Iraqi Woman Speaks

We call it Operation: Iraqi Freedom. And what the Iraqi people went through during decades of Saddam Hussein's rule is horrifying. WTOC spoke with a woman via satellite who lived through the reign of terror and knows first hand. She is now looking to the future of her nation, and her family.

"I'm from a family that there was opposition of Iraqi regime," Dr. Katrin Michael told us. "I was arrested when I was 14 years old."

Dr. Michael grew up in northern Iraq and quickly learned to hate Saddam Hussein's brutal regime. In 1987 she was injured in one of his chemical attacks in northern Iraq, and to this day she still suffers.

"I have a problem breathing, and a big problem with hands shaking because of that effect," she said.

But she was lucky: she survived, while thousands of Kurds perished.

"There is not one person from my family that had not been arrested, tortured," she said.

In a Newsday editorial, she explained how she and others still receive videotapes of their female relatives in Iraq being raped. They are women who speak outwardly against Hussein and often, she explains, they are beheaded in public. Still, this victim says she does not want to see Saddam Hussein or members of his regime dead; instead she wants her day in court with them.

"I don't want these people to be killed, I want these people to bring justice to being to international court and I want myself to be a part of this court," Dr. Michael said.

As for the Iraqi people, she says right now they are confused, not sure if the American soldiers will stay and help them or if the regime will again regain control.

"Iraqi people, when they are going to be sure that no more Saddam, no more regime, they are going to be happy and going to have freedom," she told us.

Freedom, she says, the Iraqi people could not have gained without the help of American and British soldiers. Dr. Michael lives in Washington, DC. She's part of a group called Women for a Free Iraq.

Reported by: Elizabeth Garcia,