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30. Dezember 2005
GUANTANAMO / USA
seit weihnachten sind 84 menschen in guantanamo im hungerstreik, 32 werden zur zeit zwangsernährt. laut den us behörden hätten sich 46 dem seit 5 monate andauernden hungerstreik angeschlossen.
US reports surge in Guantanamo hunger strike
The number of Guantanamo Bay prisoners taking part in a hunger strike that began nearly five months ago has surged to 84 since Christmas Day, the U.S. military said on Thursday.
Forty-six detainees at the prison for foreign terrorism suspects at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, joined the protest on the Christian holiday on Sunday, said Army Lt. Col. Jeremy Martin, a military spokesman.
The prisoner population, which the Pentagon says numbers about 500, is believed to be uniformly Muslim. Only nine have been charged with any crime.
"There's been a significant increase in the number that have been added to the hunger strike," Martin said by telephone from Guantanamo.
Lawyers for some of the detainees call the strike a protest of jail conditions and prisoners' lack of legal rights. The military has denied allegations of torturing detainees.
Medical personnel were force-feeding 32 of the hunger strikers with plastic tubes inserted into the stomach through the nose, the military said. Asked the purpose of the force-feeding, Martin said, "Because our policy is to preserve life."
Military officials define a hunger striker as a detainee who has refused nine straight meals, and often refer to the strike as a "voluntary fast" and force-feeding as "enteral feeding."
The detainees began the strike in early August after the military reneged on promises to bring the prison into compliance with the Geneva Conventions, their lawyers said. Detainees are willing to starve to death to demand humane treatment and a fair hearing on whether they must stay, the lawyers said.
Most of the detainees were captured in Afghanistan and have been held for nearly four years.
Amnesty International official Jumana Musa said this week's surge illustrates the strike's seriousness.
"You are talking about a prison population of hundreds who have decided that with no conceivable change in their future that they just don't care to live anymore, or they are going to make a statement in dying," Musa said.
Joshua Colangelo-Bryan, a lawyer for three detainees including Bahraini striker Isa Almurbati, said, "Isa told me that he will end the hunger strike when he is sent home. His philosophy is that he should be sent home or allowed to die because the idea of spending the rest of his life at Guantanamo without any due process is simply unbearable."
In a statement, the military said a hunger strike "is consistent with al Qaeda training and reflects detainee attempts to elicit media attention and bring pressure on the United States government to release them."
Martin said the peak participation in the strike was on September 11, the fourth anniversary of the attacks on America orchestrated by the al Qaeda network, with 131 detainees taking part. Human rights lawyers have estimated at least 200 detainees were participating at the peak.
"Enemy combatants on voluntary fast are closely monitored by medical professionals, receive excellent medical care, and when required, the appropriate amount of daily nutrition and hydration through enteral feeding," the statement said.
In an October court filing, Julia Tarver, a lawyer for detainees, said U.S. personnel violently shoved tubes through the men's noses and into their stomachs without anesthesia or sedatives. "When they vomited up blood, the soldiers mocked and cursed at them, and taunted them with statements like 'look what your religion has brought you,"' Tarver wrote.
Martin said called "totally false and baseless" allegations of deliberately inflicting suffering in this feeding process.
19. Dezember 2005
"Viele haben Verstand verloren"
Folter im CIA-Gefängnis?
Die USA haben nach Informationen einer amerikanischen Menschenrechtsorganisation bis zum vergangenen Jahr in einem geheimen Gefängnis bei Kabul Gefangene gefoltert. Die Häftlinge seien tagelang in dunkle Verließe gekettet und lauter Musik ausgesetzt worden, berichtete Human Rights Watch am Montag. Sie habe die Informationen von den Anwälten Gefangener erhalten und stufe sie als "ausreichend glaubwürdig ein", sagte der Terrorismusexperte der Organisation, John Sifton.
US-Vizepräsident Dick Cheney dementierte unterdessen Vorwürfe, die USA griffen auf Folter zurück. In einem Interview des US-Fernsehsenders ABC sagte er, die USA hielten sich an ihre Verpflichtungen, nicht zu foltern. Cheney äußerte sich nicht direkt zu dem Bericht von Human Rights Watch, sondern zur Fragen über eine Gesetzesinitiative gegen Folter im Kongress.
Human Rights Watch zufolge wurden Gefangene in dem Gefängnis in absoluter Dunkelheit gehalten. Deswegen sei das mutmaßlich vom Geheimdienst CIA betriebene Gefängnis von den Häftlingen "Dunkles Gefängnis" genannt worden. Die amerikanischen und afghanischen Aufseher hätten Zivilkleidung getragen, was auf eine Beteiligung der CIA hindeute.
In dem Bericht zitiert die Organisation einen ehemaligen Gefangenen, Benyam Mohammad. Der in Äthiopien geborene Brite war nach eigenen Angaben auch in Guantanamo auf Kuba inhaftiert gewesen. In dem afghanischen Gefängnis sei er 2004 gewesen. "Es war pechschwarz, kein Licht in den Räumen die meiste Zeit", berichtete er seinem Anwalt. "Sie haben mich aufgehängt. Am zweiten erlaubten sie mir, ein paar Stunden zu schlafen, dann hingen sie mich wieder auf - diesmal für zwei Tage." Er sei gezwungen worden, 20 Tage lang laute Musik der Rapper Eminem und Dr. Dre zu hören. Dann sei die Musik von "schrecklichem Gespenstergelächter und Halloween-Geräuschen" ersetzt worden. "Die CIA hat Leute, einschließlich mich, Tag und Nacht bearbeitet", wurde Mohammad weiter zitiert. "Viele haben den Verstand verloren. Ich konnte hören, wie sie ihren Kopf gegen Wand und Türen schlugen und sich die Seele aus dem Leib schrien."
Sifton sagte, man spreche jetzt nicht mehr abstrakt über Folter. "US-Personal könnte strafrechtlich verantwortlich sein, und ein Sonderermittler ist erforderlich." Über ein geheimes CIA-Gefängnis in Afghanistan hat auch Khaled el Masri, ein Deutscher libanesischer Abstammung, berichtet. Er ist nach eigenen Angaben vom CIA in Mazedonien entführt und nach Afghanistan verschleppt worden. Dort sei er in einem Gefängnis misshandelt worden, bevor er im Mai 2004 in Albanien freigelassen worden sei.
Afghanistan: CIA foltert mit Eminem und Dr. Dre
21. Dezember 2005
Wie die Menschenrechts-Organisation Human Rights Watch berichtet, unterhalten die USA in geheimes Gefängis in Afghanistan. Dort werden Häftlinge mit Schlafentzug, Schlägen und lauter Musik von Eminem gefoltert.
Kabul (bin) - In vielen Ländern steht das Foltern von Gefangenen auf der Verbotsliste. Die USA erklärten sich mit diesem Grundsatz einverstanden, indem sie ihre Unterschrift unter die Anti-Folter-Konvention und den internationalen Pakt für bürgerliche und politische Rechte setzen. Doch nach Berichten über geheime Folter-Lager in Polen schwindet das Vertrauen in die Glaubwürdigkeit der Vereinigten Staaten. Nun fand eine Menschenrechtsorganisation heraus, dass die USA anscheinend auch ein geheimes Gefängnis in der Nähe von Kabul unterhalten haben. Auch in Afghanistan ist Folter illegal. Doch hier wurden die Gefangenen auf Übelste misshandelt und mit Foltermethoden in den Wahnsinn getrieben.
Ihre Informationen bezieht Human Rights Watch über die Anwälte von ehemaligen Gefangenen des Foltergefängnisses. Die acht Häftlinge beschreiben die Anstalt als "Dark Prison". Ihre Geschichten verursachen Gänsehaut: Benyam Mohammad aus Äthiopien hing in seiner lichtlosen Zelle im Gefängnis von Guantánamo mehrere Tage an der Wand. Die Ketten ließen ihn nicht schlafen und seine Beine anschwellen. Ganze 20 Tage lief laute Musik, meist "Slim Shady" und Songs von Dr. Dre. Zudem schilderte er seinem Anwalt den Zustand seiner Mithäftlinge: "Viele verloren den Verstand. Ich konnte hören, wie Leute ihren Kopf gegen die Wände und Türen schlugen und sich die Seele aus dem Leibe brüllten."
