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Old 07-23-2003, 01:09 PM   #1
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Amnesty International talks about orture or ill-treatment by Coalition Forces

amnesty international press release:

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AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
PRESS RELEASE



AI Index: MDE 14/159/2003 (Public)
News Service No: 176
23 July 2003


[SIZE=3]Iraq: Continuing failure to uphold human rights[/SIZE]

(Baghdad) After more than 100 days of occupation, the promises of human rights for all Iraqis have yet to be fulfilled, Mahmoud Ben Romdhane Amnesty International's head of delegation to Iraq said.

Speaking at the launch of a Memorandum on concerns relating to law and order, he continued: "The Iraqi people have suffered for long enough - it is shameful to still hear of people who are being detained in inhumane conditions without their family knowing where they are and with no access to a lawyer or a judge - often for weeks on end."

Dr Suhail Laibi and his son, Ahmad, were detained on 15 May 2003 for having a pistol in their car. Dr Suhail was released from Abu Ghraib Prison on 14 June 2003 and was told that his son had been transferred to Nassiriya. On his arrival there, he found no information about his son and an officer warned him against going to the prison camp because he might be arrested. Continuing his search on his return to Baghdad, Dr Suhail was finally informed by an officer that his son was in Camp Bucca. But this same officer had no idea where this was. After 66 days in detention, Ahmad was finally released on 20 July.

Former detainees told Amnesty International that people detained by Coalition Forces were held in tents in the extreme heat and were not provided with sufficient drinking water or adequate washing facilities. They were forced to use open trenches for toilets and were not given a change of clothes - even after two months' detention.

The organization has investigated a number of cases of unlawful detention. These result from the failure of Coalition Forces to implement promptly release orders issued by Iraqi examining magistrates, before the approval of a senior military official.

"This is a flagrant breach of the rule of law," said Amnesty International delegate Curt Goering.

Amnesty International has received reports of torture or ill-treatment by Coalition Forces. Reported methods include prolonged sleep deprivation, prolonged restraint in painful positions -- sometimes combined with exposure to loud music, prolonged hooding and exposure to bright lights.

Khreisan Khalis Aballey, 39, and his father, 80, were arrested at their home on 30 April. Khreisan was hooded and handcuffed and made to stand or kneel facing a wall for nearly eight days while he was being interrogated. He suffered from sleep deprivation as a bright light was placed next to his head and distorted music was playing. His knees bled so he mostly stood and by the end he said his leg was swollen to the size of a football. His father was held in the cell next to him and could hear his son's screams.

"Many of the Coalition soldiers and military police engaged in law enforcement do not have basic skills and tools in civilian policing or to be aware of the law they are supposed to be applying," Curt Goering said.

People interviewed by Amnesty International described how soldiers smashed their way into cars and cupboards even when their owners offered keys. There are also numerous reports of confiscation of property, including large sums of money, upon arrest. This property is not returned upon release.


In one case, US officers accepted that there was evidence that a crime had been committed by officers who removed more than three million dinars (2000 US dollars) from a family home. Officers said that redress would be long and difficult as they lacked the means to find out where the division accused of committing the crime was now stationed.

Amnesty International has documented several incidents of shootings at Iraqi demonstrators by US soldiers in disputed circumstances. While it is true Coalition Forces are dealing with complex situations -- they are still engaged in situations of combat and others where the use of force may be necessary, like the dispersal of violent demonstrators - they must still abide by international standards.

US forces shot 12-year-old Mohammad al-Kubaisi as they carried out search operations around his house on 26 June. That evening, as usual, Mohammad was carrying the family bedding up to the roof when a soldier shot at him from the opposite house. Mohammad was still alive when neighbours tried to rush him by car to the nearby hospital but they were stopped by soldiers in a tank on the way. The soldiers forced the neighbours to the ground and after 15 minutes ordered them to return home because the curfew had started. Mohammad was already dead.


