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The Darkest of Ironies: UAE & US Torture 24, April 2009

Posted by thegulfblog.com in American ME Relations, The Emirates.
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**This video is horribly graphic in places**

ABC news in America has received and released some of the video footage of a member of the Abu Dhabi royal family torturing an Afghan man. Sheikh Issa bin Zayed al Nahyan is the half- brother of the country’s crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed. He is clearly visible throughout the 45 minute video leading the group of men – including a man in police uniform – in torturing an Afghan man who he believed was trying to rip him off. Here are examples of some of the torture:

  • Shooting an automatic assault rifle into the ground inches from the bound man
  • Beating him with a cattle prod
  • Inserting a cattle prod into the man’s anus
  • Using the cattle prod on the man’s testicles
  • Setting fire to the man’s testicles with lighter fluid
  • Whilst being held down by the police officer sand is forced into his mouth, nose and eyes
  • Beating the man with wooden planks, particularly one with a nail sticking out the end
  • Salt is then poured over the man’s wounds
  • The man is repeatedly run over by the Sheikh’s huge SUV

What the ABC edited video shows is the utter sadism of Issa. From recording the video in the first place to demanding close ups “to see his suffering” to (literally) rubbing salt into his wounds, the punishment dealt to this man is horrific.

At this stage, usually one would want the world’s strongest power to come out with a forceful statement or even(!) action of some description. But, of course, America simply cannot say anything without sounds ridiculous. It does not matter that the torture carried out by Issa was infinitely worse that the equivalent in America (not that I’d like to be subjected to America’s torture…). The simple fact is that America has yet further lost its moral high ground EXACTLY when it needed it the most. And no, I am not one of those people that blame Obama and not the Bush Administration for all this. So many people seem angry that people know about the torturing not that America actually did the torturing. People’s perspective is getting hopelessly lost in part-political debates and it’s fairly sickening, especially when put into relief again the focus of this story. So far as I can see, this is simply the Bush Administration’s last shot from the grave to finally and for an exceedingly long time tarnish America’s reputation. Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo just weren’t enough for them. They have an epic amount to answer for.

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Comments»

1. Hitchens’ Waterboarding « The Gulf blog - 28, April 2009

[…] blood, wailing and gnashing of teeth etc. The video of Sheikh Issa torturing the Afghan trader that I discussed recently is a case in point. Obviously that ordeal was far longer and more imaginative and […]

2. UAE Sheikh held over torture video « The Gulf blog - 12, May 2009

[…] under house arrest, following the release of the video of him clearly leading the 45 minute torture of an Afghan grain dealer. This comes 11 months after the authorities had been notified of the […]

3. France’s military base in UAE « The Gulf blog - 26, May 2009

[…] support for such a deal appeared to be under threat because of the UAE torture tape (here, here and here) and the vociferous domestic reaction in the States. Nevertheless, it seems highly […]

4. Article catch up « The Gulf blog - 27, May 2009

[…] It is a neat summary, though quite how it fails to mention the recent case Abu Dhabi torture case (here and here)  or their nuclear ambitions is beyond me. The presence in Abu Dhabi is seen by President […]

5. Dubai paper suspended for 20 days « The Gulf blog - 3, July 2009

[…] the rulers of Abu Dhabi is, however, nothing compared to the recently released torture video showing one of the half-brothers of the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi torturing an Afghan grain dealer for 40 […]


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