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Iraq

Thu Nov 17 2005 Torture in Iraqi Jails
A composite undated picture made available Thursday, Nov. 17, 2005 by the Iraqi Islamic Party, shows On November 13th repeated enquiries by parents of a missing teenager resulted in US forces raiding a building in Baghdad that turned out top be a secret jail run by Iraqi security forces. Witnesses said many of the 169 men and youths found inside were emaciated and looked like "Holocaust survivors". Some had suffered beatings so severe that their skin had peeled off, "because of the appalling overcrowding, some of the most badly treated were squashed on to floors and their skins got stuck to the floor." Three men had been kept locked in a cupboard where they could not move while the rest were packed, blindfolded, into three rooms nine feet long and 11 feet wide. Instruments of torture and beating were found hidden in a false ceiling. Hussein Kamal, the deputy interior minister, told journalists after visiting the scene: “I’ve never seen such a situation like this during the last two years in Baghdad. This is the worst. I saw signs of physical abuse by brutal beating, one or two detainees were paralysed and some had their skin peeled off various parts of their bodies.”
Leading Sunni politicians are demanding an international inquiry. They claim such abuse was regularly carried out by paramilitaries connected to the government and accuse US forces of giving it "the green light". " "According to our knowledge, regrettably, all the detainees were Sunnis," Mohsen Abdul-Hamid, head of the Iraqi Islamic Party, told the Associated Press news agency. "In order to search for a terrorist, they used to detain hundreds of innocent people and torture them brutally." "We insist on having an international investigation," Islamic Party spokesman Alaa Makki told AFP. "There have been similar cases in the past and investigations into them led to nothing," said another party spokesman, Ayad Samarrai. The UN's top human rights official has also called for an international probe into the conditions for detainees in Iraq.
Torture centre discovered in Baghdad | State denial adds insult to torture victims’ injuries | Baghdad Burning: House of Horrors... | Juan Cole: The Skin is Peeling off the New Iraq | Juan Cole: Iraqi Prisoner Abuse | Stirring memories of a bygone era

The use of torture in Iraq has not been limited to Iraqi militia members. A former U.S. Army interrogator recently described to Democracy Now his use of harsh interrogation techniques on prisoners including dogs, sleep deprivation, prolonged isolation and dietary manipulation. The US Army is also investigating whether U.S. soldiers put Iraqis in a lion cage to scare them into giving information and a senior United Nations official has accused US-led coalition troops of depriving Iraqi civilians of food and water in breach of humanitarian law. While Bush recently claimed that "We don’t torture", Cheney hs been trying to pressure senators into exempting the CIA from a proposed amendment that would ban “cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment” of prisoners in US custody. Proof that US soliders have engaged in torture was made clear in 2004 when photos were leaked of abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison.
Cheney's Torture Policy | Can The CIA Legally Kill a Prisoner?
Past Coverage Of Torture In Iraq: US Charged With War Crimes | Pictures Emerge Of US And UK Torture Of Prisoners

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