الاثنين، 14 يوليو 2008

Iraq official defends 'torture' facility

Friday, November 18, 2005; Posted: 10:46 a.m. EST (15:46 GMT)

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Iraq's interior minister has defended a government facility that was found to be holding dozens of prisoners, including some showing signs of torture, saying it held "the most criminal terrorists."
"Nobody was beheaded or killed," a defiant Bayan Jabr told a news conference Thursday, saying that only seven of 170 detainees showed marks of torture.
"Those detainees, those criminal killers inside the bunker were not Indians or Pakistanis or Iranians," he said, waving a stack of passports in the air. "Those are your Arab brothers that came here to kill your sons."
He said one detainee who had been reported as paralyzed was afflicted before his arrival at the facility and had been used "by one of the terrorists" to set off bombs.
"They gave the handicapped $1,000, and he was just a beggar," Jabr said.
The minister said a judge was in charge at the facility and was dealing with each case. Jabr pledged to hold anyone who has tortured a detainee accountable.
"I will punish them if (the investigation) proves they are responsible for any violations," he said.
"You can be proud of our forces," Jabr said. "Our forces ... respect human rights.
"We are a government and we are responsible for protecting you," he said. "The detainees are the sons of Iraq. Even if they make mistakes, it is not for us to decide this."
Jabr said he personally instructed his officers to take suspects to the center because they were considered the most dangerous, The Associated Press reported.
The interior minister said an investigation was under way into the torture allegations and that he has discussed the allegations with Gen. George Casey, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, AP reported.
Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari said Tuesday the prisoners were found malnourished and possibly tortured by government security forces at a Baghdad lockup. He has launched an Iraqi-led investigation with U.S. assistance.
Jim Bullock, a spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Iraq, said Thursday that Jaafari's investigative commission was to provide a preliminary report in one week and a final report in two weeks.
Another commission, Bullock said, was inspecting all Iraqi detention facilities in the country and was to report back in 30 days.
Bullock also said that the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI were aiding the investigation and that the commission investigating the detainees was also reviewing the cases of each of the detainees.
Earlier, Jabr's deputy, Maj. Gen. Hussein Kamal, called for a unified command over detention centers to prevent future cases of torture.
"What we were afraid of has happened when some prisoners were subjected to ill treatment at the hands of the investigators," AP quoted Kamal as saying. "We strongly condemn such illegal acts."
Meanwhile, Iraq's acting human rights minister, Nermin Othman Hassan, said the ministry was aware of a number of claims of torture and abuse at detention centers and that a number of investigations had already been launched
"It was not only shocking for us -- it made me angry, it's not only a surprise, it's a danger, they must do something very quickly to punish those that are involved," she said.
"We are focusing on building a new Iraq -- this is opposite to our strategy, when we are speaking about democracy and human rights, those things must not be done."
Hassan said her ministry has received claims of torture and abuse by people of various ethnicities in Iraq and has spoken with some of the detainees from the Interior Ministry compound.
Hassan said she was told that the detainees were tortured to extract information because they were believed to be part of a terrorist organization, not because they were of a certain sect.
According to the acting minister, the detainees are undergoing medical treatment and questioning at an undisclosed location.

Call for international investigation
The allegations of torture risk damaging the legitimacy of the Iraqi government and Washington's case for going to war, analysts said. (
On Wednesday, a prominent Sunni Muslim party called for an international investigation into the allegations of torture at the Iraqi facility, which allegedly held more than 160 detainees -- some of whom showed signs of apparent torture.
The Iraqi Islamic Party, which helped broker the deal that brought a national constitution to a national referendum in October, said the detainees were mostly Sunnis and the human rights violations at the compound were part of a campaign to marginalize Sunnis ahead of another nationwide vote next month.
"The Islamic Party appeals to the U.N., Islamic Conference Organization, Arab League and human rights organizations all over the world to condemn the flagrant violations of human rights under the current government and demand them to launch an international investigation so that those involved would get just punishment," the party said in a statement.
"I have the full story of this shelter," said party Secretary-General Tariq al-Hashimi. "I have all the documents about that." (
Watch: Footage of abuse in similar cases in Iraq -- 3:04)
"Nobody except the Sunni community are reporting missing people," al-Hashimi said. "I have a concrete knowledge about what I am talking about. I am sure those people being discovered in this shelter are exclusively Sunni people."
He displayed a report with what he said were photographs of abuse victims and a CD that he said contained the information he planned to present to the United Nations and other international organizations.
Kamal, the deputy interior minister, has dismissed as "nonsense" allegations that a majority of detainees were Sunni.
"There are Turkomen from Tal Afar, there are Kurds, Arabs, Sunni and Shia," he told CNN.
He also denied an allegation that the facility was run by the Badr organization -- the military arm of the Supreme Council of Islamic Revolution in Iraq.
"These are employees of the Ministry of Interior, not affiliated with one organization or another," he said.
The U.S. military said they found the detainees Sunday when they entered a building controlled by the ministry while looking for a missing 15-year-old boy.
The boy was not there, but the detainees were. Iraqi police said the building was run by "police commandos" who work for the Interior Ministry.
In Iraq, police answer to the Interior Ministry, while the Iraqi military answers to the Ministry of Defense.
While the U.S. military would not confirm the condition in which they found the detainees, Iraqi police said they had been tortured. Kamal confirmed that human rights abuses had taken place and that the facility was run by the Interior Ministry's Special Investigation Unit.
"I saw signs of physical abuse by brutal beating -- one or two of the detainees were paralyzed and had their skin peeled off various parts of the body," he told CNN Tuesday.
Kamal said the building housed 161 detainees.
Al-Hashimi said the presence of the facility was not entirely a surprise -- it was merely "the missing link" in what he said was a series of arrests of Sunnis that ended with either a missing person report or a body.
"When I talked to minister of the interior, I told him many times I have a list of missing detainees," he said. "He said I could go and check the prisons, and he ... told me about four or five official prisons."
"I sent my staff to go and check the prisons," al-Hashimi said. "At the end of the day, I didn't discover those detainees. So it gave me the impression that there are hidden and secret camps in fact being again directed and managed by Ministry of Interior, but no one knows about them."
Al-Hashimi called for Jabr's immediate replacement and said he feared there were more such facilities.
"I am sure that there are many other secret camps being used by Ministry of the Interior, and we have to move very quickly, make this survey and try to announce to the Iraqi people," he said.
"Whoever might have some sort of information about these secret camps should present it to a reliable source and try to gather this information and pass it to the American troops or whoever will now manage the file of this case."
Copyright 2005 CNN. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Associated Press contributed to this report.

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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!