As part of the legal reforms introduced by the Occupying Powers, the Iraqi courts no longer have jurisdiction over any Coalition personnel in relation to civil and criminal matters.

"Given the nature of the allegations emerging from the Occupation of Iraq, the CPA must urgently clarify to the public what are the disciplinary and criminal mechanisms to hold members of the Coalition Provisional Authorities (CAP) and Coalition Forces to account," Mahmoud Ben Romdhane concluded.

"The CPA must carry out competent, independent and impartial investigations into individual cases - nothing less will suffice."

In its memorandum, Amnesty International welcomes some of the measures taken by the US and UK governments, exercising their authority as the occupying powers through the CPA, such as the suspension of the death penalty and the abolition of the Revolutionary Special and National Security Courts -- which were known for their grossly unfair trials.

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Judit Arenas on +88 216 2115 9713;
Nicole Choueiry on +88 216 2115 9993.
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Old 07-23-2003, 04:39 PM   #2
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Most of the "human rights abuses" in this report are based on word of mouth reports without supporting evidence. This means these could be false allegations from people who have an axe to grind. These things should be looked into of course, but the finger and blame can be placed on anyone until its been proven that these events actually occured.
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Old 07-23-2003, 05:02 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
Most of the "human rights abuses" in this report are based on word of mouth reports without supporting evidence. This means these could be false allegations from people who have an axe to grind. These things should be looked into of course, but the finger and blame can be placed on anyone until its been proven that these events actually occured.
Yes, you are right.
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Old 07-24-2003, 02:53 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
Most of the "human rights abuses" in this report are based on word of mouth reports without supporting evidence. This means these could be false allegations from people who have an axe to grind. These things should be looked into of course, but the finger and blame can be placed on anyone until its been proven that these events actually occured.
Absolutely right, mouth reports, the same mouth reports they had (and trusted in) for decades when they protested against human rights violations of mr. hussein

lots of the secret service informations that lead us to war were also just "mouth reports".
It's not about giving death penalty against the people where amnesty says they think they took part by human right violations of the civilians, it's about taking these things to court to find out if they were right or wrong.

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Old 07-24-2003, 12:09 PM   #5
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Klaus,

The US intelligence has had more than just mouth reports about human rights abuses and Saddam's use of WMD. In addition, it was the UN inspectors that confirmed Saddam's possession of WMD as late as 1998. It was up to Saddam to hand over that WMD or show the remains of its destruction when inspectors returned in 2002. Saddam did neither.
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Old 07-24-2003, 12:23 PM   #6
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This isn't a discussion about whether Iraq had WMD or not. It isn't a discussion about whether it was okay for the US to bomb Iraq or not.

It's a discussion about whether torture and ill treatment of detainees is acceptable or not.
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Old 07-24-2003, 12:44 PM   #7
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Fizzing,

If you read what I said I was only responding to what Klaus had said about US intelligence.

It is not a thread about whether torture and ill treatment of detainies is acceptable or not, its about whether the alleged torture has even happened.

I have a friend that was in Afghanistan for 6 months and helped out with the detention of prisoners. None were tortured or treated poorly, despite the wild unsustantiated claims of liberal media.
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Old 07-24-2003, 01:13 PM   #8
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http://www.wsws.org/articles/2002/mar2002/cia-m20.shtml
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Old 07-24-2003, 01:16 PM   #9
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http://www.wsws.org/articles/2002/de...tort-d30.shtml
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Old 07-24-2003, 01:22 PM   #10
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Normal i love hearing about the so-called liberal media

Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
I have a friend that was in Afghanistan for 6 months and helped out with the detention of prisoners. None were tortured or treated poorly, despite the wild unsustantiated claims of liberal media.
But really all this statement tells us is that your friend didn't see abuse happening wherever he/she was posted. It doesn't tell us that such abuses never happened, does it?
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Old 07-24-2003, 01:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
I have a friend that was in Afghanistan for 6 months and helped out with the detention of prisoners. None were tortured or treated poorly, despite the wild unsustantiated claims of liberal media.
another word of mouth report to add.