Alle "Dark Prison"-Insassen berichten übereinstimmend von totaler Dunkelheit, Schlafentzug, mangelhafter Ernährung und stetigem Lärm durch Heavy Metal oder Rap-Musik. Die anwesenden Beamten, die bei den Verhörungen oft zuschlugen, seien nicht uniformiert gewesen. Die Organisation HRW vermutet deswegen, dass das Gefängnis von der CIA betrieben worden war.
Die Gefangenen geben an, dass sie im Zeitraum von 2002 bis 2004 in Guantánamo festgehalten wurden, allerdings nie länger als sechs Wochen. Sie stammen alle aus verschieden Ländern und werden von verschiedenen Anwälten vertreten. Momentan befinden sie sich in der Hauptstrafanstalt des US-Militärs in der Nähe von Bagram, in das viele ehemalige Insassen des "Dark Prison" nach seiner vermuteten Schließung 2004 gebracht worden sein sollen.
Für Human Rights Watch sind ihre Angaben und Schilderungen glaubhaft genug, um eine offizielle Untersuchung zu veranlassen. Es wäre auch nicht das erste Mal, dass 'populäre' Musik zu Folterzwecken eingesetzt wird. 2003 beschallte die US-Armee gefangen genommene Iraker mit lauter, harter Musik von Bands wie Metallica oder Drowning Pool, um Getreue des gestürzten Diktators Saddam Hussein zum Reden zu bringen.
Die in Afghanistan stationierten amerikanischen Militärs verweigerten gegenüber der New York Times jegliche Stellungnahme zu den Berichten der Gefangenen. Auch afghanische Beamte gaben an, nichts über das geheime Gefängnis zu wissen.
U.S. Operated Secret ‘Dark Prison’ in Kabul
December 19, 2005
(New York, December 19, 2005) – Accounts from detainees at Guantánamo reveal that the United States as recently as last year operated a secret prison in Afghanistan where detainees were subjected to torture and other mistreatment, Human Rights Watch said today.Eight detainees now held at Guantánamo described to their attorneys how they were held at a facility near Kabul at various times between 2002 and 2004. The detainees, who called the facility the “dark prison” or “prison of darkness,” said they were chained to walls, deprived of food and drinking water, and kept in total darkness with loud rap, heavy metal music, or other sounds blared for weeks at a time.
The detainees offer consistent accounts about the facility, saying that U.S. and Afghan guards were not in uniform and that U.S. interrogators did not wear military attire, which suggests that the prison may have been operated by personnel from the Central Intelligence Agency.
The detainees said U.S. interrogators slapped or punched them during interrogations. They described being held in complete darkness for weeks on end, shackled to rings bolted into the walls of their cells, with loud music or other sounds played continuously. Some detainees said they were shackled in a manner that made it impossible to lie down or sleep, with restraints that caused their hands and wrists to swell up or bruise. The detainees said they were deprived of food for days at a time, and given only filthy water to drink.The detainees also said that they were held incommunicado and never visited by representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross or other independent officials.
“The U.S. government must shed some light on Kabul’s ‘dark prison,’” said John Sifton, terrorism and counterterrorism researcher at Human Rights Watch. “No one, no matter their alleged crime, should be held in secret prisons or subjected to torture.”
The detainees’ allegations were communicated to Human Rights Watch by their attorneys and are contained in attorneys’ contemporaneous notes. Human Rights Watch was unable to interview the detainees directly, since the United States has not allowed human rights organizations to visit detainees at Guantánamo or other detention sites abroad. However, Human Rights Watch believes that the detainees’ allegations are sufficiently credible to warrant an official investigation. The detainees are of different nationalities and have different attorneys. None claimed to have been detained at the secret facility for more than six weeks at a time, and did not otherwise make extraordinary claims.
Most of the detainees said they were arrested in other countries in Asia and the Middle East, and then flown to Afghanistan. Detainees who arrived by airplane said they were driven about five minutes from a landing field to the prison. Afghan guards told some of them that the facility was located near Kabul. Some detainees who were kept at the facility were transferred at various times to and from another secret facility near Kabul. The detainees said they were later transferred to the main U.S. military detention facility near Bagram, where many other Guantánamo detainees say they were initially held.
Human Rights Watch said that the “dark prison” may have been closed after several detainees were transferred to the Bagram facility in late 2004.
M.Z., a detainee arrested in another country in 2002 (name and identifying details withheld at his attorney’s request), said he was held at the “prison of darkness” for about four weeks. He says he was sent to “an underground place, very dark” where there was “loud music” playing continuously. He said he was held in solitary confinement, where it was “pitch black... no light.” M.Z. said that when he was interrogated he was taken to a room with a strobe light, and shackled to a ring on the floor. During the interrogations, he says, an interrogator threatened him with rape.
Benyam Mohammad, an Ethiopian-born Guantánamo detainee who grew up in Britain, said he was held at the “dark prison” in 2004 and described his experience to his attorney in English:
It was pitch black no lights on in the rooms for most of the time.... They hung me up. I was allowed a few hours of sleep on the second day, then hung up again, this time for two days. My legs had swollen. My wrists and hands had gone numb.... There was loud music, [Eminem’s] “Slim Shady” and Dr. Dre for 20 days.... [Then] they changed the sounds to horrible ghost laughter and Halloween sounds. [At one point, I was] chained to the rails for a fortnight.... The CIA worked on people, including me, day and night.... Plenty lost their minds. I could hear people knocking their heads against the walls and the doors, screaming their heads off.
J.K., another detainee (name withheld at attorney’s request), also alleged that he had been held in the dark, shackled to the wall and subjected to weeks of sleep deprivation and constant loud music and noise, as well as being beaten during interrogations. “People were screaming in pain and crying all the time,” he told his attorney.
Abd al-Salam Ali al-Hila, a Yemeni whose arrest and transfer to Afghanistan was previously documented by Human Rights Watch Guantanamo: New “Reverse Rendition” Case, said he was kept at the “dark prison” at various times in 2003. He told his lawyers he had been chained to the wall, kept in almost constant darkness, and subjected to sleep deprivation and constant noise.
Similarly, attorneys for Hassin Bin Attash, Jamil el Banna and Bisher al Rawi, three other detainees who said they were previously held at the “dark prison,” said their clients made allegations about constant darkness, shackling, sleep deprivation, inadequate food and water, and beatings during interrogations. One other detainee provided similar information through his attorney, who requested that the client’s name and nationality be kept confidential.
On November 18, [ ABC News reported that several CIA officials told ABC that the CIA had operated a secret facility in Kabul, and voiced concerns about interrogations there. The CIA officials, who requested anonymity from ABC, said that CIA officials authorized six techniques for use against detainees with “high-level” intelligence value, including long-term sleep deprivation, exposure to cold for more than 40 hours, and “waterboarding,” in which interrogators poured water over the detainee’s face until he believed he would suffocate or drown. The officials told ABC that the CIA had authorized these techniques in March 2002 and that they were used at the Kabul facility and elsewhere.
The accounts given by the Guantánamo detainees about the Kabul facility are also consistent with stories told by four detainees, who in July escaped from U.S. military custody at Bagram, on a videotape obtained by ABC News and Al-Arabiya. On the videotape, the detainees said they were held at “the dark prison” before being sent to Bagram, and describe being subjected to loud music and total darkness, as well as physical abuse.
Human Rights Watch has previously identified 26 “disappeared” persons believed to be held in secret facilities operated or used by the U.S. A “disappearance” is an unlawful detention in which the detaining authorities deny holding the person or refuse to disclose his or her whereabouts. Human Rights Watch said today that the U.S. may have used the facility near Kabul to hold “disappeared” detainees at various times.
