View Full Version : Amnesty International on the treatment of POWs and the U.S.
03-27-2003, 06:46 PM
I'm posting this because I believe that we should adhere to the standards that we demand other countries to. When the US decides what it will and will not comply with, it gives other countries the right to do the same, and the end result is that civilians and military personnel suffer.
Read only if you're interested in human rights issues.
Following is the full text of an Amnesty International report released Tuesday in response to the capture of American POWs in Iraq.
"There are international standards that civilized regimes adhere to and then there are regimes like Saddam Hussein['s]..." U.S. Secretary of Defense, 23 March 2003(1)
On 23 March 2003, following the news that U.S. soldiers had been captured by Iraqi forces during the U.S.-led attack on Iraq, President George Bush said that "we expect them to be treated humanely, just like we'll treat any prisoners of theirs that we capture humanely ... If not, the people who mistreat the prisoners will be treated as war criminals."(2)
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld added that "the Geneva Convention indicates that it's not permitted to photograph and embarrass or humiliate prisoners of war, and if they do happen to be American or coalition ground forces that have been captured, the Geneva Convention indicates how they should be treated."(3) His statement came after interviews with five captured U.S. soldiers had been broadcast on Iraqi television.(4)
On the same day, about 30 more detainees were flown from Afghanistan to the U.S. Naval Base in Guantánamo Bay in Cuba. This brought to about 660 the number of foreign nationals held in the base.(5) They come from more than 40 countries. Most were taken into custody during the international armed conflict in Afghanistan. Some have been held in Guantánamo, without charge or trial, and without access to lawyers, relatives or the courts, for more than a year. Their treatment has flouted international standards.
From the outset, the U.S. government refused to grant any of the Guantánamo detainees prisoner of war (POW) status or to have any disputed status determined by a "competent tribunal" as required under Article 5 of the Third Geneva Convention. In April 2002, Amnesty International warned the U.S. administration that its selective approach to the Geneva Conventions threatened to undermine the effectiveness of international humanitarian law protections for any U.S. or other combatants captured in the future.(6) The organization received no reply to this or other concerns it raised about the detainees.
On the 9 February 2002, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the most authoritative body on the provisions of the Geneva Conventions, revealed that there were "divergent views between the United States and the ICRC on the procedures which apply on how to determine that the persons detained are not entitled to prisoner of war status."(7) The ICRC news release said that the organization would pursue its dialogue with the U.S. government on this issue. Nevertheless, to this day none of the Guantánamo detainees have been granted POW status or appeared before a tribunal competent to determine their status.
The United States has ignored not only the ICRC on this issue, but also the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. More recently, on 16 December 2002, the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention noted that "the authority which is competent to determine prisoner-of-war status is not the executive power, but the judicial power," as specified under article 5 of the Third Geneva Convention.
When the first of the detainees arrived in Guantánamo in January 2002, the Pentagon released a photograph of the detainees in orange jumpsuits, kneeling before U.S. soldiers, shackled, handcuffed, and wearing blacked-out goggles over their eyes and masks over their mouths and noses. The photograph shocked world opinion and led Secretary Rumsfeld to acknowledge that it was "probably unfortunate" that the picture had been released, at least without better captioning. He added: "My recollection is that there's something in the Geneva Conventions about press people being around prisoners; that -- and not taking pictures and not saying who they are and not exposing them to ridicule."(8)
The United States' selective approach to the Geneva Conventions has been widely noted. For example, with U.S. soldiers captured in Iraq and shown on Iraqi television to the anger of U.S. officials, a Saudi Arabian newspaper, claiming to be receiving one million visitors a day on its website, wrote: "Rumsfeld's newfound affection for the Geneva Convention is remarkable ... The United States does not believe that the prisoners now being held at Guantánamo Bay are prisoners of war under the Geneva Convention. Pictures of the men there, shackled and living in cages, were distributed by the Bush administration to the world's media."(9)
Meanwhile the United States continues to hold the Guantánamo detainees in very harsh conditions, most of them confined alone to tiny cells for 24 hours a day and reportedly allowed to "exercise" in shackles for only 30 minutes a week -- conditions which Amnesty International believes in their totality amount to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment in violation of international standards. The detainees remain in their legal black hole, unable to challenge the lawfulness of their detention, and with no indication as to how long they might be so held. There have been numerous suicide attempts. Family members are subject to the emotional distress of not knowing how their loved ones are being treated, why exactly they are being held, or when or if they will see them again.
