Wednesday, May 20, 2009

No mercy

The forms of physical abuse reported by witnesses to the Committee included punching, flogging, assault and bodily attacks, hitting with the hand, kicking, ear pulling, hair pulling, head shaving, beating on the soles of the feet, burning, scalding, stabbing, severe beatings with or without clothes, being made to kneel and stand in fixed positions for lengthy periods, made to sleep outside overnight, being forced into cold or excessively hot baths and showers, hosed down with cold water before being beaten, beaten while hanging from hooks on the wall, being set upon by dogs, being restrained in order to be beaten, physical assaults by more than one person, and having objects thrown at them.
Abu Ghraib? Guantánamo? No, Irish orphanages, reformatories, and schools, run by Roman Catholic religious orders, principally the Christian Brothers and the Sisters of Mercy. The passage above is part of a just-released 2,600-page report, nine years in the making, by Ireland's Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse.

Report Details Abuses in Irish Church-Run Reformatories (New York Times)
The Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse
Executive Summary
Commission Report

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