Saddam Feared AIDS During Captivity

Prison diary reveals horror of 'young people's diseases'
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted May 6, 2008 12:47 AM CDT
A young Palestinian stands next to a portrait of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein during a rally on Dec. 31, 2007.   (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer)
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(Newser) – Saddam Hussein worried about catching AIDS and other venereal diseases during his US captivity, the Daily Mail reports. He even told guards not to dry their clothes on his laundry line. "I explained to them that they are young and they could have young people's diseases," Saddam wrote in prison diaries that were published today by a pan-Arab newspaper.

"My main concern was to not catch a venereal disease, an HIV disease, in this place," he wrote. He also described the challenge of learning English—"our language (Arabic) is more beautiful and deeper"—and the difficulty he had asking for things, even a flower. "It was a serious sacrifice from me to ask for the first time in my life."