Serious allegations of human rights violations do not stop with the Guantánamo detainees. U.S. soldiers are reported to have mistreated people detained during the military conflict in Afghanistan. Villagers taken into custody in 2002 alleged that they were tied up, blindfolded, hooded, kicked, punched, and subject to other ill-treatment. As far as Amnesty International is aware, no appropriate investigation has been carried out into the allegations by the U.S. authorities.(10)
In a letter to President Bush on 10 March 2003, Amnesty International called for a full, impartial inquiry into allegations of torture and ill-treatment by U.S. personnel against alleged al-Qaida and Taliban detainees held in the U.S. Air Base in Bagram, Afghanistan. Autopsies revealed that two prisoners who died in the Bagram detention facility in December 2002 had sustained "blunt force injuries." It has also been alleged that detainees have been subjected to "stress and duress" techniques, including hooding, prolonged standing in uncomfortable positions, sleep deprivation and 24-hour illumination. The ICRC has reportedly not been granted access to the section of the Bagram facility where this treatment has allegedly taken place.
The repeated assertions by members of the current U.S. administration that they remain committed to international human rights standards rings hollow as U.S. officials flout those very same standards. This may not be a new phenomenon -- Amnesty International has for many years been concerned with the U.S.A.'s pick-and-choose approach to international standards. But, as the Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights said in March 2002, "the protection of human rights is even more important now than ever" and gave assurances that "the U.S. Government is deeply committed to the promotion of universal human rights."(11) His government's failure to live up to those words since the attacks of 11 September 2001, has caused great damage to the international image of the U.S.
In a recent letter to Secretary of State Colin Powell resigning from the Foreign Service of the United States, U.S. diplomat John Brady Kiesling wrote: "We are straining beyond its limits an international system we built with such toil and treasure, a web of laws, treaties, organizations, and shared values that sets limits on our foes far more effectively than it ever constrained America's ability to defend its interests."(12)
The U.S. government must ensure that all those in its custody are afforded their full rights under international human rights and humanitarian law and standards.
1 EASTON STREET
LONDON WC1X 0DW, UNITED KINGDOM
(1) Secretary Rumsfeld stakeout following CNN Interview, 23 March 2003
(2) President Bush discusses military operation. White House. 23 March 2003
(3) Secretary Rumsfeld interview, Bob Schieffer and David Martin, "CBS Face the Nation," 23 March 2003
(4) Iraq: Amnesty International calls for respect of all prisoners of war (AI Index: MDE 41/037/2003, 24 March 2003
(5) Eighteen or 19 Afghan nationals were released from the Guantánamo facility on 21 March 2003 and sent back to Afghanistan
(6) Memorandum to the U.S. government on the rights of people in U.S. custody in Afghanistan and Guantánamo Bay (AI Index: AMR 51/053/2002, April 2002)
(7) Geneva Convention on prisoners of war, ICRC news release, 9 February 2002
(8) Department of Defense news briefing, Secretary Rumsfeld and Gen. Pace, 22 January 2002. Article 13 of the Geneva Convention relative to the treatment of prisoners of war, states: "Prisoners of war must at all times be treated humanely. Likewise prisoners of war must at all times be protected, particularly against acts of violence or intimidation and against insults and public curiosity."
(9) Editorial, Arab News, 24 March 2003, www.arabnews.com
(10) Memorandum to the U.S. government on the rights of people in U.S. custody in Afghanistan and Guantánamo Bay (AI Index: AMR 51/053/2002, April 2002), pages 17-21
(11) Lorne W. Craner, Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. Release of the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2001. U.S. State Department, Washington, DC, 4 March 2002
(12) U.S. diplomat's letter of resignation. New York Times, 27 February 2003
03-27-2003, 07:14 PM
U.S. fears soldiers executed
Blair also suspects Iraq killed two British POWs
NBC, MSNBC AND NEWS SERVICES
WASHINGTON, March 27 — Iraq has executed prisoners of war, the Pentagon’s No. 2 general said Wednesday night as he listed what he called unprecedented Iraqi violations of the laws of war. Marine Gen. Peter Pace, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, apparently was referring to some of the U.S. Army troops captured Sunday by Iraqi forces in the city of An Nasiriyah. Iraqi state television later showed video footage of five POWs who were alive and the bodies of at least five U.S. soldiers
Unwilling Iraqis tell of being shot by own officers
By Dexter Filkins
The New York Times
DIWANIYA, Iraq -- The aftermath of the firefight was a tableau of twisted Iraqi corpses, tins of unopened food and the dirty mattresses where they had spent their final hours.
