الثلاثاء، 22 أبريل 2008

Torture Charges Deepen Rift Between U.S. and Iraqi Leader " from nytimes "

Published: November 18, 2005
BAGHDAD, Iraq, Friday, Nov. 18 - A split between American officials here and one of Iraq's most powerful ministers widened Thursday as the minister played down reports that Iraqi police officers tortured prisoners while the American Embassy bluntly warned that such abuse would not be tolerated.
The embassy also said the Iraqi government should not allow militia or sectarian control of the security forces.
The Americans declared that their investigators would help conduct a much broader inquiry into all Iraqi detention centers. Together, the events show that the United States still exerts vast influence over the Iraqi government, despite the Bush administration's insistence that Iraqis have full control over the affairs of their country.
At a news conference, the Iraqi interior minister, Bayan Jabr, a conservative Shiite, accused the government's political opponents of bolstering the insurgency by exploiting the American military's discovery of torture at a secret police prison in the capital. Virtually all of the prisoners were Sunni Arabs, and Sunni groups have exploded in fury, saying that the discovery confirms their long-held suspicions that the Shiite-led government has been abducting and torturing or killing Sunnis.
But Mr. Jabr, speaking of the prison in an angry, sarcastic tone, said, "There has been much exaggeration about this issue." He added, "Nobody was beheaded or killed."
Later in the afternoon, the American Embassy issued its statement, saying that "detainee abuse is not and will not be tolerated." In addition, "We have made clear to the Iraqi government that there must not be militia or sectarian control or direction of Iraqi security forces, facilities or ministries."
On Friday morning, two car bombs exploded right outside the Hamra Hotel, popular with Western journalists and just hundreds of yards from the secret prison. Six Iraqis were killed and scores of people injured, an Interior Ministry official said. The explosion reduced a small apartment building to rubble, and firefighters and Iraqi soldiers were still sifting through the debris on Friday afternoon, looking for bodies or survivors.
The American government is still grappling with fallout across the Middle East from last year's Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal, and may be taking this opportunity to try to regain some moral standing, especially among Sunni Arabs.
Mr. Jabr acknowledged that 7 of the 169 emaciated, malnourished prisoners discovered by the American military in a raid on Sunday had been tortured. He said the Iraqi officers responsible would be punished. But he added that many of the Iraqis and foreign Arabs being held in the prison were suspected of heinous bombings and assaults.
Mr. Jabr's defiant stand also reflects the tension between the country's governing Shiite parties. Under American pressure, the prime minister, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, the leader of the Dawa Islamic Party, has opened a wide-ranging inquiry into treatment of prisoners. Mr. Jabr belongs to a rival Shiite group, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq. Both parties are running on the same slate in the December parliamentary elections.
Several Iraqi officials have said that members of the Supreme Council's Iranian-trained militia, the Badr Organization, were operating the secret prison. On Thursday, Mr. Jabr denied any involvement by Iran or militias.
American soldiers with the Third Infantry Division discovered the prisoners Sunday night when they raided the two-level building, a bomb shelter built by Saddam Hussein's government that was converted into a major operations center for the new Interior Ministry. The soldiers returned Monday night to transfer the prisoners from three cramped rooms and a closet on the first floor.
A journalist for Voice of America who witnessed the transfer said in an interview on Thursday that at least one-third of the prisoners, all young men, had bruises or cuts on their faces or bodies, and that they appeared to be "extremely emaciated, starved for some time."
The soldiers counted 166 Sunni Arabs and 3 Shiite Arabs after asking each prisoner to identify his sect, said the reporter, Alisha Ryu. The soldiers also found instruments of torture hidden behind ceiling panels in rooms on the first floor. One device was a metal rod with a ball on the end, similar to a medieval mace.
In western Baghdad on Thursday, a moderate Shiite politician running in the Dec. 15 elections, Tawfiq al-Yasiri, was abducted from his home at 8:45 p.m., an Interior Ministry official said. Mr. Yasiri, a former Iraqi Army officer who took part in the 1991 Shiite uprising against the government, leads a party called the Sun of Iraq. His abduction was the first known kidnapping of a candidate in advance of the elections.
Gunmen killed a university professor, a police officer and a factory engineer in separate attacks in Baghdad on Thursday. The American military said a soldier died in a vehicle accident in Baiji.
Jim Bullock, an American Embassy spokesman, told reporters Thursday that Mr. Jaafari had agreed to form a commission to look into every Iraqi-run detention center in the country, and that employees of the Justice Department and the F.B.I. would help. "We're providing substantial resources to support the Iraqi efforts," he said.
Mr. Jabr, the interior minister, tried Thursday to refute the notion that the Baghdad bunker was proof of Shiite discrimination against Sunni Arabs. He said one of the prisoners was a disabled Shiite given $1,000 by insurgents to help detonate car bombs that later killed 66 Iraqis.
He held up a dozen passports that he said belonged to foreign Arabs held at the bunker. "The most dangerous Arab terrorists exist in this shelter," he said. They were taken there to be interrogated, he added.
A central mystery surrounding the American raid involves a missing 15-year-old boy who may have been arrested by the Iraqis. Mr. Jabr said Thursday that the raid began after Brig. Gen. Karl Horst of the Third Infantry Division was informed that a member of the United States Congress wanted the military to look for this boy. Mr. Jabr gave the general permission to visit the bunker in the Jadriya neighborhood. When General Horst and his troops arrived at the bunker on Sunday, Iraqis kept the doors locked and blocked their way. The general called Mr. Jabr, who ordered that the prison be opened. The boy was not found.

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وزير الداخلية في المؤتمر الصحفي حول فضيحة الجادرية
No-one was beheaded, no-one was killed
Bayan Jabr Iraqi Interior Minister

بيان جبر صولاغ : ان من قام بجريمة السجون السرية في منطقة الجادرية هم أزلام النظام السابق ، الذين استطاعوا ان يتغلغلوا بيننا بدون ان نشعر ، ويتقلدوا اعلى المناصب بدون ان نعرف ، اما نوعية المعتقلين فهم وان كانوا ارهابيين بعثيين ولكن لا يعني هذا ان يتعرضوا للتعذيب !!
( يعني المعتقلين بعثيين والسجانين والجلادين كذلك بعثيين )

All for Torture, and Torture for All!

the Washington Times reported today. “Maj. Gen. Hussein Kamal, deputy interior minister said the detainees also included Shiites, Kurds and Turkmen.”
Translation: No bias here. We’re equal opportunity torturers!