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Old 07-24-2003, 03:52 PM   #12
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kobayashi and sulawesigirl4,

If you know these things have happened, prove it. There has been a lot of shit thrown at the US government and Military which there is no evidence or even basis for. People don't like the Presidents policy's in general, so they run around cooking up charges, with out a true prior basis, and being unable to prove them in any way shape or form.

Great Men and Women in the US military including many of my friends are working hard every day in difficult conditions to make this world a better place. Considering their sacrifices, the least you could do is give them the benefit of the doubt before you posts the most unsubstantiated allegations against them accusing them of human rights abuses. Think of what it would be like if someone falsely accused you of horrible crimes like this.
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Old 07-24-2003, 03:55 PM   #13
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Rono,

How many people did the World Socialist Web Site claim died in the fighting in Jenin last year in Israel?
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Old 07-24-2003, 03:57 PM   #14
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And if you know they didn't happen then prove it. After all, you can't say a person can't be expected to prove they did *not* do something as you expected Saddam to prove he did *not* have any weapons.

And tell me why your friends word of mouth report can be trusted by those of Iraqi citizens can't be.
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Old 07-24-2003, 04:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by FizzingWhizzbees
And tell me why your friends word of mouth report can be trusted by those of Iraqi citizens can't be.
I believe that Sting's friend can speak only to what he has seen in country. I also believe that Sting's friend would tell the truth to his close friend about what he was witness too.

I will say that from my experience in the military, we as MP's were trainined in the Geneva Convention, and we were trained how to properly take care of prisoners.

Now, does this mean that I can say that the instances above are not true? No. I cannot. I will say that I am a skeptic in the sense that we do not have all of the details surrounding these examples above but we cannot draw a conclusion based on Sting's friends' experience either.

There are crappy people in this world, and like the world, some are in the military. There were people in Boot Camp and MP School that I would not have trusted to watch my back. It is likely that there are people being mistreated, but I would bet that it is NOT as frequent, nor as widespread, as some would have us believe. That said, those, if they are doing these things, should be prosecuted court-martialed, ect.
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Old 07-24-2003, 04:13 PM   #16
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FizzingWhizzbees,

"And if you know they didn't happen then prove it. After all, you can't say a person can't be expected to prove they did *not* do something as you expected Saddam to prove he did *not* have any weapons."

In March of 1991, Saddam signed a ceacefire agreement in which he agreed to give up all his WMD. As of 1998, this process had not been completed and Saddam was still in possession of 30,000 Biio/Chem capable shells, thousands of liters of Anthrax and hundreds of tons of Mustard Gas. This is from the UN inspectors. They had to leave at the end of 1998 and were not allowed back into the country.

November 2002, UN inspectors are finally allowed back into the country. Its Saddam's obligation to do one of two things

a: turn over the 30,000 Bio/Chem capable shells, Thousands of liters of Anthrax and hundreds of tons of Mustard Gas.

b: if these items were destroyed in the years 1998-2002, then Saddam must show the evidence of their destruction of which there would be plenty of according to former UN inspectors.

The point here is that SADDAM was already been proven guilty and had admitted it. In addition, Saddam had the means with which to comply with the resolutions. Saddam had two options to comply, either A or B. SADDAM did neither.

Saddam has already been proven guilty of possesion of WMD. None of these allegations against the US military has been proven at all.

"And tell me why your friends word of mouth report can be trusted by those of Iraqi citizens can't be."

Tell me why I should not believe my friend.
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Old 07-24-2003, 04:16 PM   #17
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Sorry Dread, I didn't explain myself clearly. I didn't mean to call Sting's friends liars, I meant that if Sting could dismiss Amnesty's report because it's based on word of mouth reports I don't see why he should apply a different standard to word of mouth reports because they're from a friend of his. I'm sure the military is just like any other profession: there are honest people and dishonest people there.

