Torture in ‘new’ Iraq


This video is called Inside Iraq – Silent torture – 1 May 09 – Part 1.

Part 2 is here.

From Al Jazeera:

Former Iraqi prisoners allege abuse

Al Jazeera has obtained interviews with two men who allegedly were tortured in the al-Muthanna air base prison in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.

The former detainees said they were pressured, under the use of painful techniques, to admit to crimes they had not committed.

“Our hands [were] tied and eyes covered so we couldn’t see the torturers. The informants were dictating to them that ‘This guy did this, or did that’. And he was swearing to God that this guy has performed that action,” one of the men said.

“But we were all innocent.”

The man showed dozens of cigarette burns that he said were inflicted on him by prison officers with the full knowledge of authorities.

He was one of hundreds of men rounded up by security forces in October as part of a crackdown on Sunni fighters in northern Iraq.

They were held at al-Muthanna until the human rights ministry gained access to the prison and closed the facility.

“We were tortured for four long months continuously,” another former detainee said.

“Whether you recognise or not, whatever they want you to say, they keep torturing you and the prisoners. They died in the torture.”

The local council of tribes for the Nineveh province, where most of the former detainees were from, held a protest on Wednesday calling for the government to respect the rule of law.

Fares Abdallah al-Fares, the leader of the Nineveh tribes’ council, said: “Torture goes against human dignity. What is a man without his dignity?

“We ask the prime minister and minister of defence to apologise to the people of Nineveh.”

In a recent report, the Los Angeles Times claimed that facilities such as al-Muthanna are “secret jails”, run by elite forces that answer only to Nouri al-Maliki, the prime minister, and stand outside the normal rule of law.

Wijdan Salim, the Iraqi human rights minister, dismissed the existence of “secret” facilities in a statement and said the government would sue the Los Angeles Times.

Kamil Amin, a spokesman for the ministry, told Al Jazeera on Tuesday that serious legal violations had been committed at the al-Muthanna prison.

“Our teams have received complaints that the prisoners are not getting enough legal consultation and suffer from very slow procedures that take much longer than they should,” Amin said.

However, he refused to answer questions about whether there was any evidence of torture of the inmates at the facility.

The UK-based human rights group Amnesty International has urged Iraqi authorities to investigate the allegations of abuses.

Iraqi officials have announced that they were investigating claims that detainees at a secret Baghdad jail were tortured by electric shocks, suffocated with plastic bags or beaten by prison guards: here.

The torture of Iraqi detainees at a secret prison in Baghdad was far more systematic and brutal than initially reported, Human Rights Watch reported on Tuesday: here. And here.

3 thoughts on “Torture in ‘new’ Iraq

  1. The, pro U.S. government, U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom:

    Iraq

    “In Iraq, the government continues to commit and tolerate severe abuses of freedom of religion or belief, particularly against the members of Iraq’s smallest, most vulnerable religious minorities – Chaldo-Assyrian and other Christians, Sabean Mandaeans, and Yazidis. Members of these groups continue to suffer from targeted violence, threats, and intimidation, against which they receive insufficient government protection. They also experience a pattern of official discrimination, marginalization, and neglect. In addition, there continue to be attacks and tense relations between Shi’a and Sunni Iraqis. Other egregious, religiously motivated violence against women and girls, homosexuals, and Muslims who reject certain strict interpretations of Islam also continues.”

    http://www.rferl.org/content/Religious_Freedom_Group_Sees_Rise_In_Persecution/2027792.html

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  2. Appeal to stop repression and state crimes in Iraq

    For the BRussells Tribunal, its supporters and audience, secret prisons in Iraq are no surprise. We made repeated alerts during years that repression in the “New Iraq” is systematic.

    Repression in Iraq takes multiple forms: deprivation of resources and services, arrests, assassinations, deportation of millions, torture of every kind, death squads, hanging and other death penalties, confiscating property and houses, blowing up residences, markets and groupings, killing at checkpoints and in the streets for no reason, trade of children and women, inhuman conditions in secret or public prisons, rape of children, men and women, killing from the air, killing on identity, kidnappings, stealing during investigation, extorting money from prisoners, stealing organs in hospitals, killing academics, journalists, doctors and state servants, threats, deprivation of legal rights and human rights, imprisonment without charge for long periods of time, re-imprisonment of the innocent after release, illegal and unfair trials, etc. All Iraqi communities are victims of this repression.

    This repression, coupled with corruption and a policy of disinformation and lies and the fomentation of civil strife, is a hell of blood and fear in which Iraqis live. Iraqis know this well. They know that the American withdrawal from cities is in reality handing the dirty job to their local puppets. Maliki is the proconsul of this repression. It is his electoral platform and his way to remain prime minister.

    International institutions and human rights associations hesitated for a long time before divulgating the reality to Western and international public opinion, despite multiple alerts sent by numerous Iraqi sources on the tragic situation in Iraq. Now it is done. We support every effort and action to prevent local Iraqi authorities and the US occupation from continuing their criminal repression of Iraqis, to make the criminals involved accountable for their crimes, and to compensate the victims.

    We call on the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council, with the aid of human rights associations and institutions, to take action to save the Iraqi people from these bloody policies and criminal authorities. We call on individuals, associations, institutions and governments to constitute a united front to take action to stop the repression in Iraq.

    The BRussells Tribunal

    BRussells Tribunal campaigns against repression in Iraq:

    STOP THE DEATH PENALTY IN IRAQ – Read and sign

    STOP THE ASSASSINATION OF IRAQI ACADEMICS

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  3. Pingback: BAE, corrupt Iraq war profiteers | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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