Jumana Hanna

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The photo that appeared on the 2003 Washington Post front-page story

Jumana Michael/Mikhail Hanna (born c. 1962) is an Iraqi woman of Assyrian Christian background who was imprisoned at the facility known as loose dog's during the rule of Saddam Hussein.

After the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime, Hanna visited the Al Kelab Al Sayba prison in Iraq with a western reporter, resulting in a Washington Post front page story in which she related stories of the atrocities that she had allegedly suffered.[1]

During the visit, she told the reporters that she had been jailed and tortured in the facility, and that her husband had been killed in a nearby prison.[2] The Washington Post story was later mentioned by Paul Wolfowitz while testifying before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee.[3][4] Hanna was resettled to northern California by US authorities to protect her from possible reprisals.[2]

Sara Solovitch, a journalist based in California, became interested in the story and met with Hanna for a series of interviews, as she intended to write a book about her life. After their first meeting, however, Solovitch began to feel that many of Hanna's stories were "ludicrous" and that hardly any details of her account were true.[2] Her husband, who allegedly had been executed in an Iraqi prison, was in fact still alive.[2] Solovitch's research ultimately revealed that almost every detail of the story was fabricated.[5]

In July 2003, she attested to the Coalition Provisional Authority that she had been tortured during her time in the prison, due to her religious beliefs. The evidence she provided eventually led to nine Iraqi officers being arrested. The nine Iraqi officers arrested on her testimony were released later when it became apparent that little of Ms. Hanna's tale could be verified.[6]

See also[edit]


Further reading[edit]

  • Solovitch, S. (2005) The American Dream. Esquire Magazine, January 5, 2005. [1]
  • Finn, P. (2003) A lone woman testifies to Iraq's order of terror. Washington Post, July 21, 2003. (Request reprint.)

External links[edit]