All I can really say on this subject is that firstly I do place a significant amount of trust in Amnesty International, they're an organisation I have campaigned with for five or six years now and I believe their reports are accurate and truthful. Secondly, if this report is true I'm appalled and saddened that the US military would stoop to the level of Saddam by torturing and ill-treating prisoners.
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Old 07-24-2003, 04:18 PM   #18
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Sting,
I didn't mean you should disbelieve your friend. I meant that your friend's account of what is happening in Iraq is also word-of-mouth and so it seems that if you dismiss Amnety's report as based on word-of-mouth accounts then I don't see why you can believe what your friend tells you because that must also be based on word-of-mouth accounts (assuming, that is, that your friend can't possibly have seen everything which has occured in Iraq.)

Fizz.

P.S. I really didn't mean to suggest your friend is untrustworthy, I know that would be an offensive thing for me to say and I honestly didn't meant to imply that.
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Old 07-24-2003, 04:20 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by FizzingWhizzbees
Secondly, if this report is true I'm appalled and saddened that the US military would stoop to the level of Saddam by torturing and ill-treating prisoners.
No apology, I understood you.

However, as I said in my post, you cannot say with a blanket statement that the US Military is acting this way as a policy. I have a problem with statements like this. If there is proof that this is a "Policy" and it is being carried out system wide throughout the military....there should be evidence.

There are BAD people everywhere. This does not exclude the military. If the reports are true, they should be held accountable.

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Old 07-24-2003, 04:22 PM   #20
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STING2, I find it fascinating how you make it a practice to make vague statements and then when challenged attempt to twist those challenges into attacks upon your integrity. Quite frankly, I find it childish. Especially since it appears that you have no qualms in engaging is such ad hominem attacks yourself. These statements are a classic case.

Quote:
If you know these things have happened, prove it. There has been a lot of shit thrown at the US government and Military which there is no evidence or even basis for. People don't like the Presidents policy's in general, so they run around cooking up charges, with out a true prior basis, and being unable to prove them in any way shape or form.
1. I have not made any allegations. Those allegations were made by a respected third party known as Amnesty International. Therefore, I don't have to prove anything. However, I find it telling that you seem to indicate that anyone who claims they have been abused must be dismissed out of hand as a liar. Last time I checked, the lives of all people are valuable whether they happen to be Iraqi or American.

2. We won't know if there is any "evidence" or "basis" for these allegations if they are not even allowed to be voiced. Silencing criticism precludes the process of investigation and the wheels of justice. If the US military or government has nothing to hide, than there should be no fear of investigation.

3. Your statement about people "cooking up" charges because they don't like the President's policy is in itself baseless. You haven't shown any proof that would indicate this is any more than your personal opinion. As for proof, please see point #2.

Quote:
Great Men and Women in the US military including many of my friends are working hard every day in difficult conditions to make this world a better place. Considering their sacrifices, the least you could do is give them the benefit of the doubt before you posts the most unsubstantiated allegations against them accusing them of human rights abuses. Think of what it would be like if someone falsely accused you of horrible crimes like this.
Thank you for the chest-thumping rhetoric. But you can save it. Whether or not you realize it, many of my friends are also working in the military. My closest childhood friend is guarding the airport in Baghdad. My cousin is serving on a ship in the Gulf. My father served in Vietnam with the US Marine Corps. So don't you dare hurl accusations at me or set yourself up as the only person on this board who has any connection or involvement with the armed forces. It's rude, insulting and presumptuous.

You should realize that while I hope for and expect the very highest quality of work from US troops, I am also not naive enough to think that mistakes never happen and that abuse is impossible. If anything, I believe in justice for everyone, not just for Americans. I'm not assuming guilt. I'm saying that "innocent until proven guilty" means that allegations of guilt must be investigated, not shunted aside, and that no one is above the law, regardless of their sacrifices.
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