Tag Archives: human rights violations

Torture Victims Stabbed, Sodomized, Soaked with Urine

Broken Laws, Broken Lives
From: Physicians for Human Rights

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Synopses of the Cases of Former Detainees Profiled

Kamal is in his late forties. He served in the Iraqi Army during the 1980s and later became a businessman and Imam of a local mosque. In September 2003 he was arrested by US forces. At the time of his arrest, he was beaten to the point of losing consciousness. After being brought to Abu Ghraib prison, he was kept naked and isolated in a cold dark room for three weeks, where both during and in between interrogations he was frequently beaten, including being hit on the head and in the jaw with a rifle and stabbed in the cheek with a screwdriver.

He was then placed in isolation in a urine-soaked room for two months. When Kamal was allowed to wear clothes, they were sometimes soaked in water to keep him cold. On approximately ten occasions he was suspended in a stress position, causing numbness that lasted for a month. He was made to believe that his family members were also in prison and that they were being raped and tortured.

He recounted, “[T]hey were telling me, making me hear voices of children and women, and told me they were my children and [wife].”

Amir is in his late twenties and grew up in a Middle Eastern country. He was a salesman before being arrested by US forces in August 2003 in Iraq. After his arrest, he was forced, while shackled, to stand naked for at least five hours. For the next three days, he and other detainees were deprived of sleep and forced to run for long periods, during which time he injured his foot. After Amir notified a soldier of the injury, the soldier threw him against a wall and Amir lost consciousness.

Ultimately, he was taken to another location, where he was kept in a small, dark room for almost a month while being subjected to interrogations that involved shackling, blindfolding, and humiliation. Approximately one month later, he was transferred to Abu Ghraib. At first he was not mistreated, but then was subjected to religious and sexual humiliation, hooding, sleep deprivation, restraint for hours while naked, and dousing with cold water.

In the most horrific incident Amir recalled experiencing, he was placed in a foul-smelling room and forced to lay face down in urine, while he was hit and kicked on his back and side. Amir was then sodomized with a broomstick and forced to howl like a dog while a soldier urinated on him. After a soldier stepped on his genitals, he fainted.

Youssef is in his early thirties. Unable to find work in his country of origin, he sought employment in Afghanistan. In late 2001 or early 2002, Youssef was detained as he attempted to cross the Afghanistan-Pakistan border without a passport while trying to return home. He was held in a Pakistani prison for two months, where he was often shackled in unsanitary conditions and given little food. During this time, he was interrogated by US personnel and eventually hooded, shackled, and transferred to the US detention facility in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

In Kandahar, Youssef was immediately interrogated and subjected to beatings with sticks and fists as well as kicking, although he did not sustain serious injuries at the time. After that, he was stripped naked.

The first night he was not allowed to sleep, as guards hit the detainees and threw sand at them. While in Kandahar, Youssef endured forced nakedness, intimidation by dogs, hooding, and repeated assaults by being thrown against a wall. He was subjected to electric shock from a generator, feeling “as if my veins were being pulled out.”

Yasser is in his mid-forties and reported that his father was a “simple farmer.” He was raised in a big family, completed secondary school, attended an Islamic university, and eventually became a teacher. In the late 1990s, he changed his career and became a farmer. According to Yasser he was a respected member of the community; people sought his help in resolving social disputes and family problems and considered him a “wise man.” He recalled many accomplishments during this period and describes it as “the best days of our lives.”

Yasser tearfully described that when he reached the top of the steps “the party began…They started to put the [muzzle] of the rifle [and] the wood from the broom into [my anus]. They entered my privates from behind.” He noted that several other soldiers and civilians were present, including an interpreter with “a Lebanese accent.” Yasser estimated that he was penetrated five or six times during this initial sodomy incident and saw blood “all over my feet” through a small hole in the hood covering his eyes.

Yasser recalled that this “party” of abusive behavior continued for approximately five days. In a particularly traumatic experience, which Yasser describes as the “music party,” he was forced to lie on the ground with loudspeakers blasting music into his ears at a very painful volume. He recalled that this lasted “about one day, but you can say two years.”

Legal Prohibitions Against Torture and Ill-Treatment

All of the abusive interrogation techniques and patterns of ill-treatment endured by these eleven men — including beatings and other forms of severe physical and sexual assault, isolation, sleep deprivation, forced nakedness, severe humiliation and degradation, and sensory deprivation, many of which were experienced over long periods of time and often in combination with other prohibited acts — constituted acts of torture as well as cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment under domestic criminal statutes and international human rights and humanitarian treaties, including the Convention Against Torture and the Geneva Conventions, that were in effect at the time the acts were committed.

Full Report of Broken Laws, Broken Lives: Medical Evidence of Torture by US Personnel and Its Impact

Obama’s Intel Pick Wants National ID System

Update: U.S. intelligence candidate pulls out after objections

Intelligence pick wants national ID

Following the 9/11 attacks, President Obama’s nominee for a top intelligence post advocated that to effectively combat terrorism, the U.S. government should implement a national identity system, “so we better know who is who.”