Human Rights Watch said that the alleged torture and other mistreatment of detainees, if proven, would amount to serious violations of U.S. criminal law, such as the War Crimes Act and the Anti-Torture Statute, as well as the laws of Afghanistan. The mistreatment of detainees also violates the Convention against Torture and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, both of which the United States has ratified, and the laws of war. [
Summary of International and U.S. Law Prohibiting Torture and Other Ill-treatment of Persons in Custody
Human Rights Watch has long called for a special prosecutor to investigate alleged mistreatment of detainees in U.S. detention facilities abroad.“We’re not talking about torture in the abstract, but the real thing,” said Sifton. “U.S. personnel and officials may be criminally liable, and a special prosecutor is needed to investigate.”Human Rights Watch called on the United States to move “disappeared” persons into known detention facilities, articulate the legal basis under which detainees are held, and allow access to all detainees by independent monitors.“It’s time for the Bush administration to shut the secret prisons and stop holding people illegally,” said Sifton.
14. Dezember 2005
GUANTANAMO / USA
Sofern sie noch leben
In Zusammenarbeit mit US-Behörden haben deutsche Stellen den verschleppten Bremer Murat Kurnaz im US-Lager Guantánamo verhört und ihn anschließend seinen Folterern überlassen. Dies ergeben Recherchen von german-foreign-policy.com. Der 23jährige befindet sich seit vier Jahren in den Händen der US-Behörden. Er ist ohne Rechtsbeistand der Bundesrepublik, aber wurde von deutschen Stellen in dem Folterlager Guantánamo Vernehmungen ausgesetzt. Murat Kurnaz hat bestätigt, "dass er von Deutschen vernommen worden ist", berichtet sein Rechtsanwalt Bernhard Docke im Gespräch mit dieser Redaktion. Auch die Bundesbürger Khaled el-Masri (aus Ulm) und Haydar Zammar (aus Hamburg) wurden an den Orten ihrer Folterhaft von Deutschen ausgefragt. Damit vervollständigt sich das Bild einer systematischen Kooperation deutscher Sicherheits- und Geheimdienstkreise mit dem CIA-Netzwerk, das wegen Menschenraub und Folterverbrechen unter internationaler Anklage steht. Die Zusammenarbeit reicht von der Bereitstellung von Infrastruktur für Gefangenentransporte bis zu geheimdienstlichem Informationsaustausch. Dabei werden auch unter Folter erpresste Aussagen verwertet. Verantwortlich sind mehrere Minister der vorigen sowie der gegenwärtigen Bundesregierung, gegen die Anzeigen wegen Beihilfe und schwerem Verfassungsbruch anhängig sind.
[ Full Article / german-foreign-policy.com
31 Oktober 2005
GUANTANAMO / USA
eine bundesrichterin hat angeordnet das die medizinischen akten / berichte von gefangenen in guantanamo den verteidiger zur einsicht gegeben werden müssen. Bisher waren diese geheim. Auch müssen die anwälte zukünftig 24 stunden vor dem zwangsernähren eines gefangenen informiert werden.
die richterin hatte eine weitere forderung der anwälte, einen regelmäßigem telefonkontakt mit ihren klienten, abgelehnt.
Die bundesregierung kann gegen diese entscheidung widerspruch einlegen.
US judge orders release of Guantánamo hunger strikers' medical records
A federal judge ruled on October 26 that the Bush administration and the US military must provide information to defense attorneys about the conditions of detainees in Guantánamo Bay. The lawyers are representing detainees from Qatar, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan who have been participating in a hunger strike for more than three months to protest their incarceration and treatment at the US detention camp.
Federal District Judge Gladys Kessler ordered the US military to release to lawyers the medical records of the prisoners they are representing—records that are currently classified. The government must also notify a lawyer representing a detainee within 24 hours of a force-feeding by Guantánamo authorities, a brutal practice that is prohibited by international medical standards and has been denounced by civil liberties advocates. Kessler rejected another demand by the attorneys that they be put in regular telephone contact with their clients. The US government may appeal the judge’s decision.
Julia Tarver, an attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights who recently visited the hunger strikers, found that the medical practice of force-feeding has become a new form of torture at Guantánamo Bay. Many of the strikers had trouble speaking to her because of throat lesions caused by having finger-width feeding tubes shoved through their noses.
A 2004 Supreme Court ruling permits lawyers to travel to Cuba to meet their detainees in person. Before that, lawyers had no contact whatsoever with the inmates. Lawyers still may not make contact with their clients in writing or over the phone, and all information regarding the reasons for the detainees’ incarceration, as well as any statements made by the detainees themselves, are withheld as classified.
In an interview with “Democracy Now!,” Tarver delivered a chilling account of her recent visit. “What we found is that the situation at Guantánamo has deteriorated drastically, even since our previous visit at the end of July. The level of hopelessness in the camp has reached a point where our clients are literally vowing they have no other choice but to die. The treatment they are receiving from the guards and the medical staff at Guantánamo is very, very disturbing.... [T]he guards and the medical staff are using intervention, medical intervention, to actually inflict forms of torture on our clients.”
Multiple detainees reported to Tarver the same behavior on the part of the military personnel. Feeding tubes were moved from one detainee to another without any sanitization, “with the bile and the blood still on the tube from the previous detainee,” according to Tarver.
She said that she was told that “no doctor was present” for many of these incidents, which sometimes simply consisted of “six men holding one client down while someone inserts a tube up their nose and into their stomach.”
Guards also routinely taunt the gravely ill hunger strikers. “This is what your religion has brought you,” the soldiers jeer, and prevent the detainees from sleeping. “We had independent interviews with more than one client, who had had no way to contact each other in between, who told us precisely the same horrific tales,” Tarver said.
According to an October 27 article in the New York Times, detainee Yousef Al-Shehri reported that a feeding tube had been so roughly inserted into his throat through his nose that he spat up blood.
The US military has denied that the force-feeding is being used to intentionally inflect pain on the detainees. Dr. John Edmondson, who administrates the medical facility at Guantánamo, contends that anesthetic and lubricants are always used, and that only doctors and nurses had been involved in the force-feeding.
Even if these assertions were accepted, the practice of force-feeding in this situation is expressly forbidden by international medical standards. Article 5 of the 1975 Tokyo Declaration of World Medical Association, which has been accepted by the American Medical Association, instructs doctors that if a prisoner goes on a hunger strike to protest torture and abuse, it is the doctor’s responsibility not to intervene in the hunger strike by force-feeding the prisoner, thereby readying the prisoner for more torture.
According to the Center for Constitutional Rights, about 200 prisoners have been involved in the rolling hunger strike, which has been coordinated across multiple complexes with some prisoners refusing food for as many as 60 days (See “Guantánamo Bay hunger strike enters third month”).
The Guantánamo detainees are protesting widespread torture and humiliation, religious persecution, sexual abuse, lack of shelter, and the denial of their most basic legal rights. The victims’ families have often not heard from their loved ones since they were first swept up in Afghanistan and other locations and carried away by US soldiers.
Most of the detainees were taken into US custody in early 2002, and have spent almost four years at Guantánamo without any criminal charges being brought against them, and without any of the basic rights and protections guaranteed to prisoners of war by the Geneva Conventions. There are no court dates set for any of the prisoners. Flouting its disregard for international law, the Bush administration has coined the phrase “enemy combatant” in an attempt to create new legal circumstances whereby detainees can be denied their most basic democratic rights.
20. oktober 2005
berichte über den hungerstreik , der am 8. august begann und an dem sich etwa 150 männer beteiligen. ( die regierung spricht mal von 101 oder 110 männer im hungerstreik)
Wieviele bisher zwangsernährt wurde ist nicht genau bekannt ( 20 / 50 sind die zahlen die in den meisten artikel erwähnt werden) , aber das die zwangsernährung sehr brutal durchgeführt werden, konnten einige anwälte berichten. Danach wird den männern die fingerdicken schläuche ohne betäubung in die nasen geschoben / gerammt.
Guantánamo Bay hunger strike enters third month
The latest in a series of increasingly determined hunger strikes by Guantánamo prisoners entered its third month last week. The protest began on August 8 and has involved over 150 men, or more than a third of all detainees in the US navy prison.
