Advertisement Close

Famous Abu Ghraib Image of Torture Used on Festive Christmas Shirt

posted on: Sep 1, 2016

Amorphia t-shirt

BY: Adriana Murray/Contributing Writer

Back in 2003, the media exploded with photos exposing what life was like in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. The photos illuminated the inhumane treatment prisoners received at the hands of the United States military and Central Intelligence personnel. The photos helped bring widespread public attention to the human rights violations that had been committed, including physical abuse, torture, and murder. One of the most circulated images, which became synonymous with the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, was of Ali Shallal al-Qaisi.

The original image that Amorphia is mocking

In the popularized image Qaisi is being tortured by standing on a box, arms stretched, with his head covered by a bag.

This horrible image, which once shook the world, is now being displayed on festive Christmas clothing. On the Amorphia clothing company’s website, t-shirts and sweatshirts featuring the inhumane act of torture are made available in a variety of colors and sizes.

Like Amorphia, the popular retailer Amazon also has the shirt available for purchase. However, Amorphia goes a step further with this description of the shirt: “the classic hooded Abu-Ghraib prisoner, you know, the guy standing on the box with the fashionable black cloak thingy.” The poorly worded description minimizes the severity of what the prisoner experienced, and the overall inhumanity of torture.

What Qaisi and other prisoners experienced changed their lives in ways that one would not be able to believe unless he or she experienced the acts of violence firsthand. Instead of using the image to be apart of a quirky t-shirt collection, it should be used to call attention to how people conduct themselves in situations of war and conflict.

Cases of human rights violations and a complete disregard for another human life should not be taken lightly and placed on clothing to produce. If the design was of an American prisoner that had been tortured at the hands of Arab military personnel, the shirt’s designers would be heavily scrutinized and condemned.

Since the design is an Iraqi man and not a U.S. citizen no one seems to be concerned or angered that the t-shirt mockingly recreates the torture and abuse hundreds of prisoners were forced to endure. Each time one of these shirts is produced or purchased, the severity of Abu Ghraib is diminished.

The creators of the shirt should be ashamed that they would use such a deplorable image in a joking manner without considering how it would impact the lives of the victims.