A first hand account of Taliban torture
January 5, 2002 3:36 PM   Subscribe

A first hand account of Taliban torture Published in today's Washington Post. It made me shudder.
posted by justlooking (13 comments total)
This is very horrible and all, but I just sat through Kate and Leopold.

I know.

I didn't even get any sex for it.
posted by dong_resin at 5:09 PM on January 5, 2002

I promise I'll never whine about having an empty coffee cup again.
posted by NsJen at 5:11 PM on January 5, 2002

"Fokhraj couldn't stop crying. She had already lost her husband and Sayed's only brother when a rocket hit their house in 1993, during fighting between rival warlords. She had to do something"

I feel horrible for laughing... but damn, Afghanistan sucks.
posted by Espoo2 at 5:49 PM on January 5, 2002

I can usually keep my composure and have a fairly strong stomach, but if there is one thing in this world which absolutely makes my blood boil in anger is torture.

After reading that article all I can feel is anger. Every single time an extreme fundamentalist religious group takes power, this is ultimately what happens, as history keeps reminding us time and time again.
posted by oneiros at 5:51 PM on January 5, 2002

Heartbreaking. Thank you.

When hearing stories such as this, I always feel so helpless and angry. However, I discovered an organization a while back that offers hope of recovery for the victims of torture and their larger communities. There seems to be much research going on about torture and how to make it possible for this man to again hear the word book without flinching. The International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims will happily accept your support, if you are so moved. I believe that you can write letters of support or donate whatever amount of money you would like. Perhaps the price of a movie ticket.
posted by colt45 at 6:07 PM on January 5, 2002

Thanks colt45. I did not know something like IRCT exists.

I am quite aware that torture of prisoners happen in many countries in many guises. Coming from South Asia, I am cynical enough not to be shocked by stories beatings or brutalities by police or paramilitary forces. But this story of torture of the kind practiced by Taliban had the power to shock even my jaded nerves. The destruction of Afganistan over the last 25 years is something no people should ever have go through.

MSNBC has a photofeature called The Littlest Victims that is quite terrible to see.
posted by justlooking at 8:40 PM on January 5, 2002

Afghanistan has a long history of torturing prisoners. Read this link on the first Anglo-Afghan war.

It is a very long, and very detailed history. But if you read it you will understand Rudyard Kipling's poem on the front page a little better.
posted by swenson at 8:49 PM on January 5, 2002

That was a very interesting history. Thanks, swenson.

Kaushik, I used to do work at a rape crisis center and learned of all the research and help available out there while doing that. There are some not so surprising similarities in the psychological responses to both events. Thus, research in one area is used to help in the other. We were involved in research and some of the woman that I worked with found some comfort in the fact that what they went through would end up helping a child from Somolia or a grandfather from Chile. Like you, I thought that I had become "unshockable", this story managed to break though some carefully constructed walls.

This site has some good links to various resources for preventing and surviving the aftermath of torture.
posted by colt45 at 10:46 PM on January 5, 2002

Although it was a difficult article to read, it was good to be reminded, in very specific terms, why it was imperative for us to go in and wrest the Taliban from power. Powerful (terrible) stuff -- thanks, Kaushik.

On a totally unrelated note, I loved Kate and Leopold, dong_resin. Loved it, loved it, loved it -- and I wasn't even dragged there on a date! Not Best Picture of the Year material, by any means, but a total charmer.
posted by verdezza at 11:04 PM on January 5, 2002

Good lord, man.
posted by dong_resin at 11:39 PM on January 5, 2002

1. In an oppresive state government, anyone who wants to expand their mind and think is a threat to power, therefore a traitor to the cause. It's only a matter of finding the book. Shit. I have a copy of the Qu'ran on my shelf. Doesn't mean I converted to Islam. I just wanted to learn about it.

2. This story alone gives me enough reason to pick up an m-16 and fire a clip off at a line of taliban troops. http://www.goarmy.com/

posted by eljuanbobo at 10:47 PM on January 6, 2002

makes me want to expand my book collection...too much in there that wouldn't get me tortured someplace.
posted by th3ph17 at 11:41 PM on January 6, 2002

New article about psychiatric care in Afghanistan.

The hospital staff makes no pretense about being able to provide for all of the patients' needs and says it is not equipped or trained to offer complete diagnosis, counseling, monitoring or pharmaceutical care. "Mostly this is where the patients will just stay until they die." NY Times link.
posted by colt45 at 2:34 AM on January 9, 2002

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