The detainees, who are held without charge, are demanding their basic legal rights under the Geneva Conventions. They want adequate food and shelter, clean water, the right to challenge their incarceration before an independent commission—not the Pentagon’s kangaroo court style panels—and an end to the ongoing physical and psychological abuse and to religious persecution. They have vowed to fast until death if their demands are not met.
In line with White House policy, the Pentagon has refused to provide any detailed information on the protest, while repeating the lie that prisoners are being treated “humanely”. Last week Captain John Edmondson, head of the Guantánamo prison hospital, claimed that “no lives were at risk” and that some of those involved in hunger strike were just trying “to get attention”.
But according to Amnesty International and human rights lawyer Clive Stafford Smith, who is representing 42 of the hunger strikers, 21 have been admitted to hospital and are being force-fed through nasal catheters. The emaciated prisoners are shackled to their beds to stop them removing the tubes.
Stafford Smith told the BBC “Evening News” on September 9 that one of the reasons for the latest hunger strike was the ongoing incarceration of children in Guantánamo. He reported that an estimated 20 children were being held in the prison, including some in solitary confinement.
While the International Committee of the Red Cross and other human rights organisations have warned that the hunger strikers face irreparable damage or death, there has been little media coverage of the desperate protest and its consequences.
The latest fast was preceded by an almost month-long protest, beginning on 21 June with a coordinated hunger strike in all five camps at Guantánamo. Almost 200 prisoners participated with some detainees refusing food for 26 days. Military authorities are reported to have force-fed over 50 men intravenously.
News of this previous hunger strike was not made public until weeks later when the Pentagon declassified testimony given by prisoners to their defence attorneys. Under US military guidelines, all notes of defence attorney-client conversations must be submitted to a Virginia military intelligence office, which then decides whether they can be released or their contents publicly discussed.
Hand-written testimony by Omar Deghayes, a 35-year-old British resident, gives some indication of the situation facing prisoners. He described incarceration in Guantánamo as a “slow death”, where “disrespect to all religious rituals” prevailed, prisoners were “degraded and abused” and there was no proper access to medicine, washing facilities or sunlight.
Deghayes, who studied law in Britain, has been the target of regular abuse during his almost four-year incarceration. He reported that in 2003 prison guards entered his cell “singing and laughing” before spraying him with mace and digging their fingers into his eyes while an officer shouted “More! More”. He was assaulted because he had refused to submit to a rectal search and has been blind in his right eye since the attack.
Reporting on the third week of the June hunger strike, he wrote that the cellblocks echoed with the sound of groaning “thinned-down prisoners coughing up blood or falling unconscious on the floor”. Deghayes said the prison hospital was so “inundated with hunger strikers” that many of the fasting detainees had to be moved to the adjoining naval hospital, where they were force-fed.
The men ended their protest on July 28, after Guantánamo military chiefs agreed to the establishment of a prisoners’ representative committee comprised of six detainees from each jail block. They also pledged that the Guantánamo detention centre would comply with the Geneva Conventions within 10 days. The prisoners were told that Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had endorsed this agreement.
But this promise was never implemented and as soon as media coverage died down, the abuse resumed, with sexual humiliation and the severe beating of several prisoners by the military’s Extreme Reaction Force. When prisoners began the current hunger strike on August 8, Guantánamo commanders immediately placed members of the prisoners’ representative committee in solitary confinement.
In a written statement released through his lawyer, Ethiopian-born British resident Binyam Mohammed said he and scores of other prisoners would fast until death, unless awarded their basic rights. The 27-year-old, who has not been charged with any crime, was arrested in Pakistan in July 2002 and then “rendered” to Morocco where he was tortured for 18 months. He was moved to Afghanistan and then Guantánamo in early 2004.
He declared: “Bobby Sands petitioned the British government to stop the illegitimate internment of Irishmen without trial. He had the courage of his convictions and he starved himself to death. Nobody should believe for one moment that my brothers here have less courage...
“We ask only for justice; treat us, as promised under the rules of the Geneva Conventions for Civilian Prisoners while we are held, and either try us fairly for a valid criminal charge or set us free.”
In contrast to the Guantánamo detainees, Irish prisoners involved in the 1981 hunger strike were allowed legal, family and medical visits. The Pentagon, however, refuses to allow any family members or even independent doctors to visit or telephone the Guantánamo hunger strikers. Moreover, the handful of defence attorneys permitted to visit the protesting prisoners were only able to do so after launching emergency legal action in US courts on August 30.
Last Friday, defence attorneys petitioned a US federal court to demand military records of prisoners’ medical treatments, meal schedules, punishment and hospitalisation during the current and all previous hunger strike protests
A detailed report issued last month by the Center for Constitutional Rights (see link below) details the ongoing prisoner resistance to the concentration-camp conditions inside the US military hellhole.Organised dissent, including hunger strikes and other self-harm protests, began in early 2002, not long after the US started incarcerating so-called “illegal combatants” from Afghanistan, Pakistan and other countries in Guantánamo, and has been escalating over the past three and a half years.
The first hunger strike started in February 2002 and developed into a rolling fast, which involved over 190 prisoners and continued until May 2002. Several prisoners refused food continuously for over 60 days until they were admitted to hospital and forced fed.In December 2002, detainees began another hunger strike and a coordinated suicide attempt. Eight months later, in August 2003, 23 prisoners tried to hang themselves during an eight-day period. The Pentagon claimed these suicide attempts were not serious and labeled them “manipulative, self-injurious behavior”.
These protests were in response to interrogation methods introduced when Major General Geoffrey Miller was appointed Guantánamo chief in late 2002. These techniques included systematic physical and psychological abuse, sexual persecution and the use of dogs to terrorise detainees, which were applied at Abu Ghraib prison after Miller was transferred to Iraq.The fact that scores of detainees are now prepared to starve themselves to death rather than submit to the cruel and inhuman conditions at Guantánamo is another damning refutation of White House claims that its so-called “war on terrorism” is in “defence of democracy” and further evidence that the Bush administration is guilty of war crimes.
[ The Guantánamo Prisoner Hunger Strikes and Protests: February 2002—August 2005 by the Center for Constitutional Rights can be downloaded here
[ Bush White House declares torture vital to US security policy
[7 October 2005]
[ US rights group calls for criminal probe of Rumsfeld
[27 April 2005]
15. oktober 2005
Guantanamo medics accused of abusive force-feeding
Detainees' lawyers go before judge
US military medics have attempted to dissuade Guantanamo Bay detainees from continuing a hunger strike by forcing finger-thick feeding tubes through their noses without painkillers, lawyers for the detainees told a federal judge yesterday.
Military medics have also recycled dirty feeding tubes used on other prisoners, the lawyers claimed, relaying what they were told by their clients. Calling the alleged practices abusive, the attorneys asked US District Judge Gladys Kessler to order the military to turn over their clients' medical records and to allow an outside doctor to examine the detainees.
Terry Henry, an attorney for the Bush administration, called the allegations ''outrageous." He argued that the doctors at the base provide excellent care to the prisoners, saying the allegations ''should be seen as story-telling, exaggerations, misunderstandings, or miscomprehensions of what is going on."
But Kessler was skeptical, saying she found the accounts ''extraordinarily disturbing."
''The allegations are very serious and certainly describe treatment that is needlessly painful, abusive, and extremely inappropriate in terms of needlessly causing further deterioration to the mental condition of the detainees," the judge said, ordering the government to respond in writing to the allegations by the middle of next week.
The abusive force-feeding claims revived attention to the issue of the medical ethics of US military doctors serving in the war on terrorism. The New England Journal of Medicine has run articles criticizing military doctors for allegedly having allowed interrogators to read prisoners' medical records and for helping interrogators determine the detainees' physical and psychological vulnerabilities.
Arthur Caplan, director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania, said yesterday that, if it is true that Guantanamo medics have used unnecessarily harsh feeding tube techniques to punish prisoners on the hunger strike, then they have committed ''a grave violation of medical ethics."
''Medicine is supposed to remain neutral," Caplan said. ''When you start to become complicit in efforts to break resistance using medical expertise that should be there simply to protect the health of people, you're headed down the wrong track."