But the Iraqi private with a bullet wound in the back of his head suggested something unusually grim. Up and down the 200-mile stretch of desert where the American and British forces have advanced, one Iraqi prisoner after another has told a similar tale: that many Iraqi soldiers were fighting at gunpoint, threatened with death by hard-core loyalists of President Saddam Hussein.
It was a small-caliber bullet, most likely from a pistol, fired at close range. Iraqi prisoners taken after the battle said their officers had been firing at them, pushing them into battle.
"The officers threatened to shoot us unless we fought," said a wounded Iraqi from his bed in the American field hospital here. "They took out their guns and pointed them and told us to fight."
"We think he was shot by his own," said Dr. Wade Wilde, a Marine surgeon. "If he had been hit by an M-16, it would have taken his whole head off. It seems like it was an Iraqi gun."
As Wilde spoke, his eyes drifted to the Iraqi soldier, still clinging to life, on the stretcher.
"We've tried to make him as comfortable as possible," Wilde said, "and let the wound run its course."
03-27-2003, 07:15 PM
It's a two way street. We can't tell others to uphold what we're not willing to enforce on ourselves.
03-27-2003, 07:19 PM
As he stood at the double-door entrance to the office of Iraqi National Olympic Committee president Uday Hussein, the boxer knew what awaited on the other side. He had just returned from a Gulf States competition, where he had been knocked out in the first round. Now it was time to pay the price.
A former double for Uday says Iraq's Olympic programs have been destroyed since Saddam gave his son control in 1984 and the brutal punishment of athletes began. AP Photo
Inside the yellow-and-blue office, Uday, the older of Iraqi president Saddam Hussein's two sons, paced the floor, waving his expensive Cuban cigar and glaring out the floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Baghdad. "He was yelling about how Iraq should not be embarrassed by its athletes," recalls Latif Yahia, employed for nearly five years as Uday's body double -- he would stand in for Uday on occasions that were deemed a security threat -- and one of his closest associates to have escaped to the West. "He kept saying, 'This is my Iraq. Embarrassing Iraq embarrasses me.'"
With a wave of Uday's arm the manacled boxer was led into the room by Iraqi secret service. Sitting behind a dark wood desk beneath an oversized portrait of himself, Uday began his tirade. "In sport you can win or you can lose. I told you not to come home if you didn't win." His voice rising, he walked around the desk and gave the boxer a lesson. "This is how you box," he screamed as he threw a left and a right straight to the fighter's face. Blood dribbled from the athlete's nose as Uday launched another round of punches. Then, using the electric prod he was famous for carrying, Uday jolted the boxer in the chest.
Blood was streaming from a cut above the boxer's eye when Uday ordered his guards to fetch a straight razor. The boxer cried out as Uday held the razor to his throat, and as he moved the blade to the fighter's forehead, Uday laughed. He then shaved the man's eyebrows, an insult to Muslim males. "Take him downstairs and finish the job," Uday screamed.
Says Yahia, "They took him to the basement of the Olympic building. It has a 30-cell prison where athletes -- and anyone else who is out of favor with Uday -- are beaten and tortured. That was the last I ever heard of that boxer."
"Two stories about Uday leap to mind," the State Department official told SI. "The first is the caning of the feet -- called falaka -- of the soccer team. That form of torture is well known to be used by Saddam's forces as well. They beat the soles of the feet, which breaks a lot of the smaller bones, causes massive swelling and leaves victims unable to walk for a while. There were also reports that after a loss Uday forced the volleyball team, which was made up of taller athletes, to remain in a room he had constructed with a five-foot-high ceiling. He built the room so small that not all of them could sit at the same time. The only way they could fit was by having half of them standing and leaning over while the other half were sitting with their knees in their chests. He considered this a motivational technique. There was always a psychological element to the kind of torture Uday employed. You are supposed to play like tall players, so feel what it is like to be small. For the soccer players, you are supposed to be fast and quick, so I am going to beat your feet and ruin your livelihood. That was his thinking."
AS U.S. AND British forces sit on the borders of Iraq poised for invasion, Uday Hussein's name is near the top of the Pentagon's list of the Filthy 40 -- the close associates of Saddam targeted for war-crime trials. Yet Uday remains in place, unchallenged, as his country's Olympic leader.
