They need security, electricity and clean running water. They need hospitals and schools and a way to earn a living. But for the millions of Shia in southern Iraq, another imperative of reconstruction is healing. Saddam Hussein’s Ba’ath Party regime ruled by fear. Arrests were arbitrary, torture indiscriminate.
According to a newly released report from Physicians for Human Rights, years of deprivation, intimidation and repression devastated Iraq’s psychological infrastructure, leaving men and women scarred physically and emotionally, and unable to care for themselves and their families. For the post-Saddam, post-war period to yield progress, the report says, mental health care has to be a priority.
Dr. Lynn Amowitz, senior medical researcher, Physicians for Human Rights
Peter Ford, Christian Science Monitor correspondent in Nasyriah
Dr. Mufeed Raoof, Mental Health Consultant for the World Health Organization in Iraq.