In testimony before the 9/11 commission, Charles “Chas” Freeman, the U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia during the first Gulf War, also recommended conducting the war on terrorism primary as a law enforcement effort.

Freeman is slated to head the U.S. National Intelligence Council, or NIC, a crucial component of the U.S. intelligence apparatus. The NIC serves as the center for midterm and long-term strategic thinking within the American intelligence community. It provides intelligence briefs for Obama and key U.S. agencies and produces reports that help determine American policy on crucial issues, such as Iran’s nuclear program.

The declassified portions of Freeman’s statements before the 9/11 commission were partially rehashed this week by Jerusalem-based researcher Ashley Rindsberg, a blogger for the Huffington Post website.

Freeman gave the commission three recommendations for better fighting Islamic terrorism:

“First, the U.S. government should improve the visa system. More names to the forms should be added in order to distinguish among the many ‘Abdullah bin Mohammads.’ Technical means should also be used to cut the wait.”

“Second, the United States should implement a national identity system, so we better know who is who.”

Third, the war on terrorism should be seen primarily as a law enforcement and intelligence war, not as a military one.”

Freeman has recently come under fire for his documented ties to foreign governments, including receiving funds from the Saudi government and his service on the advisory board of a Chinese-government-owned oil company widely seen as conducting business deals meant to expand the communist nation’s influence worldwide. One of the Chinese company’s recent attempts to purchase a large U.S. oil firm drew bipartisan congressional opposition amid fears the deal would harm American national security interests. Violating U.S. sanctions?

Since 2004, Freeman has been on the international advisory board of the China National Offshore Oil Corporation, or CNOOC. Full Story

Fox News On Chas Freeman

Prison Torture in Afghanistan

Torture, abuse still rife in Afghan prisons, U.S. human rights report says

Torture and abuse remains rife in Afghan prisons, woman and children detainees are often raped, and the International Red Cross was prevented from visiting some prisons, the U.S. state Department reported today.

In its annual compendium of human rights in countries round the world, the U.S. report says:

Afghanistan’s “human rights problems included extrajudicial killings; torture; poor prison conditions; official impunity; prolonged pretrial detention; restrictions on freedom of the press; restrictions on freedom of religion; violence and societal discrimination against women; restrictions on religious conversions; abuses against minorities; sexual abuse of children; trafficking in persons; abuse of worker rights; and child labor.”

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A similar annual Canadian report prepared by the Foreign Affairs department is heavily censored to obliterate all references to torture and abuse of detainees and the worst abuses in prisons. The U.S reports are public and posted on the Internet unexpurgated. The Canadian ones are only available under the Access to Information Act and then only heavily redacted.

“Security forces continued to use excessive force, including beating and torturing civilians,” the U.S. report says.

“Torture and abuse included pulling out fingernails and toenails, burning with hot oil, beatings, sexual humiliation, and sodomy.”

It also cited the UN Secretary-General’s report from last year that found “detainees continued to complain of torture by law enforcement officials.”

Canada’s policy is to turn those captured in battle over to the Afghan security forces, notably the National Security Directorate – Afghanistan’s intelligence agency and state police. Although this year’s U.S. report didn’t explicitly accuse the NDS to torture, it did say “ NDS agents detained numerous journalists for expressing views critical of government officials.”

In Canada, right groups are seeking leave to appeal to the Supreme Court in a case where they want a ban transferring detainees to Afghan authorities. The groups contend Canada’s policy flouts the Geneva Convention, which outlaws knowingly transferring prisoners to torture, abuse or inhumane conditions.

The U.S. report says “prison conditions remained poor. Most were decrepit, severely overcrowded, unsanitary, and fell well short of international standards.”

Begging China for Handouts

Obama Sells U.S. to China Inc.

The truth is starting to seep out. Because of the need for more money to finance the latest bailout―the Obama economic stimulus plan―America is going further in debt to the Chinese Communists. Our country is officially being sold to the highest bidder. And we have striking confirmation of this fact from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The good news is that a correspondent for the mainstream media―Wyatt Andrews of CBS News―has figured this out and has managed to get on the air with his terrifying findings. Andrews’ report on the Friday CBS Evening News with Katie Couric was direct and to the point. Clinton is in China to beg for a handout.

“The truth is the Administration needs China’s help. America’s stimulus is very expensive and the U.S. wants China to help finance it,” Andrews reported. This is what America has become―a country that sends its Secretary of State abroad to beg for money from foreigners. In this case, it’s a communist dictatorship that forces women to have abortions, tortures Christians, and threatens the freedom and democratic government of Taiwan.

So the cost of the “stimulus” is more sacrifice of American independence and sovereignty, as well as our own values, ideals, and commitment to human freedom. It is a sad day both for America and China.

Full Story

U.S. Manufacturers Blast China