the world's premier FREE website for learners + teachers of English

This Week in History

Listen to and learn about events that happened this week in history—including politics, war, crime, inventions, entertainment and fashion. An archive of events that have shaped history — for learners and teachers of English, with vocabulary, audio recordings and quick quizzes.

28 April 2004

Prisoners Abused By US Forces In Iraq

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

This video composition from Do Something Productions clearly indicates the level of anti-American sentiment generated worldwide by the abuse of Iraqis at the hands of American personnel at Abu Ghraib.

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 miltary

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
This Week in History Archive - see all 52 weeks

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

Contributor: Matt Errey