Henry said 24 prisoners at Guantanamo remain on a hunger strike, down from 107 at its height. Seven are hospitalized, and many of the rest, who are being held in a special cellblock, are also being forcibly fed to keep them alive. The detainees have been refusing to eat or drink since Aug. 8 in order to protest their continued detention without trials.
Their hunger strike had prompted renewed interest in the military's medical practices at Guantanamo. The International Committee for the Red Cross sent an investigative team with a doctor from Switzerland to the base this week, Red Cross spokesman Simon Schorno said yesterday. He declined to disclose their findings, citing Red Cross policy.
In addition, the American Medical Association said yesterday that it is working with the military to send representatives to the base in the next few weeks.
Other groups, including Physicians for Human Rights, have argued that it is unethical for a doctor to force-feed a Guantanamo detainee who has chosen not to eat, citing international medical standards that call for respecting a patient's autonomy. The antiforce-feeding standard is endorsed by the American Medical Association.
But lawyers for the detainees said yesterday that they have no quarrel with force-feeding prisoners ''in a humane and a medically appropriate manner" because their clients are in a deep depression.
''We do not believe that, in the situation they're in, they're competent to make the decision to terminate their lives," said attorney Julia Tarver, who recently visited several Saudi detainees who are refusing to eat or drink.
Lawyers for the government and the detainees also sparred over whether it is standard medical practice for a doctor to administer a painkiller in order to reduce the trauma of forcibly inserting the feeding tube. Both sides indicated that the medics gave no such treatment to the detainees.
Zahid Bajwa, a Harvard Medical School professor who directs clinical pain research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, said the detainee lawyers are correct. Even under the best of conditions, he said, physicians would always use a local anesthetic or a sedative to reduce the pain of inserting a feeding tube.
''It is painful," Bajwa said. ''The standard of care is pretty clear in this scenario. . . . They have to use painkillers or sedatives."
Detainee lawyers also asked Kessler yesterday to order the military to allow more frequent attorney visits, as well as phone calls with family members who would urge them to resume eating.
Henry argued that granting special privileges to the hunger strikers would be logistically difficult and would only create a perverse incentive for more hunger strikes.
15. oktober 2005
US opposes Guantanamo contacts
The US government has told a judge that terror suspects on hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, should not be allowed to speak, in person or even by telephone, with relatives and friends because of the security risks such contacts would pose. As of late Thursday, 24 detainees were rejecting food and drink, said Terry Henry, an attorney for the US Justice Department. Seven were hospitalised and being force-fed through nose-to-stomach tubes. Some of the other 17 detainees also weren't eating or drinking, but were in a special cell block and were not yet being fed against their will, he said. Julia Tarver, the lawyer for a group of 10 Saudia Arabian detainees, said 20-30 terror suspects were being force-fed. Lawyers also appeared in court on behalf of five detainees from Yemen and one from Qatar. At Guantanamo Bay, the US military holds about 500 detainees suspected of links to Usama bin Laden's al-Qaida terror network or Afghanistan's ousted Taliban regime.
The hunger strikers have pledged to starve themselves to death unless they are released or brought to trial. Their attorneys said the detainees might be persuaded by relatives or friends to resume eating and drinking. But Henry told US District Judge Gladys Kessler that a relative tried to have an attorney bring into the facility a DVD that named various people who had died or were in jail. That raised concerns about whether some message was being sent. "There are all kinds of security issues there," he said. Henry also suggested the government didn't have the resources to monitor detainee phone calls. Lawyers for the hunger strikers also are seeking more frequent access to their clients and copies of their medical records. The lawyers alleged inhumane and cruel treatment at the camp. Some of the detainees have been fasting since 8 August. Kessler, who at times sounded skeptical of both sides' arguments during questioning, adjourned the emergency hearing without saying when she would issue a decision.
6. Oktober 2005
Guantanamo hunger strike still strong, lawyers say
More than 200 prisoners remain on hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay and the U.S. military is force-feeding 21 of them, Amnesty International and a lawyer representing some of the detainees said on Thursday.
The Americans are keeping the 21 alive by forcing food into their stomachs through tubes pushed up their noses, human rights lawyer Clive Stafford Smith told a news conference.
The prisoners are shackled to their beds 24 hours a day to stop them removing the tubes, he said. "This is the 56th day of the hunger strike," said Stafford Smith before making a comparison with the Irish republican campaign of 1981, when 10 prisoners starved themselves to death in protest at British policy in Northern Ireland.
"We know from experience that the first person to die in those hunger strikes was after 46 days," he said.
Lawyers for Guantanamo prisoners say many have declined food since early August to protest what they consider their inhumane conditions and indefinite confinement without legal rights. Details of the protest are disputed.
Two weeks ago, the U.S. military put the number of hunger strikers at 36, down from 130 the previous week. It did not give a reason for the decline.
At the time, lawyers representing the detainees said 210 of the roughly 500 foreign terrorism suspects held at the naval base in Cuba were refusing food. Stafford Smith, who represents some 40 detainees, said there was no reason to believe that figure had fallen in the past two weeks.
Amnesty International said it sent a letter to British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Thursday, urging him to put pressure on the U.S. government to meet the strikers' demands. "It is absolutely basic that those demands for those men are met," said Kate Allen, director of Amnesty's UK division.
The United States opened the prison at Guantanamo in January 2002, with many of its detainees picked up in Afghanistan. Only four have been charged and many have been held more than three years. Some former prisoners have said they were tortured.
Amani Deghayes, sister of one of the British Guantanamo detainees Omar Deghayes, told the news conference her brother's decision to starve himself showed his desperation. "From what I know of my brother's personality, this is so unlike him because he loves life, he's very curious," she said. "To go on this long is not what I know of my brother."
The U.S. military says its policy at the camp is to encourage prisoners to eat and to feed them involuntarily "if they get to a condition where their life is in jeopardy." They define a hunger striker as a detainee who refuses nine straight meals. Doctors have criticized the policy, saying it contravenes international codes of medical ethics. "The notion that a qualified medical practitioner would be prepared to supervise such a procedure (as force-feeding through a tube), goes against all medical ethics, certainly in this country," said Trevor Turner, clinical director of St Bartholomew's Hospital in London.
5. oktober 2005
Lives of Guantánamo Hunger Strikers in Danger
The lives of hunger-striking prisoners continue in danger for the third consecutive week at the U.S. prison at Guantánamo Naval Base, according to inmates at the facility. The strike, involving more than 200 prisoners protesting their judicial limbo and treatment by U.S. soldiers, entered its ninth week on Monday. Consistent with reports released by Newsday magazine, the "thinned-down prisoners are coughing up blood or falling unconscious on the floor," as the facility's military hospital "is inundated with hunger strikers, who are being force-fed through nasal catheters."
According to the handwritten testimonies of a prisoner of British origin, Omar Deghayes: "We are in the throes of slow death here." Deghayes noted that most of the prisoners -- detained in the wake of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan nearly four years ago -- have yet to be charged with any crime.
The prisoner wrote in one of the reports about the strike, which he secretly handed over to his London-based lawyer, that if authorities at Guantánamo fail to do something quickly to improve conditions, "the number of prisoners on hunger strike will get out of hand."
The Pentagon admits that there were 131 inmates involved in the protest, with only 20 having to be force-fed, but it has not permitted families, independent doctors or lawyers to visit or telephone the detainees, arguing it is a national security issue.
The Doctors for Human Rights organization insists on making an independent diagnosis of the effects of the hunger strike, because the U.S. Medical Association bans feeding striking inmates by force.
More than 500 people, tagged as 'enemy combatants' -- a term used by Washington to hold them without legal assistance -- are under U.S. custody at the Guantánamo facility, a territory illegally occupied by the United States in eastern Cuba.
1. 0ktober 2005
Detainees Choose Death Over Barbarism
Hunger Strike at Gitmo
Detainees at the U.S. gulag in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, have become so desperate that many are choosing to face death.
Since August 8, as many as 210 of the more then 500 detainees at Guantánamo Bay have gone on hunger strike to protest their indefinite detention, lack of legal rights and the brutal conditions under which they are held.
