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Iraqis accuse U.S. Forces of Torture - Amnesty International

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    Iraqis accuse U.S. Forces of Torture - Amnesty International

    Torture and disappearances of Iraqi's by the US occupation forces, and even of those arrested being kept in jails that the Saddam used in oppressing his people.


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    Iraqis Accuse U.S. Forces of Torture - Amnesty

    Iraqis detained by U.S. troops accused their captors of torture and degrading treatment, rights group Amnesty International reported on Wednesday, calling on the occupying forces to bring human rights violators to justice. Detainees also said U.S. troops had shot some captives, the London-based rights watchdog reported, in a study based on interviews with former prisoners of U.S. forces across Iraq. Amnesty staff heard complaints that included prolonged sleep deprivation and detainees being forced to stay in painful positions or wear hoods over their heads for long periods. "These conditions taken together would amount to torture as defined by U.N. standards," Amnesty's deputy executive director in the United States, Curt Goering, told a news conference. "Amnesty International is urging the coalition forces here to undertake an investigation into these allegations and if found substantiated, must bring those responsible to justice." Amnesty said it discussed its report with U.S. authorities in Iraq, and described the talks so far as "mixed." "There is an acknowledgement that there are some serious problems," he said. "Yet at the same time on some fundamental issues, there is a difference of opinion on what laws apply." U.S. military officials were not immediately available to comment on the report. But their British allies in the war that deposed Saddam Hussein said they would study the report. "Of course we take very seriously any such allegations by an organization like Amnesty," British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw told BBC radio. "I will study the allegations and the evidence behind them with very great care and if... I think it appropriate I shall also ensure they are discussed with the Americans." Amnesty staff gathered testimony from former detainees and from relatives of some still being held.

    DETENTION CENTERS

    Amnesty said it was concerned about the treatment of detainees, saying they often did not have quick enough access to lawyers, were sometimes mistreated. "We have found that after being taken into custody, individuals have effectively disappeared for unacceptably long periods of time," Goering said. "Despite extensive efforts to establish their whereabouts, at the end of the day (families) still cannot determine where their relatives are being held." Amnesty said U.S. forces, which have been struggling to impose law and order since occupying Iraq, repeatedly denied it permission to visit detention centers. The rights group has said thousands were being held in prisons run by U.S. troops, including Abu Ghraib, one the most feared jails under Saddam, and Camp Cropper near Baghdad airport. "Detainees continue to report suffering extreme heat while housed in tents, insufficient water, inadequate washing facilities, open trenches for toilets, no change of clothes, even after two months' detention," Amnesty said. It said it had received several reports of cases of detainees who have died in custody, "mostly as a result of shooting by members of the coalition forces." Amnesty said the U.S.-led troops' "window of opportunity" was rapidly closing to win over Iraqis, and feared a growing problem of human rights violations. "One cannot be a popular occupier if you are becoming at that very time a human rights violator," Goering said.

    #2
    Those arrested are the one's who did the oppressing, ironic isnít it? Hand them over to the Iraqi's and see what happens to them. As the article states the allegations are going to be look into, as they should be.

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      #3
      Originally posted by underthedome:
      Those arrested are the one's who did the oppressing, ironic isnít it? Hand them over to the Iraqi's and see what happens to them.
      All those arrested were oppressers were they? Was everbody the US forces have arrested, kidnapped, tortured or killed (often in cold blood) oppressors?

      Comment


        #4
        Perhaps incidents such as this are just the tip of the iceberg.

        U.S. commander says he threatened to shoot Iraqi detainee SFGate News

        JIM GOMEZ, Associated Press Writer 19 Nov 03

        An Army officer fought back tears Wednesday as he acknowledged threatening to shoot an Iraqi detainee to extract information about a planned attack, saying that to protect his troops, he would "go to hell with a gasoline can in my hand." Lt. Col. Allen B. West made the statement on the second day of a U.S. military pretrial hearing on accusations that he threatened Yahya Jhodri Hamoodi by firing his gun near the man. West is the most senior officer of the 4th Infantry Division to face such a proceeding.

