Reporters on the Job

Church Security: Rachel van Dongen went to the headquarters of the Roman Catholic church in Bogotá to interview one of the priests in Thursday's story about the role they play in the peace process (page 1). She was surprised by the amount of security.

"Unless you visit the Bogotá mayor's office or the president of Colombia, you don't normally see this level of security in the city. You have to run a gantlet of iron doors, car inspections, and heavily armed security guards. Once inside, the environment is peaceful and beautiful. But it's clear from the security, that they feel under threat," she says.

Court of Public Opinion: Reporter Annia Ciezadlo was standing outside the Convention Center in Baghdad where the courts-martial were held Wednesday, when she saw a man standing in the street, with a plastic bag over his head, holding a hand-lettered sign that said he was a former prisoner. "I had no translator, but an Iraqi photographer was kind enough to translate for me as he told his story," she says.

His name was Saddam Salah al-Rawi, and he had been arrested on Dec. 1, 2003 and held until March 28. He described tortures similar to those being discussed in the court-martial - sleep deprivation, stripping, being bitten by dogs. He was shaking and seemed near tears as he described the abuses. "They hit me, they made me suffer," he cried, unrolling a worn copy of Time magazine with a picture of naked prisoners in Abu Ghraib. "This man Graner, he hit me," he said, pointing to a photo of Spc. Charles Graner, who is facing some of the most serious charges in the six remaining scheduled courts-martial. Salah was soon joined by an older man, his fingers bent and mangled, he said by American soldiers who had stepped on them.

David Clark Scott
World editor

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