IOC president Jacques Rogge acknowledged last week that his organization received the complaint and says it is in the hands of the ethics committee. But IOC member Richard Pound says that it is "important to remember these are just allegations, and you have to make sure this is not all tied to the Iraq-U.S. dispute, that we are not being used for propaganda. You just never know."
"That disgusts me that someone would say that," says Haydar, the former soccer star. "I wish they would run their hands over our scars, see the pain in our eyes and float in raw sewage. Then there would be no questions."
Issue date: March 24, 2003
03-27-2003, 07:28 PM
An RCC decree of 21 December 1992 guarantees immunity for Ba'ath party members who cause damage to property, bodily harm and even death when pursuing enemies of the regime.
Saddam has, through the RCC, issued a series of decrees establishing severe penalties (amputation, branding, cutting off of ears, or other forms of mutilation) for criminal offences.
In mid-2000, the RCC approved amputation of the tongue as a new penalty for slander or abusive remarks about the President or his family.
These punishments are practised mainly on political dissenters. Iraqi TV has broadcast pictures of these punishments as a warning to others.
According to an Amnesty International report published in August 2001, "torture is used systematically against political detainees. The scale and severity of torture in Iraq can only result from the acceptance of its use at the highest level."
Although Iraqi law forbids the practice of torture, the British Government is not aware of a single case of an Iraqi official suspected of carrying out torture being brought to justice.
Treatment of women and children:
Under Saddam Huseein's regime women lack even the basic right to life. A 1990 decree allows male relatives to kill a female relative in the name of honour without punishment.
Women have been tortured, ill-treated and in some cases summarily executed too, according to Amnesty International.
The dossier says that BBC correspondent John Sweeney said he had met six witnesses with direct experience of child torture, including the crushing of a two-year-old girl's feet.
Conditions for political prisoners in Iraq are inhumane and degrading.
At the "Mahjar" prison "prisoners are beaten twice a day and the women regularly raped by their guards.
Arbitrary and summary killings:
Executions are carried out without due process of law. relatives are often prevented from burying the victims in accordance with Islamic practice and have even been charged for the bullets used.
Persecution of the Kurds:
Under Saddam's rule Iraq's Kurdish communities have experienced terrible suffering.
Documents captured by the Kurds during the Gulf War and handed over to the non-governmental oprganisation Human Rights Watch provided much information about Saddam's persecution of the Kurds. They detail the arrest and execution in 1983 of 8,000 Kurdish males aged 13 and upwards.
Persecution of the Shia community:
The Shia community, who make up 60% of Iraq's population is Iraq's biggest religious group.
Saddam has ensured that none of the Shia religious or tribal leaders is able to threaten his position. He kills any that become too prominent.
Harassment of the Opposition outside Iraq:
The UN Special Rapporteur has received numerous reports of harassment, intimidation and threats against the families of opposition members living abroad.
Occupation of Kuwait:
Iraq invaded Kuwait on 2 August 1990. Iraqi forces committed robbery, raped Kuwaities and expatriates and carried out summary executions. Amnesty International documented many other abuses during the occupation of Kuwait.
Methods of torture:
Piercing of hands with electric drill
Suspended from ceiling by their wrists
This dossier does not include every Iraqi's personal story of suffering, caused by Saddam's regime, known to the British Government.
There are sadly far too many to mention them all. But the evidence in the dossier is a faithful representation of what ordinary Iraqis face in their daily lives.
It is no wonder that, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in 2001, Iraqis have become the second largest group of refugees in the world.
Iraqis also top the table of foreign nationals seeking asylum in the UK.
Saddam Hussein has been ruthless in his treatment of any opposition to him since his rise to power in 1979.
A cruel and callous disregard for human life and suffering remains the hallmark of his regime.
BRITISH DOSSIER ON HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN IRAQ
03-27-2003, 07:33 PM
Yup. Saddam is an evil bastard.
03-27-2003, 07:35 PM
Torture of Iraq's Athletes
By Guardian Newspapers, 2/1/2003
Saddam Hussein presumably has other things on his mind this weekend, but George W Bush is not the only person on his case. Officials from the International Olympic Committee may soon be in Baghdad to have a word with the Iraqi dictator's eldest son, Uday, about allegations that Iraqi athletes have been tortured and imprisoned on his orders.