        In addition to firing his pistol near Hamoodi, West also is accused of punching him during the Aug. 20 interrogation in Taji, according to Lt. Col. Jimmy Davis, who presided at the hearing at a U.S. base in Tikrit. The case is being heard amid increasing criticism by human rights groups about the methods employed by American forces to quell resistance to the occupation of Iraq. The hearing, which is aimed at determining whether West should face court-martial, was declared closed late Wednesday by Davis, who is expected to issue a ruling in a few days.

        West, a decorated officer, was relieved of command of the 2nd Battalion, 20th Field Artillery Regiment. West, 42, of Atlanta, testified he had received information that Hamoodi, an Iraqi policeman, was allegedly involved in a plot to attack him and his troops. After being arrested, Hamoodi was interrogated but insisted he was not aware of the planned attack.

        West said he decided to question the prisoner himself, bringing a number of soldiers with him to the place where Hamoodi was being questioned. The soldiers punched the detainee to force him to talk. When Hamoodi refused to give any information, West said he led him out of the detention facility to a weapons' cleaning area and asked him to confess, suggesting he would shoot him if he did not talk by the count of five. West said he fired a warning shot and later fired a second shot into the sand near Hamoodi, who still professed his innocence. West said he only wanted to force the detainee to confess and added that when he saw him visibly shaken, he asked that the prisoner be helped.

        "I felt that there was a threat to my soldiers," West said. "I know that the method that I used was not the right method," West said, adding he was ready to face the consequences of his action. "To protect my soldiers, I'll go to hell with a gasoline can in my hand," he said, holding back tears as his quavering voice resonated across the silence of the room filled with soldiers.

        After confronting the detainee, West left and informed his commander that he had threatened a prisoner with his gun. He said he did not tell his commander that his soldiers hit the detainee. "I love the Army. I love my soldiers. ... I knew it was over," he said. Prosecutor Capt. Magdalena Przytulska said West should be tried, saying his actions implied that "we're no better than the enemy we're fighting." West's lawyer, Neal Puckett, recommended that the charges against his client be dismissed.

        During breaks in the hearing, sympathetic soldiers approached and comforted West. One group asked that their picture be taken with him. A female soldier approached West and hugged him outside the hearing room. A preliminary investigation alleged that West's actions were in violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. West remained in Iraq after the incident and was assigned to other duties in the division, officials said.

        Comment


          #5
          An Army officer fought back tears Wednesday as he acknowledged threatening to shoot an Iraqi detainee to extract information about a planned attack, saying that to protect his troops, he would "go to hell with a gasoline can in my hand." Lt. Col. Allen B. West made the statement on the second day of a U.S. military pretrial hearing on accusations that he threatened Yahya Jhodri Hamoodi by firing his gun near the man. West is the most senior officer of the 4th Infantry Division to face such a proceeding.

          Yet another indication of what effects the Iraq quagmire is having on ordinary American soldiers - so much like Vietnam.

          Comment


            #6
            Its not just the torture of Iraqi civilians but also the demolition of residential areas.. scenes reminiscent of the West Bank & Gaza.

            US forces demolish Iraq homes News Interactive, AUS. November 22, 2003

            AMNESTY International said today US forces appeared to be destroying houses in Iraq as a form of collective punishment for attacks on US troops and warned that that would violate the Geneva Convention.

            A Pentagon spokesman emphatically denied it. The human rights group said it had sent a letter to US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld demanding clarification whether the demolitions as a form of collective punishment or deterrence was officially permitted. "If such proved to be the case, it would constitute a clear violation of international humanitarian law," the group said in the letter.


            A Pentagon spokesman acknowledged that US forces had destroyed "facilities", including houses, in the course of recent military operations but emphatically denied they were intended as a form of collective punishment or retaliation for attacks. ....

            Comment


              #7
              The Bush Administration has now leaned towards Israel for advice on their military occupation of Iraq. Perhaps the IDF's torture techniques and its excellent Human Rights record is something which lacks within the US military!!! UN officials including Human Rights Orgs have stated IDF crimes include unlawful detention of civilians, destruction of houses and personal property, destruction of local infrastructure, harrasment of civilians including women and children, indscriminate attacks on unarmed civilians, unlawful killings and torture against detainees. Sadly these crimes are already being witnessed in Iraq.

              US seeks Israeli advice on Iraq -- Detail Story Hi Pakistan 24 Nov 03

              As violence in Iraq surges, U.S. quietly turns to Israel Sunspot News Nov 23

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