The Sparrow Mirror, Britain's best selling sparrow orientated tabloid, today published a photograph of what it says is evidence of systematic abuse inside the aviary section of Abu Ghraib prison, where around seventy Iraqi insurgent sparrows are being held.
The photograph shows an Iraqi sparrow lying on its back, feet in the air, tiny mouth slightly open. It is understood that the bird was at this point close to death. Minutes after the photo was taken, the creature took its last breath.
The horrific image, which is certain to provoke outrage amongst sparrows throughout the UK, has already been dismissed as a fake by leading military sparrows at home. One such sparrow, Colonel T. C. Beak says that British soldier-sparrows would never treat prisoners in this way.
But the paper insists that the photograph, allegedly taken by an auxiliary African grey parrot named Charlie, is genuine. It also maintains that the photograph is just one of many depicting Iraqi sparrows in various stages of humiliation and distress.
"The photos are real. Very real. There is no doubt that British soldier-sparrows are abusing Iraqi prisoner sparrows. I just hope top military sparrows do something about this soon," said the paper's editor, Piers Finch.
Reports that the photograph in fact shows a mechanical sparrow at the Tate Modern are being investigated by modern art lover, Brian Sewell.