This Week in History

This Week in History

Prisoners Abused By US Forces In Iraq

28 April 2004

Photos prove serious abuse of Iraqis by US forces at Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad.

In 2004, hundreds of photographs and video images taken by US prison guards revealed serious abuse of Iraqis held at the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad. The photos were first shown to the public on the US TV show "60 Minutes". Most of the images showed Iraqis being tortured and forced to perform humiliating sexual acts by US prison guards, but some showed dead Iraqi prisoners who may have been murdered while in US custody.

abuse (verb): cause physical or emotional pain; treat badly
forces (noun): military services
torture (verb): cause extreme physical/mental pain to a human being or other animal
humiliating (adjective): causing a person to feel shame
in custody (noun): in a place such as a prison; under guard

Test your understanding:

The videos and photographs show Iraqi prisoners being tortured and abused by

  1. other Iraqi prisoners
  2. prison guards from the USA
  3. Iraqi guards employed by the US military

Some of the images show the bodies of

  1. dead Iraqi prisoners
  2. dead Iraqi prison guards
  3. dead US prison guards

"To torture" means to deliberately cause a person or an animal to feel

  1. a little hungry and tired
  2. quite uncomfortable
  3. extreme pain

Teacher's Notes - how to use This Week in History in your classes

Contributor: Matt Errey. Matt is the author of several books including 1000 Phrasal Verbs in Context and Common English Idioms for learners, and Matt's ESL Games and Quizzes for teachers.