and screaming." He said he saw the women being raped and watched as one of them broke a piece of glass from the window and cut her wrists when she could not bear it any longer.


He goes on to describe in graphic detail the unsanitary conditions of the Libyan hospital where they worked before the ordeal. It sounds like socialized medicine at its worst. The story does not explain the rationale for the torture. Possible it was to get them to confess to a dleiberate attempt to infect patients. While that makes no sense to a rationale person, it must have to someone in Libya.

I don't expect to hear from the terrorist rights lobby on this one.


  1. I am shocked that the Guardian allowed the story to be printed.


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