A Death at Abu Ghraib

Family: Iraqi Was Murdered in Prison; U.S. Cites Natural Causes

Ibrahim Al-Nedawy

Ibrahim Al-Nedawy Courtesy Al-Nedawy Family hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy Al-Nedawy Family

Inset of Ibrahim Al-Nedawy's death certificate. Courtesy Al-Nedawy Family hide caption

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itoggle caption Courtesy Al-Nedawy Family

The U.S. Army says Ibrahim Al-Nedawy died of natural causes at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison. But his family says the 63-year-old villager and tribal leader was tortured and murdered during interrogation at the notorious facility. NPR's Ari Shapiro reports.

Al-Nedawy's death certificate says he died of cardiac arrest on Jan. 8. His son, Ahmed, who was at Abu Ghraib with him, says Al-Nedawy died after a month and a half of beatings and humiliation. "He was tortured, and the torture was continuous," Ahmed Al-Nedawy says.

The Army arrested Ahmed and Ibrahim Al-Nedawy during a late-night raid on their home, in a village outside Baghdad, in late November 2003. A soldier told the family that a neighbor had turned them in as suspected insurgents, for a $500 reward.

A spokesman for the Army's Criminal Investigation Division says his department investigated Al-Nedawy's case, performed a full autopsy and found that he died of cardiovascular disease. The spokesman said his department can reopen investigations if new evidence surfaces. Ibrahim Al-Nedawy's name is now part of a class action suit alleging that civilian contractors in Iraq abused and tortured detainees.

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