New documents: US desecrated koran systematically


Prisoner transported to Guantanamo Bay torture camp

From the Google cache.

New documents: US desecrated koran systematically

Linking: 13 Comments: 13

Date: 5/20/05 at 9:45AM

From the American Civil Liberties Union site:

U.S. Soldier Instructed Iraqi Detainee to Dig Own Grave, According to New Army Documents

May 19, 2005

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: media@aclu.org

Documents Indicate Soldiers Used Religious Icons to Degrade Muslim Detainees, ACLU Says

NEW YORK — New documents released by the Department of Defense reveal more cases of abuse including mock executions and use of a religious symbol to taunt detainees, the American Civil Liberties Union said today.

Documents Indicating That Religious Icons Were Used to Degrade Detainees: (pdf)

• Sworn statement of civilian interrogator stepping on Koran to disorient detainee

• Sworn statement of civilian interrogator on using “Pride and Ego Down” technique

• Army memo detailing use of “Star of David” to taunt Iraqi detainee

• Detainee claimed soldiers ordered military dog to pick up the Koran in its mouth

• Detainee claims soldiers threw the Koran on the floor and stepped on it

“While the White House blames Newsweek magazine for damaging America’s reputation in the Muslim world, the Army’s own investigations show systemic abuse and humiliation of Muslim men by U.S. forces in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantánamo Bay,” said ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero.

“If we are to truly repair America’s standing, the Bush Administration must first hold accountable high-ranking officials who allow the continuing abuse and torture of detainees.”

Almost 2,000 pages of Army documents were released Tuesday in response to a federal court order that directed the Defense Department and other government agencies to comply with a request under the Freedom of Information Act filed by the ACLU, the Center for Constitutional Rights, Physicians for Human Rights, Veterans for Common Sense and Veterans for Peace.

So, apparent abuse not just of the Islamic Koran, but also of the Jewish Star of David.

Abuse of religious symbols in torture should not just concern religious Muslims, or religious Jews, but also everyone else, of other or no religion.

US government agencies have a bad history in Iraq of trying to deflect anger on their own policies “safely” for themselves away from themselves, into anti-Semitic channels, against “the Jews”.

From the Sydney Morning Herald:

Red Cross backs claims of Koran abuse in US prison camp

By Cam Simpson and Mark Silva in Washington

May 20, 2005

The Pentagon was made aware three years ago that US personnel might have been desecrating or mishandling Korans at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp in Cuba, the International Committee of the Red Cross says.

Credible information on the issue had been given to the Pentagon in confidential reports in 2002 and early 2003, Simon Schorno, a Red Cross spokesman, said.

Representatives of the Red Cross, who have played a key role in investigating abuse allegations at Guantanamo Bay and other US military prisons, had never witnessed such incidents first-hand during visits, but Red Cross delegates had gathered and corroborated enough similar, independent reports from detainees to raise the issue several times with Guantanamo commanders and with Pentagon officials, Mr Schorno said on Wednesday.

See also here.

US “Reverend” Fred Phelphs pro Quran flushing: here.

Torture, deaths of prisoners, at US prison of Bagram in Afghanistan: here.

More on Bagram here.

9 thoughts on “New documents: US desecrated koran systematically

  1. NEWS LINE lead article: Saturday May 21 2005

    BEATEN TO DEATH
    Bagram camp compared to Abu Ghraib

    A leaked US Army Criminal Investigation Command report has revealed a catalogue of prisoner abuses, including two deaths, by the US military at Bagram airbase in Afghanistan.

    Two Afghan detainees in US military custody at Bagram in 2002 died after being severely beaten as part of a pattern of abuse, the New York Times has reported, quoting the leaked document.

    The two deaths were reported earlier but the graphic details of their abuse revealed in the latest documents, are bound to be embarrassing for the US, coming just after the reports of Koran desecration at Guantanamo that sparked riots in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    The 2,000-page criminal investigation report on incidents at the Bagram prison camp near Kabul shows repeated incidents of abusive maltreatment of the kind that took place at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq which scandalised the world.

    The report states: ‘Sometimes the torment seems to have been driven by little more than boredom, cruelty, or both.’

    Over two years later, no one has been convicted for either death and only seven soldiers have been charged, including four last week.

    Most of those who could still face legal action have have denied any wrongdoing, either in statements to investigators or in comments to a reporter.

    Commenting on one of the deaths, Lieutenant Colonel Elizabeth Rouse, a coroner and a major at the time said: ‘I’ve seen similar injures in an individual run over by a bus.’

    Rouse was referring to the case of Dilawar, a 22-year-old Afghan taxi driver detained on suspicion of involvement in a rocket attack on a US military base in the south-eastern province of Khost.

    He received over 100 blows to the legs and an autopsy found that the tissue in his limbs had been pulverised.

    By the time Dilawar underwent his final investigations, interrogators believed he was innocent, the report added.

    Dilawar’s torture and subsequent death in December 2002 was similar to that of Habibullah, another Afghan, who died of a heart attack six days earlier.

    The report said it was likely to have been caused by a blood clot produced by repeated blows to the legs.

    Lieutenant General David Barno, former commander of US forces in Afghanistan, earlier claimed the two deaths were isolated cases, despite the fact that eight prisoners are known to have died in US custody.

    The army criminal investigation report reveals quite a different story, despite the fact that many of the officers and soldiers interviewed in the Dilawar investigation said the large majority of detainees at Bagram were compliant and reasonably well treated.

    In sworn statements to US army investigators, soldiers describe one female interrogator with a taste for humiliation stepping on the neck of one prostrate detainee and kicking another in the genitals, the New York Times reported.

    Another shackled prisoner was forced to roll back and forth on the floor of a cell, kissing the boots of his two interrogators as he went.

    Yet another prisoner was made to pick plastic bottle caps out of a drum mixed with excrement and water as part of a strategy to soften him up for questioning, the paper reported.

    Last October, the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command concluded that there was probable cause to charge 27 officers and enlisted personnel with criminal offences in the Dilawar case ranging from dereliction of duty to maiming and involuntary manslaughter.

    Fifteen of the same soldiers were also cited for probable criminal responsibility in the Habibullah case, the paper said.

    The investigation into abuse of detainees in US military custody in Afghanistan conducted by General Charles H Jacobi in 2004 remains classified.

    The US military refused to comment on the report yesterday, insisting that prisoners at Bagram, the main US detention facility in Afghanistan, are now being treated humanely.

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