Mhyar Abdullah is one of the tens of thousands of men living in Iraq who have been detained and released without charge over the last 4 years of the war in Iraq.
Mhyar, or Merky, has an especially interesting case, because he is a Palestinian who has lived his entire life in Baghdad, since birth. It seems the Coalition Forces weren’t properly prepared for the circumstances of Iraq’s Palestinian residents. Because Merky is Palestinian, he does not have Iraqi citizenship, and was initially treated as a “foreign fighter” by the Coalition.
He was detained in 2003 and held for approximately 11 months, in what amounted to a Kafka-esque game of “pass the buck.” As he describes, perhaps the main reason he was held for such a long time was simply that no single authority wanted to take responsibility for his detention and processing.
In this interview Merky elaborates on his detention, describing things he saw during his time in Bucca and Abu Ghraib. Merky also highlights the issues of torture, abuse, as well as just a few of the complexities that appear to have initially mystified the Coaltion and stymied and effective response and reconstruction after Baghdad’s fall.