Saddam-era torture tools in mobile museum of horror
Gruesome instruments of torture and the personal effects of victims killed by henchmen of dictator Saddam Hussein haunt Iraqis five years after the fall of his brutal regime.
The display, currently on show in Baghdad, is due to travel across the country in "tribute to the thousands of martyrs" murdered when Saddam was in power, former political prisoner Amed Naji al-Badawi said.
...Nooses hang from the ceiling, and a wooden coffin-like box containing a mediaeval-looking torture rack on which prisoners were pinned and stretched takes centre stage. Pictures of hangings and bodies are plastered all over the walls.
"These are the horrors of the Saddam regime," said Badawi, a stout man in his 50s who spent five years in the jails of Saddam's feared "mukhabarat" secret service because of his alleged support for the Shiite Dawa party.
He was arrested along with 13 members of his family -- and seven of his brothers were killed by Saddam's goons. Over the past five years Badawi's committee has helped to locate 106 mass graves and the remains of 1,050 men, women and children killed by members of the ousted regime.
...Among the most horrific objects retrieved by Badawi and his team from the notorious torture rooms of the mukhabarat, and now included in the museum, is a wooden table covered in a worn strip of leather and with a domestic iron placed at one end.
"This is an electrocution table," Badawi said.
"The naked prisoner was bound to the table with a steel bar strapped to his shoulder" to ensure maximum immobility as his torturers electrocuted him or used the iron to inflict burns, Badawi said.
Electric shocks were delivered via electrodes attached to a plastic syringe, the needle of which "was inserted into the urethra of the victim's sexual organ," Badawi added. "The pain was atrocious."
Videos of torture sessions are also screened in a basement room. Terrified prisoners can be seen being beaten, having their arms and legs broken and being thrown from rooftops or blown up with explosives.