Call That Humiliation?
by Terry Jones
I share the outrage expressed in the British press over the treatment
of our naval personnel accused by Iran of illegally entering their waters.
It is a disgrace. We would never dream of treating captives like this
- allowing them to smoke cigarettes, for example, even though it has
been proven that smoking kills. And as for compelling poor servicewoman
Faye Turney to wear a black headscarf, and then allowing the picture
to be posted around the world - have the Iranians no
It is also unacceptable that these British captives should be made
to talk on television and say things that they may regret later. If
And what's all this about allowing the captives to write letters home saying they are all right? It's time the Iranians fell into line with the rest of the civilised world: they should allow their captives the privacy of solitary confinement. That's one of the many privileges the US grants to its captives in Guantánamo Bay.
The true mark of a civilised country is that it doesn't rush into charging people whom it has arbitrarily arrested in places it's just invaded. The inmates of Guantánamo, for example, have been enjoying all the privacy they want for almost five years, and the first inmate has only just been charged. What a contrast to the disgraceful Iranian rush to parade their captives before the cameras!
What's more, it is clear that the Iranians are not giving their British prisoners any decent physical exercise. The US military make sure that their Iraqi captives enjoy PT. This takes the form of exciting "stress positions", which the captives are expected to hold for hours on end so as to improve their stomach and calf muscles. A common exercise is where they are made to stand on the balls of their feet and then squat so that their thighs are parallel to the ground. This creates intense pain and, finally, muscle failure. It's all good healthy fun and has the bonus that the captives will confess to anything to get out of it.
And this brings me to my final point. It is clear from her TV appearance
that servicewoman Turney has been put under pressure. The newspapers
have persuaded behavioural psychologists to examine the
What is so appalling is the underhand way in which the Iranians have
got her "unhappy and stressed". She shows no signs of electrocution
or burn marks and there are no signs of beating on her face. This is
unacceptable. If captives are to be put under duress, such as by forcing
them into compromising sexual positions, or having electric
As Stephen Glover pointed out in the Daily Mail, perhaps it would not
be right to bomb Iran in retaliation for the humiliation of our servicemen,
but clearly the Iranian people must be made to suffer - whether by beefing
up sanctions, as the Mail suggests, or simply by getting President Bush
to hurry up and invade, as he intends to anyway,
Terry Jones is a film director, actor and Python
Article printed from www.CommonDreams.org
Pix from http://www.biologydaily.com/biology/Abu_Ghraib_prisoner_abuse
where many more graphic images can be seen