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Was Chilean poet Pablo Neruda murdered?

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Glyphosate: Should the EU re-authorise the weedkiller chemical?

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We return to places which have been in the news - often a long time ago, sometimes recently - to see how local people are rebuilding their lives. Sunday at 9.10 pm. Or you can catch it online from Friday.

Latest update : 2017-06-02

Exclusive: Beyond the notorious prison cells in Iraq’s Abu Ghraib

Located on the outskirts of Baghdad, Abu Ghraib prison shot to worldwide fame for all the wrong reasons after it was revealed that US security forces had systematically and brutally tortured detainees held there. FRANCE 24 was granted rare access into the now shuttered US military prison and our reporters spoke to locals who want nothing more than to put the city's grim past behind them.

In 2004, one year after the American invasion of Iraq, disturbing images of naked Iraqi prisoners piled on top of each other began to do the rounds of international media. Other detainees were depicted hooded and wired up with electrodes. All to the amusement of American soldiers. This was the beginning of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal that would eventually force a red-faced Bush administration to issue a public apology for the behaviour of Iraqi-deployed US forces.

More than a decade later, the institution remains the symbol of the American invasion and the torture that took place there has frequently featured in jihadist propaganda. The prison has often been identified as the birthplace of the Islamic State group.

On July 21, 2013, long after the operation of Abu Ghraib had returned to the Iraqis, a terrorist attack of unprecedented level hit the prison, resulting in more than 500 detainees fleeing the compound. Some of the escapees are believed to have joined the al-Qaeda branch that was behind the jailbreak and which would later grow into today’s Islamic State group.

Although the Abu Ghraib prison was shut down in 2014, Baghdad authorities are now mulling reopening it. Our reporters were granted exclusive access into the notorious, but now abandoned, prison grounds. But the stigma of the past remains very much present.

Our reporters also spoke to surrounding residents, whose lives and destinies seem undeniably linked to the prison. Many of them dream of just living an ordinary life, but the history of the prison -- and the increasing terror threat -- are inhibiting factors as they try to get on with their lives.

By Fatma KIZILBOGA , Hussein ASAD

Archives

2017-10-20 Europe

Video: In St. Petersburg, legacy of Nazi siege lives on

As Russia’s cultural hub, St. Petersburg delights millions of tourists every year. Founded by Peter the Great, the city was renamed Petrograd during World War I then Leningrad...

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2017-09-28 Asia-pacific

Video: Indian city of Pondicherry proud of its French touch

Our reporters returned to the Indian city of Pondicherry, in the Gulf of Bengal, a former trading post of the French East India Company. Fifty-five years after it was handed back...

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2017-09-15 Asia-pacific

Video: Dried-up Aral Sea springs back to life

Straddling the border between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, the Aral Sea was once the fourth-largest saline lake in the world, an inland sea of 66,000 square kilometres. But in...

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2017-09-01 Nigeria

Shadow of Nigeria’s Biafra war still looms large, 50 years on

On May 30, 1967, General Emeka Ojukwu declared Nigeria’s southeastern Biafra region an independent state, sparking what would become a bloody civil war that claimed more than one...

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2017-07-07 Americas

From Rust Belt to Tech Belt: US city of Youngstown set on reinventing itself

The US city of Youngstown, in the state of Ohio, once symbolised the glory days of the "Steel Belt", an industrial area in the northeast. For decades, the US steel industry put...

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