Torture chambers augur grim future

The content of a televised documentary on Iraqi torture chambers, screened earlier this week on state TV channel ET-1, probably came as something of a shock for many TV viewers as coverage of Iraq, secret prisons and related issues has all but disappeared from private TV channels over the past six months. Perhaps these channels don’t want to upset us and so devote the majority of their bulletins to political party squabbles, as if Greek politics is the center of the universe. It has to be said, however, that state TV, both in its bulletins and extended reports, gives more substantial coverage to international news than do the private channels. Even a casual newspaper reader will have grasped that something is going on regarding torture chambers, but TV stations appear to badly underestimate their viewers as their bulletins are frequently devoid of all foreign news. According to a study by VPRC, the results of which were made public in last Sunday’s Kathimerini, some 39 percent of Greeks never read a newspaper, which means they are condemning themselves to a narrow view of the world today. ET-1’s documentary was unbelievably harsh. The surface calm of the «man with the hood» – the Iraqi prisoner whose photo became famous in 2004 – spoke about his detention conditions without any trace of self-pity. But the worst thing of all was the realization that these torture chambers are not remnants of a murky past but a foretaste of an even bleaker future.