The Pentagon, trying to downplay the seriousness of the situation, has said that the number participating in the strike is 105. But military officials acknowledge that at least 20 detainees, whose health has been seriously compromised, are being kept at the camp's hospital, handcuffed, with their legs restrained, while they are force-fed through nasal tubes.
Military spokesman Major Jeffrey Weir refuses to call it "force feeding," however. The Pentagon prefers the term "assisted feeding," he told the New York Times. "We will not let them starve themselves to the point of causing harm to themselves," Weir said.
But the real "harm" to detainees has come from the inhumane conditions at the gulag where prisoners of the U.S. "war on terror" are kept.
According to the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), which represents many of the detainees, the Pentagon's "concern" for the detainees doesn't extend far enough to disclose the identity of the prisoners participating in the hunger strike, or the identity of those who are hospitalized and being force-fed.
Thomas Wilner, a lawyer who represents 11 Kuwaitis detained at the camp, said government lawyers had initially told him they didn't believe any of his clients were involved. Later, the government said that three of his clients were participating. But when Wilner visited the camp in person, he found that 10 of his clients were on hunger strike. One, Abdullah al-Kandari, had not eaten for 15 days, and "was pale, bleary-eyed, disoriented, barely audible and had lost considerable weight," Wilner told the New York Times.
Detainees' desperate family members aren't being told if their loved ones are involved, either. "It is astounding that men in the custody of the U.S. military are willing to strike until they are afforded a fair hearing or starve to death," CCR attorney Gitanjali Gutierrez said in a statement. "But the most appalling aspect of the hunger strike is the [Defense Department's] refusal to share any information with the families about what is happening to their sons, husbands and fathers. It's a shocking degree of inhumanity."
Groups of Guantánamo prisoners, subject to constant surveillance under the harshest of conditions, have gone on hunger strikes repeatedly since early 2002, when a group of prisoners first refused food after a U.S. guard reportedly kicked a copy of the Koran. In August 2003, there was a mass suicide attempt, with 23 prisoners attempting to hang themselves in their cells, using clothing or other items during one eight-day period.
This latest hunger strike follows one that dozens of prisoners staged in late June and July. According to attorneys, at that time, prisoners called for "a peaceful, nonviolent strike" to press their demands for respect for their religion, "fair trials with proper legal representation," "proper human food and clean water," the right to contact loved ones, and the right to "see sunlight, and not be forced to go months without seeing daylight."
While Pentagon officials claim only 52 prisoners participated in the strike, according to the CCR, as many as 200 prisoners were going without food. At one point in July, the strike became so widespread that medics couldn't manage the need and decided to stop making regular medical calls. Some prisoners spent 26 days without food, and several had to be hospitalized.
And the response of U.S. military? Detainee Shaker Aamer--a British resident who hasn't seen his wife or four small children in more than three years--says that he was told by military personnel: "Do you think the world will ever learn of your hunger strike? We will never let them know...We care nothing if one of you dies."
Yet at the same time the hunger strike was happening, the Pentagon was conducting more than a dozen taxpayer-funded "field trips" to the prison camp for dozens of U.S. politicians. "A bipartisan mix of Republicans and Democrats from across the nation--even Miami's police chief--have gone on the Pentagon's choreographed, chaperoned day trips and come home with souvenirs," the Miami Herald reported last month.
During the tours, the politicians were allowed to glimpse only the least restrictive of the prison's five camps, and were prohibited from speaking directly to any detainees.
Back home, they sang the praises of Guantánamo. Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) lauded the military's "courtesies and professionalism." After his July trip, Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) told MSNBC, "There are some very nasty folks in there, to say the least...The people who are not compliant, who do not behave, who do not respond to any kind of interrogation and who cause a lot of trouble...They aren't getting ice cream."
In fact, human rights activists who have visited prisoners at the camp say that the vast majority suffer terrible conditions--shackled or housed in small cells for days at a time; routinely refused contact with family and lawyers; and subjected to brutal interrogations, with multiple cases of documented physical and psychological abuse.
Military officials eventually brought an end to the June-July hunger strike by promising to allow the establishment of a six-member prisoners' grievance committee to negotiate with prison officials, and to bring the prison camp into compliance with the Geneva Conventions. But the Pentagon reneged on the deal--and placed members of the prisoners' committee in isolation.
Last month, the vicious beating of several prisoners by the camp's "Extreme Reaction Force" touched off the latest hunger strike.
Detainee Binyam Mohammed explained to the CCR, "We ask only for justice: treat us, as promised, under the rules of the Geneva Conventions for Civilian Prisoners while we are held, and either try us fairly for a valid criminal charge, or set us free."
Clive Stafford Smith, a British lawyer who was visiting the camp when the most recent hunger strike began, told the New York Times that his client Omar Deghayes explained: "Look, I'm dying a slow death in this place as it is. I don't have any hope of fair treatment, so what have I got to lose?"
10. September 2005
GUANTANAMO / USA
13 der hungerstreikenden werden zwangsernährt
US military tube-feeding 13 Guantanamo detainees on hunger strike, spokesman says
The US military is tube-feeding more than a dozen detainees who are among about 90 terror suspects on hunger strike at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba, a spokesman said yesterday.
Some of the 89 striking detainees at Guantanamo have not eaten for a month, said Guantanamo detention mission spokesman Sgt Justin Behrens. The others have refused at least nine consecutive meals, he said.
Fifteen have been hospitalised and 13 of those were being fed through tubes, Behrens said in a written response to questions from The Associated Press. Medics are monitoring all 89 and checking their vital signs daily, he added.
Previously, the military has said that 76 inmates were participating in the hunger strike.
British lawyer Clive Stafford-Smith, who represents one of the hunger strikers - Briton Omar Deghayes, 36 - warned yesterday that some of the inmates were willing to starve themselves to death.
"People are desperate. They have been there three years. They were promised that the Geneva Conventions would be respected and various changes would happen and, unfortunately, the (US) government reneged on that," Stafford-Smith said.
"Sadly, it is very hard to see how a very obstinate military and a very desperate group of prisoners are ever going to come to an agreement."
Guantanamo prison spokesman Maj Jeff Weir said the military would not allow the detainees' conditions to become life-threatening.
"Basically, if you stop eating and wait several weeks or months, it is a slow form of suicide," Weir told British Broadcasting Corporation radio and television. "No detention facility in the world will deliberately let their people commit suicide, so we can't let that happen."
Weir said he did not know the reason behind the hunger strike.
"As far as their reasons for hunger striking it seems to be a myriad of different reasons that they all have, the largest one seems to be like they want to protest their continued (detention)," he said. "Their future is uncertain from a legal point of view so they are trying to find out exactly what their future entails."
The prison at Guantanamo opened in January 2002 and now holds around 520 prisoners from 40 countries; more than 230 others have been released or transferred to the custody of their home governments. Many were captured during the US war in Afghanistan after the September 11 attacks.
9. September 2005
GUANTANAMO / USA
mehr als 200 gefangene im hungerstreik
Hunger strikers pledge to die in Guantánamo
More than 200 detainees in Guantánamo Bay are in their fifth week of a hunger strike, the Guardian has been told.
Statements from prisoners in the camp which were declassified by the US government on Wednesday reveal that the men are starving themselves in protest at the conditions in the camp and at their alleged maltreatment - including desecration of the Qur'an - by American guards.
The statements, written on August 11, have just been given to the British human rights lawyer Clive Stafford Smith. They show that prisoners are determined to starve them selves to death. In one, Binyam Mohammed, a former London schoolboy, said: "I do not plan to stop until I either die or we are respected."People will definitely die. Bobby Sands petitioned the British government to stop the illegitimate internment of Irishmen without trial. He had the courage of his convictions and he starved himself to death. Nobody should believe for one moment that my brothers here have less courage."
Yesterday, Mr Stafford Smith, who represents 40 detainees at Guantánamo Bay, eight of whom are British residents, said many men had been starving themselves for more than four weeks and the situation was becoming desperate.