The IOC ethics commission have received a report detailing the systematic punishment of athletes, sometimes in the opulent headquarters of the Iraq National Olympic Committee, an organisation Uday has overseen since 1984. The building contains a dark secret, like Room 101 out of George Orwell's 1984 , where your worst nightmares come true. It is a prison on the first floor where as many as 50 sportsmen and women may have been murdered and many hundreds tortured, beaten and left to rot.
Indict, a London-based human rights group who receive funds from the United States State Department and who are led by the Welsh MP Ann Clwyd, filed a complaint with the IOC ethics commission in December asking that Iraq be suspended from the Olympics. The group's complaint included an affidavit and photographs alleging torture of a former table tennis player on the national team.
Uday allegedly tortures athletes when they fail to perform up to expectations. He has beaten them with iron bars. Caned the soles of their feet. If Uday stops by a player's jail cell, he might urinate on his bowed, shaven head to further humiliate him.
Among those who have spoken out are former volleyball player Issam Thamer al-Diwan, who claims he was shackled and contorted in painful positions by Uday after losing a big match; footballer Sharar Haydar, who says he was imprisoned and tortured after he announced his retirement from the international team; and Raed Ahmed, a weightlifter who carried Iraq's flag at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, who alleges he was tortured.
One of the main fears of the Iraqi athletes is that any IOC investigation might be conducted as badly as the one carried out by Fifa in 1997 after allegations that three players were tortured and imprisoned following Iraq's 4-1 defeat by Japan in an Asian Cup match. When the team returned, the goalkeeper Hashim Hassan, defender Abdul Jaber and striker Qahtan Chither were named as the main culprits for the loss.
They were whipped for three days by Uday's bodyguards. On another occasion players were forced to kick a concrete football after failing to reach the 1994 World Cup finals.
03-27-2003, 07:36 PM
Wow, you can do a Google search.
03-27-2003, 08:43 PM
Originally posted by RICHARD
There are sadly far too many to mention them all. But the evidence in the dossier is a faithful representation of what ordinary Iraqis face in their daily lives. ..
We already know this. So Saddam has been in power since 1979 and his hideous regime has not been a secret - why is it suddenly important NOW to get him out?
And why have other current and recent human rights crises -where millions of people have been tortured and killed - taken a back seat to this? Rwanda, the Congo, Kosovo, Serbia, Nigeria to name a few.
03-27-2003, 09:50 PM
I believe we have troops in most of those places trying to help. However, having a brother-in-law who was in Somalia, the people of central Africa aren't terribly excited about having our help. Having a student who is from Bosnia, those people are terribly happy for us to be there. Perhaps it's a matter of ranking the evilness. I'm not at all sure what took us so long to figure it out, however. No, I don't think it's all oil.
03-27-2003, 09:59 PM
There are plenty of Iraqis who are pissed off about American troops being there, too.
03-28-2003, 09:46 AM
Wow, all that stuff! That's crazy. I can't imagine living in a country where that was happening. It's so scary. I guess those people probably live that way without saying stuff because they're scared to do anything but do what they're told and because that's what they know. They are probably scared of us going in there and stirring things up. It's going to take a little time for them to realize the truth, we're not after them and we are there to help them. They will also have to get used to the new way of life after this is all over. It's a major change for them if it happens.
I agree with Mugsy, in my opinion it's not all about the oil from the more and more I hear.
why is it suddenly important NOW to get him out?
Personally, I don't think that it suddenly become important. It's been important, it's just that somebody is in the leaders seat to realize the urgency and do something about it. Don't get me wrong, I don't like war and I'd prefer for us not to be at war right now, especially with the fact that my husband is going to fight. However, Sadam is a bad guy in my opinion and something has to be done. Bush has just stepped up, tried to make the world realize it, and is now doing what he has to even without the worlds full agreement and support. But, my feeling is that it's not suddenly important NOW, it's been important, it's just that Bush has finally stepped up and has pointed out the importance. Maybe I'm wrong, but that's my opinion!
03-28-2003, 09:55 AM
Talk about human rights violations, what about the poor woman who waved to the American troops and the next day they found her hanged. What about the Iraqi's taking children out of the homes of people and forcing the men to fight or their children will be killed. What about the Iraqis shutting down the water supply to their own people. What about the Iraqis cutting the tongue out of a man and leaving him on the street to bleed to death, what about the Iraqi's putting up a white flag to surrender only to shoot those who would take them in. What about the Iraqis walking civilians infront of them as human shields to shoot the coalition soldiers. What about the Iraqis acquiring American uniforms complete with nametag to blend in and kill troops, what about the hiding of arms in hospitals including a tank.
