Sonic Puke
It's all fun and games until somebody pokes out an eye

4/25/2003

Threat Gone, Iraqis Unearth Hussein's Nameless Victims
More of Saddams victims being unearthed daily....


"Do you want me to dig up everything or just the head?" the gravedigger asked. Mr. Jassim decided just to see the head, because he believed he could identify his brother by his two missing back teeth.

"There are so many graves that don't have numbers," he said. "We don't know what to do."

The dirt was dry and easily dug and soon the gravedigger held up a skull. "It's not him," Mr. Jassim said. "The teeth are complete."

At grave No. 444, a large family worked together to unearth Hamid Omran, who was 31 when he was arrested in 1994. As the family carefully lifted the bones onto fresh linen, his cousin, Farhan Jassim, 47, exploded in anger.

"I don't think there was a regime in the world that treated political prisoners the way Saddam did," he said. "You can't imagine such exaggerated injustice."

The jaw surfaced. Mr. Hussein, the cousin said, "hated every Iraqi. Believe me, he hated all Iraqis."

Then the family found the skull, which showed a crack in a temple. A guard kicked him when he was arrested, the family said.

Another cousin, Thaer Ghawi, 27, wept as he smoked a cigarette once the bones were out of the grave. "We are just people who opposed the regime," he said. "Why couldn't he just put political prisoners in prison?"

Mr. Hani, the man whose brother disappeared in 1995, spent three hours picking through the grave of his brother. It was laborious. After the teeth, a few small bones, perhaps from the feet or hands, were found. Finally, Mr. Hani had found enough to fill a small coffin. He did not find the skull.

"It is enough for me," he said as he loaded the coffin onto a truck. "I feel relieved. What worried me before was I didn't know if he was alive or dead. Now I know."

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