He said: "I am worried about the lives of my guys because they are a pretty obstinate lot and they are going to go through with this and I think they are going to end up killing themselves. The American military doesn't want anyone to know about this."
He pointed to an American army claim that only 76 prisoners at the base were refusing food, saying that they were attempting to play down what could be a political scandal if a prisoner were to die.
The hunger strike is the second since late June. The first ended after the authorities made a number of promises, including better access to books, and bottled drinking water.
The men claim that they were tricked into eating again.
In his statement, Mr Mohammed described how during the first strike men were placed on intravenous drips after refusing food for 20 days.
He said: "The administration promised that if we gave them 10 days, they would bring the prison into compliance with the Geneva conventions. They said this had been approved by Donald Rumsfeld himself in Washington DC. As a result of these promises, we agreed to end the strike on July 28.
"It is now August 11. They have betrayed our trust (again). Hisham from Tunisia was savagely beaten in his interrogation and they publicly desecrated the Qur'an (again). Saad from Kuwait was ERF'd [visited by the Extreme Reaction Force] for refusing to go (again) to interrogation because the female interrogator had sexually humiliated him (again) for 5 hours _ Therefore, the strike must begin again."
In another declassified statement, Omar Deghayes, from Brighton, said: "In July, some people took no water for many days. I was part of the strike and I am again this time. Some people were taken to hospital, and put on drip feeds, but they pulled the needles out, as they preferred to die. There were two doctors. One wanted to force feed the men, but they got legal advice saying that they could not if the men refused.
"In the end the military agreed to negotiate. We came off the strike [on July 28 2005], but we gave them two weeks, and if the changes were not implemented we would go back on strike."
Yesterday, Mr Deghayes's brother, Abubaker, pleaded with the British government to intervene on his brother's behalf. "I'm really worried. Something really needs to be done. We can't just allow people to be oppressed and tortured," he said.
Another prisoner, Jamal Kiyemba, from Battersea, south London, said in an account of the July hunger strike: "Many of the prisoners collapsed, as they would not drink water. More than 30 were hospitalised. I am in Camp IV and we joined in."
He added: "Eventually, because people were near death, the military caved and let us set up a prisoner welfare council of six prisoners."
Jamil el Banna, another British resident, described how the guards were again searching the Qur'an by hand, which they had agreed to stop.
Yesterday, representatives of George Bush's government appeared before the US court of appeal to stop legal bids on behalf of dozens of Guantánamo Bay detainees, who say they are not being afforded an opportunity to challenge their status as enemy combatants.
The Pentagon says it is holding 505 prisoners at Guantánamo Bay.
Most were captured in Afghanistan following the US invasion in October 2001 and many have been there since January 2002.
Last night a Pentagon spokesman denied that there were more than 200 hunger strikers: "There are 76 detainees doing a voluntary fast at present. There are nine detainees in hospital as a result of their hunger strike."They are listed as being in a stable condition and they are recieving nutrition."
Asked if they were being force fed, he said: "They are being held in the same standards as US prison standards... they don't allow people to kill themselves via starvation."
Guantanamo hunger strike staged
2. september 2005
Scores of detainees at the US prison camp at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba have begun a hunger strike, human rights lawyers have said.
The prisoners, many of whom have been held for more than three years without charge, are believed to be demanding an immediate trial or release.
Lawyers for the detainees say about 200 are refusing all food. Military officials put the number at 76.
A hunger strike in July ended when the Pentagon agreed to talk to inmates.
The prisoners have now restarted that action, accusing officials of reneging on their promise to negotiate, amid allegations of mistreatment.
The lawyers say one prisoner has written a will in anticipation of starving to death.
Gitanjali Gutierrez, of the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights, representing some of Guantanamo's 500 or so prisoners, said the Pentagon had denied them proper legal access.
The policy had "driven detainees to strike until they die or are afforded a fair hearing and humane treatment", he told the AFP news agency.
The Pentagon has said only 76 detainees are refusing food, not the 200 claimed by the lawyers, but has not said when the protest began.
During the previous hunger strike, the prisoners were monitored by medical professionals and admitted to hospital where necessary.
13. August 2005
die us-regierung soll mit einer klage gezwungen werden 87 bilder und 4 videos auf denen folterungen
zu sehen sind, freizugeben.
US fights fresh Abu Ghraib images
The US government is trying to stop fresh images of prisoner abuse in Iraq being made public, claiming they will aid the insurgency, court papers show.US civil liberties groups have launched a lawsuit to force the release of 87 pictures and four videos showing abuse at Abu Ghraib jail in Baghdad.Earlier images sparked worldwide condemnation and resulted in charges against a number of soldiers.The US argues the rest should stay hidden to avoid helping the insurgents.It is "probable that al-Qaeda and other groups will seize upon these images and videos as grist for their propaganda mill," the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, Gen Richard Myers, argues in court papers.
Releasing the images could also incite violence against US troops, he says.And he says the images would be detrimental to the governments of Iraq and Afghanistan.Gen Myers' arguments were contained in court documents filed on 21 July but only recently unsealed.The Pentagon stepped up its campaign with a later request, submitted on Friday, for certain material to be kept from the public domain.The civil liberties groups have submitted counter-arguments by a retired US army colonel, Michael Pheneger, who insists the public good would be served by publication of the images.
"The first step to abandoning practices that are repugnant to our laws and national ideals is to bring them into the sunshine and assign accountability," he wrote.He also argued that the Iraqi insurgency would continue regardless of whether or not the pictures were published.A district judge, Alvin Hellerstein, will decide whether the images should be released.The photographs released last year showed Iraqi prisoners being physically and sexually abused or humiliated.The images at the centre of the fresh legal battle are believed to have been taken by the same soldier as the original set.
All senior US commanders have so far been cleared of any crime.
22. July 2005
GUANTANAMO detainees give demands to end hunger strike
More details are emerging from lawyers in New York, about a hunger strike by detainees at the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.The US military has confirmed that a number of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay have refused nine consecutive meals.The Centre for Constitutional Rights said the lawyers first heard of the strike from prisoners frustrated by their indefinite detention and what they described as the inhuman conditions at Guantanamo, specifically in a facility known as camp five.
According to the lawyers, prisoners had said that as well as a hunger strike, they were planning to boycott showers and recreation time.They had listed nine demands which they said they were planning to put before the Guantanamo command.The demands called for respect for their religion, including an end to what they described as desecration of the Koran and religious discrimination, and fair trials with proper legal representation.
They also said they needed adequate supplies of food and clean water, and needed direct sunlight and not to be forced to go for months without seeing daylight.It is not known if Australian terror suspect David Hicks is among those participating in the hunger strike.
Guantanamo Inmates Declare Hunger Strike
By JOHN J. LUMPKIN
WASHINGTON (AP) - Some 50 prisoners at Guantanamo Bay have declared they are on a hunger strike, a Pentagon spokesman said Thursday.
They went on strike three days ago, spokesman Bryan Whitman said. Some have already begun eating again, he said. The spokesman said he did not know why they went on strike and said the health of the striking detainees is being monitored.The Pentagon’s version of this incident contrasted somewhat from the accounts of two Afghans released from the facility for terrorist suspects earlier this week. On Wednesday, they claimed that more than about 180 Afghans were on a hunger strike to protest alleged mistreatment at the facility at a U.S. military base in Cuba.
Habir Russol and Moheb Ullah Borekzai, who said they left the prison camp on Cuba on Monday and were flown to Afghanistan before being freed, said they did not participate in the hunger strike. They did not say how they knew others were refusing to eat.Russol said 180 Afghan prisoners ``are not eating or drinking.’’ He and Borekzai estimated the men were in the 14th or 15th day of their fast.
Borekzai later told The Associated Press the detainees were protesting because ``some of these people say they were mistreated during interrogation. Some say they are innocent.’’``They are protesting that they have been in jail nearly four years and they want to be released,’’ he said.Neil Koslowe, a Washington-based lawyer for 12 detainees from Kuwait, said several inmates told him during a June 20-24 visit to Guantanamo that there was a ``widespread’’ hunger strike over the amount and quality of their drinking water.