I could be wrong but I thought the prisoners in Cuba are suspected Terriorists, if they let them loose, what do you suppose they would do? run back and start terriorizing the world again? They might not be living in posh circumstances, but they are in a wonderful warm climate, they have three meals a day and have a place to sleep, how do you think our prisoners of war and the British prisoners of war are being treated, that is if they are still alive?
There is absolutely no comparison between the two.
Jackie, Perry and Miss Daisy
03-28-2003, 10:40 AM
it has always been important, to me, about human rights violations, but by myself, even giving time and money to
AI, not all the ills of the planet can be solved.
reports on the TV this a.m. stated that death squads were
going from home to home and beheading women....
03-28-2003, 03:27 PM
So I guess we just go out and solve OTHER people's human rights issues and ignore our own. :rolleyes:
03-28-2003, 04:35 PM
As far as I understand the prisoners at Guantanamo (sorry for the spelling) Bay are given 3 squares a day and a roof over their heads and a bed to sleep in, more than our POWs are being given over in Iraq. Oh well, each side sees what the other does not.
The other side to this is: one group tends to go to more liberal sources to get their information and the other goes to more conservative sources and so the information (or at least the slant) of the information is different. I'm beginning to think that I don't believe any of them.
03-28-2003, 04:42 PM
Whether and what they're being fed is of little consequence when you realise that they were taken out of their homes with no legal representation, no voice and shoved into a camp before any evidence was produced of their guilt. THAT is not America. That is a disgrace.
I hate hypocrisy. I don't think Iraq has ever claimed to be a haven of personal freedoms, and while I find them repugnant, I also find it repugnant that America is trying to claim the moral high ground while legislation is being pushed that goes against everything we were founded on.
I am also shocked that American media can show Iraqi POWs with little or no consequence, but suddenly gets horrified when Iraq (who no one would reasonably expect to uphold human rights given their record) shows UK or US POWs. I'm sorry, but it goes both ways.
Any excuse to the contrary is just justification (as Pops said) and immoral.
03-28-2003, 07:20 PM
Originally posted by mugsy
...The other side to this is: one group tends to go to more liberal sources to get their information and the other goes to more conservative sources and so the information (or at least the slant) of the information is different. I'm beginning to think that I don't believe any of them.
It's interesting you mention that, Mugsy. My partner went to the local shop this morning for the papers, and the Lebanese shopkeeper gets the al Jazeera channel on his satellite TV. He said it's the opposite slant of what the commercial networks are showing 24/7. I'm tempted to ask if I can march into his house, make myself comfortable and watch his TV for a while to see for myself :)
(One problem with the POWs in Guantanamo Bay is that they're not being sent to trial. How long is it OK to keep them rotting away in a non-US prison where they aren't being covered by the Geneva Convention?)
03-28-2003, 08:40 PM
They just said on the radio (BBC) that what was said about the thousands of Iraqis surrendering to us was false. They said no one ever surrendered. What a bunch of liars we are. :rolleyes: And to top that off, the al-jazeerah website was hacked so we can't get news from a different perspective. Time for me to disbelieve everything on the news. We're a bunch of liars. :rolleyes:
03-30-2003, 03:51 PM
Body Count......Courtesy of Saddam
The loss of innocent life during wartime is a tragedy and my heart breaks as much for those innocent civilians who have died as it does for the servicemen and women who have/will be giving their lives to ensure that THOUSANDS MORE innocent civilians, as described below, will no longer live in terror or perish under this murderer. The American military is taking EXTRAORDINARY measures, more than any other nation would even begin to entertain, to assure that the loss of innocent life is avoided at all cost.
As reported by Amnesty International-April 2,000
Suspected political opponents, including possible prisoners of conscience, continued to be arrested and tens of thousands of others arrested in previous years remained held. Scores of Kurdish families were forcibly expelled from their homes and members of targeted families detained. Torture and ill-treatment of prisoners and detainees were widely reported. According to reports, at least six people had their hands amputated as punishment. There was no further news on the fate of thousands of people who “disappeared” in previous years. Hundreds of people, including political prisoners, were reportedly executed; some may have been extrajudicially executed. Death sentences continued to be imposed, including for non-violent offences. Human rights abuses were reported in areas under Kurdish control.
