US soldiers beat up a Portuguese journalist for wanting to phone his family

Old Blog Import

This is from an interview with a non-embedded journalist who was one of several arrested by US forces in Iraq:

After we were arrested at six o’ clock in the morning by these guys, and at about 11:30 I think it was, some five and a half hours after we were arrested, he kind of lost his patience, the Portuguese guy, and they put us in our jeep, they closed us inside the jeep and they said we are not allowed to get out of the jeep and we are supposed to stay there. And uh, so the Portuguese guy got out of the jeep, approached the army—the camp and said Please, please, I am begging you, I have a wife and children. Let me just make a call, a telephone call to tell them that we are safe, that we are with you, the Americans and not with the Iraqis. They might think at home that we are killed by Iraqis. Please just let us tell them that.” And they said to him, Go immediately to your car.” And he said, Please I am begging you.” Five soldiers went out of the camp, jumped on him and started to beat him and to kick him. We ran to his direction. They all put bullets inside the cannons of their guns, and they said if we move forward they shoot at us. We were standing like stupid guys. We saw our friend lying on the ground crying, hurting. They tied his hand behind his back. They took him into the camp. And after half-an-hour, they let him go, and came back to us all crying. And then came this Lieutenant Scholl. And he told us, Don’t mess with my soldiers. Don’t mess with them because they are trained like dogs to kill. And they will kill you if you try again.”

This story has also been picked up by the Guardian UK.