The young man on television was probably 16 years old. But he looked so young, his face chubby with baby fat, his lips poised in a child's pout.
"Why are you here," the Vice President of Iraq, Tariq al Hashemi, asked.
"I don't know," he said. "They hit me and hit me and hit me until they made me admit to something I haven't done. What can I do?"
Hashemi was visiting the Iraqi prison for juveniles with camera men. He asked them to film.
The Vice President is the only man from the Sunni Iraqi Accordance Front left in the government. With his veto power the party hoped his presence would keep pressure on the government to succumb to their demands. The ministers have resigned, the one who refused to was removed from the party. One of their grievances were all the men imprisoned who are innocent, most Sunni Arabs.
The camera panned through a narrow hallway where hundreds of young teen-age boys sat. Those Hashemi spoke to all had visible signs of abuse on their body. One showed acid burns on his back, another lifted his sleeves, and his shirt to show the purple and red bruising all over his body.
It aired on Sharqiya, an Iraqi station that has been banned from having an office in Iraq because it is anti-government.
To the question, "Why are you here?" They all answered "I don't know."