In April the UN Commission on Human Rights condemned the “systematic, widespread and extremely grave violations of human rights and of international humanitarian law by the government of Iraq”, and extended for a further year the mandate of the un Special Rapporteur on Iraq.
Reports of arrests of suspected political opponents, including possible prisoners of conscience, continued throughout the year, although it was not possible to ascertain the number. Thousands of suspected political opponents and others arrested in previous years in connection with anti-government protests remained held incommunicado.
Dawud al-Farhan, a well-known journalist and writer, was arrested and de-tained for at least two months after he was reportedly summoned to the Ministry of Information in the capital, Baghdad, apparently in connection with articles he had written in al-Zawra' newspaper which criticized government officials and the economic situation of Iraq. He was released in September reportedly after being pardoned by the President. A group of suspected government opponents from the southern city of al-Nassiriya were arrested; the date of arrest was not known. They were believed to have been held at al-Amn al-'Am (General Security Directorate) in Baghdad and reportedly sentenced to death. Details of trial procedures in their cases were not known. Those held included Sayyid 'Ubadi al-Batat, Yassin 'Ali al-Washah and Lieutenant-Colonel Muhammad Hardan al-Jubair. Their fate remained unknown at the end of the year.
In February President Saddam Hussain reportedly ordered the release of hundreds of Arab prisoners, including Palestinians, Lebanese, Syrians and Egyptians. More than 50 Jordanians had been released in January. All those freed were believed to have been held on criminal charges.
In January the authorities issued an order for the forcible expulsion of 1,468 Kurdish families resident in the Kirkuk province to provinces under kdp or puk control, citing the “security and geographical importance” of the area as the reason for the expulsions. The order also stated that one person from each targeted family must be detained. By the end of June more than 100 families were said to have been expelled and further expulsions were subsequently reported. Members of the targeted families were detained as “hostages” until the expulsions of their respective families had been completed.
Torture and ill-treatment of prisoners and detainees were widely reported. Methods used included electric shocks to various parts of the body, long periods of suspension by the limbs accompanied by beating, falaqa (beating on the soles of the feet), cigarette burns and solitary confinement.
In August, six members of a group known as Fida'yi Saddam (Saddam's Fighters) reportedly had their hands amputated by order of 'Uday Saddam Hussain, the President's eldest son. They were reportedly accused of theft and extortion from travellers in the southern city of Basra.
There was no further news on the fate of thousands of people who “disappeared” in previous years (see previous Amnesty International Reports). Among the victims was Sayyid Muhammad Sadeq Muhammad Ridha al-Qazwini, a Shi'a Muslim cleric born in 1900, who was arrested in 1980 apparently to put pressure on his sons abroad to stop their anti-government political activities; and 'Aziz al-Sayyid Jassem, a well-known writer and journalist who was arrested in 1991. Unconfirmed reports suggested that 'Aziz al-Sayyid Jassem was still in detention in 1996 but his fate and whereabouts since then remained unknown.
Hundreds of people, including political prisoners, were reportedly executed; some may have been extrajudicially executed. Death sentences continued to be imposed, including for non-violent offences. The victims included suspected political opponents, members of opposition groups, military officers suspected of involvement in alleged coup attempts and other people convicted of criminal offences.
Around June Muhammad Haj Rashid Hussain al-Tamimi was executed and his body handed over to his family. He had been arrested at his home in Baghdad in December 1997 on suspicion of organizing opposition groups. His brother, Colonel Tariq Haj Rashid Hussain al-Tamimi, had been executed in 1988 for his involvement in a plot to overthrow the government. In April a senior Shi'a Muslim cleric, Ayatollah Shaikh Mortadha al-Borujerdi, aged 67, was shot dead, reportedly while walking home from early morning prayers in the city of al-Najaf. He had reportedly survived two previous assassination attempts. In June another senior Shi'a Muslim cleric, Grand Ayatollah Shaikh Mirza 'Ali al-Gharawi, aged 68, his son-in-law Muhammad 'Ali al-Faqih and two other people were shot dead at night when the car in which they were travelling was stopped between Karbala' and al-Najaf. According to reports, their bodies were buried by the authorities immediately after the incident and their families were not allowed to hold a funeral ceremony. In November, eight people were said to have been arrested in connection with the killings of Ayatollah Shaikh Mortadha al-Borujerdi and Grand Ayatollah Shaikh Mirza 'Ali al-Gharawi. The authorities reportedly announced that robbery was the reason for the killings.
There were further reports of executions of prisoners, including political prisoners (see Amnesty International Report 1998). In June more than 60 prisoners were said to have been executed at Abu Ghraib Prison near Baghdad. Most had reportedly been arrested in the aftermath of the March 1991 uprising against the government. In September at least 100 political prisoners, including 21 women, were reportedly executed and their bodies buried in mass graves.
A number of people who were convicted of criminal offences were executed, including a group of 10 men who were convicted of smuggling and two others who were convicted of murder and theft. The executions reportedly took place in January and May respectively. No information was available about any trial procedures in the cases.
There was no further news about a group of five men and one woman who were sentenced to death in July 1997 on charges of organized prostitution and smuggling alcohol to Saudi Arabia (see Amnesty International Report 1998). However, Ghalib 'Ammar Shihab al-Din, a Jordanian national who was sentenced to death in December 1997 on charges of smuggling, was released in January and returned to Jordan after the death sentence against him had been commuted (see Amnesty International Report 1998).
In the areas under Kurdish control there was fighting between Turkish government forces and pkk forces. Thousands of civilians were said to have been forcibly displaced as a result. Human rights abuses were also reported. In April, two members of the Iraqi Workers' Communist Party (iwcp) _ Shapoor 'Abd al-Qadir and Kabil 'Adil _ were shot dead, reportedly outside the unemployment union's office in Arbil by members of a group called the Islamic League. The incident was said to be connected with clashes that arose over a debate on women's rights on the occasion of International Women's Day between members of the iwcp and the Islamic League. Death threats, allegedly made by Islamist groups, against women members of women's organizations and members of communist groups were reported. In one such case, Nazanin 'Ali Sharif, a leading member of the Independent Women's Organization in Arbil, reportedly received death threats and escaped an assassination attempt in June. In July she fled abroad and sought asylum.
The fate of Ahmad Sharifi, an Iranian national who was arrested in Sulaimaniya in January 1997, reportedly by puk security forces, and then “disappeared”; and of Bekir Dogan, a Turkish national and television reporter, who “disappeared” reportedly after kdp security forces entered the Mesopotamian Cultural Centre in Arbil in May 1997, remained unknown (see Amnesty International Report 1998).
Amnesty International called on the government to release any prisoners of conscience, to halt expulsions of Kurdish families and allow those families already expelled to return. It also urged the government to declare a moratorium on executions and review all outstanding death sentences with a view to commuting them.
Amnesty International sought clarification from the government of reports that hundreds of prisoners had been executed in late 1997 in Abu Ghraib and al-Radhwaniya prisons. A list of 288 alleged victims was enclosed. The organization also expressed concern that trial procedures in the case of four Jordanian nationals who were executed in December 1997 (see Amnesty International Report 1998) violated Iraq's obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iraq is a State Party. Clarification of the fate of the five men and one woman who were sentenced to death in 1997 (see above) was also sought. In June the government responded and accused Amnesty International of repeating the same allegations as in the organization's previous reports, and claimed that the list of people reportedly executed in late 1997 lacked details that would “facilitate finding the truth”. However, the government failed to respond substantively to reports of mass executions and to Amnesty International's concerns about other human rights violations.
In April Amnesty International expressed concern at the expulsion of Kurdish families from Kirkuk province. In June it expressed concern about the killings in April and June of two senior Shi'a Muslim clerics (see above) and sought information about the circumstances of the killings as well as details of any judicial inquiries carried out. No response was received by the end of the year.
In April Amnesty International wrote to the kdp and raised concern at the killing in Arbil of two members of the iwcp (see above). The organization sought details of any inquiries carried out into the killings. In May the kdp responded that an investigation had been immediately launched and one person had been arrested, but the full results were not known by the end of the year.
In November and December Amnesty International called on the us, uk and Iraqi governments to ensure maximum protection of civilian lives in accordance with international humanitarian law. In its response the uk government indicated that in any military action by uk forces “everything possible will be done to avoid civilian casualties”. No response was received from the us and Iraqi authorities. Amnesty International-2,000
03-30-2003, 07:14 PM
Hey pets....you need to look at the big picture. We are not "a bunch of liars."
03-31-2003, 01:22 AM
the 'l' word again
i'm a liar and stupid!!!
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