The two Afghans released this week said they had been accused of being members of the former Taliban regime, but both said they were innocent. Neither said how long they had been detained.The Pentagon also announced Wednesday that seven Guantanamo detainees had been released and an eighth transferred to the custody a foreign government. In addition to the two released Afghans, three Saudi Arabians, a Jordanian and a Sudanese were freed, it said.
The three Saudis, who were not identified, were handed over to Saudi security, the official Saudi Press Agency said in Riyadh. It did not specify whether the three were detained for questioning, saying only that ``the regular procedures will be applied accordingly.’’In addition, a Moroccan was transferred to control of the government of Spain, U.S. officials said. The Pentagon did not identify the detainees. The Moroccan was identified earlier this week in Spain as Lahcen Ikassrien, who had been charged there for his links to an al-Qaida cell.
The transfers leave about 510 prisoners at Guantanamo.
14. July 2005
GUANTANAMO / USA / IRAQ
nach einem bericht von ermittlern des militärs wurden die foltermethoden von abu ghraib zuerst in guantanamo angewandt .
Abu Ghraib Tactics First Used at Guantanamo
Interrogators at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, forced a stubborn detainee to wear women’s underwear on his head, confronted him with snarling military working dogs and attached a leash to his chains, according to a newly released military investigation that shows the tactics were employed there months before military police used them on detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
The techniques, approved by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld for use in interrogating Mohamed Qahtani—the alleged “20th hijacker” in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks—were used at Guantanamo Bay in late 2002 as part of a special interrogation plan aimed at breaking down the silent detainee.
Military investigators who briefed the Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday on the three-month probe, called the tactics “creative” and “aggressive” but said they did not cross the line into torture.The report’s findings are the strongest indication yet that the abusive practices seen in photographs at Abu Ghraib were not the invention of a small group of thrill-seeking military police officers. The report shows that they were used on Qahtani several months before the United States invaded Iraq.
The investigation also supports the idea that soldiers believed that placing hoods on detainees, forcing them to appear nude in front of women and sexually humiliating them were approved interrogation techniques for use on detainees.
A central figure in the investigation, Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, who commanded the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay and later helped set up U.S. operations at Abu Ghraib, was accused of failing to properly supervise Qahtani’s interrogation plan and was recommended for reprimand by investigators. Miller would have been the highest-ranking officer to face discipline for detainee abuses so far, but Gen. Bantz Craddock, head of the U.S. Southern Command, declined to follow the recommendation.
Miller traveled to Iraq in September 2003 to assist in Abu Ghraib’s startup, and he later sent in “Tiger Teams” of Guantanamo Bay interrogators and analysts as advisers and trainers. Within weeks of his departure from Abu Ghraib, military working dogs were being used in interrogations, and naked detainees were humiliated and abused by military police soldiers working the night shift.
Miller declined to respond to questions posed through a Defense Department liaison. Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman, said it is not appropriate to link the interrogation of Qahtani—an important al Qaeda operative captured shortly after the terrorist attacks—and events at Abu Ghraib. Whitman said interrogation tactics in the Army’s field manual are the same worldwide but military police (MPs) at Abu Ghraib were not authorized to apply them, regardless of how they learned about them.
Some of the Abu Ghraib soldiers have said they were following the directions of military intelligence officials to soften up detainees for interrogation, in part by depriving them of sleep. Pvt. Charles A. Graner Jr., characterized as the ring leader of the MP group, was found guilty of abusing detainees and is serving 10 years in prison. Others have pleaded guilty and received lesser sentences.
The photos that caused alarm around the world included some showing the MPs sexually humiliating the detainees.
While Rumsfeld approved a list of 16 harsh techniques for use at Guantanamo on Dec. 2, 2002, most of the techniques were general and allowed for interpretation by interrogators. Many of the techniques involving humiliation were part of a standard “futility” or “ego down” approach.
“Reasonable people always suspected these techniques weren’t invented in the backwoods of West Virginia,” said Tom Malinowski, the Washington director of Human Rights Watch. “It’s never been more clear than in this investigation.”Also yesterday, a federal district judge in Washington issued a ruling in which he declined to stop the interrogation of a young Canadian detainee at Guantanamo Bay who has alleged that he was tortured. The detainee said in court filings that he was “short-shackled” to the floor, threatened with sexual abuse and physically mistreated.
The 18-year-old detainee, identified as “O.K.,” was arrested after a gunfight in Afghanistan in July 2002, when he was 15. He had asked the court for a preliminary injunction to stop what he called abusive interrogation tactics.The investigation at Guantanamo Bay looked into 26 allegations by FBI personnel that military interrogators had mistreated detainees. It found that almost all the tactics were “authorized” interrogation methods and by definition were not abusive.Investigators found only three instances of substantiated abuse, including short-shackling detainees to the floor in awkward positions, the use of duct tape to keep a detainee quiet, and a threat by military interrogators to kill a detainee and his family.
In the case of Qahtani, who endured weeks of sleep deprivation and many of the harshest techniques, Lt. Gen. Mark Schmidt and Brig. Gen. John Furlow found that the cumulative effect of those tactics “resulted in degrading and abusive treatment” but stopped short of torture. Military commanders have said the techniques prompted Qahtani to talk.The military achieved “solid intelligence gains,” by interrogating Qahtani, Craddock said yesterday, and other military officials have said he revealed details on how the terrorist network operates.The Schmidt-Furlow investigation is the last of about a dozen major Pentagon probes into abuse over the past 15 months.
The abuses at Abu Ghraib included military police taking photos of themselves mimicking the tactics used at Guantanamo Bay. Several photographs taken in late 2003 at the prison outside Baghdad show detainees wearing women’s underwear on their heads, detainees shackled to their cell doors or beds in awkward positions, and naked detainees standing before female soldiers. Perhaps the most famous image is of Pfc. Lynndie England holding a leash attached to a detainee’s neck.
Qahtani, according to the investigative report, was once attached to a leash and made to walk around the room and “perform a series of dog tricks.” The report also notes the use of “gender coercion,” in which women straddle a detainee or get too close to them, violating prohibitions for devout Muslim men on contact with women. Interrogators also threatened to tell other detainees that an individual is gay, according to the report. Detainees at Abu Ghraib were posed in mock homosexual positions and photographed.
“There are some striking similarities between the actions at Guantanamo and what occurred at Abu Ghraib,” said Capt. Jonathan Crisp, England’s military defense attorney. “I feel that warrants further investigation.”
Committee Democrats appeared upset that Miller was not held accountable for abuses at Guantanamo Bay, and criticized the investigation for failing to examine the legality of administration and military policy on interrogations. Sen. Jack Reed said no senior leader has taken responsibility for detention problems.
Some Republicans, however, said the alleged abuses occurred in just a small fraction of cases. They noted that there have been 24,000 interrogations at Guantanamo Bay and highlighted recent improvements at the facility. Sen. Pat Roberts called the Guantanamo abuse relatively “minor incidents” that should not be a matter of national interest.
13. JUNI 2005
ein neuer $ 30 mill. vertrag für halliburton. dafür soll ein neuer knast und sicherheitszäune gebaut werden.
Halliburton to build detention camp at Guantanamo Bay
The U.S. Navy has awarded a unit of Halliburton Co. a $30 million contract to build a detention facility and security fence at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the Department of Defense said Thursday.
The project to be carried out by Halliburton (NYSE: HAL) subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root Services Inc. of Arlington, Va., calls for providing a two-story, 220-man facility. The prison camp will consist of day rooms, exercise areas, medical/dental spaces and a security control room.
The project will include site work, heating ventilation and air conditioning, plumbing and electrical work.
The work is slated for completion by July 2006. The total contract amount is not to exceed $500 million which includes the base period and four option years. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command Atlantic in Norfolk, Va., is the contracting agency.
26. MAI 2005
IRAQ / USA
die aclu veröffentlicht auf iher website dokumente zu folter im irak. die dokumente wurden aufgrund der "freedom of information act klage" herausgegeben.
U.S. Soldier Instructed Iraqi Detainees to Dig Own Grave
Documents released last week by the Department of Defense reveal more cases of abuse of detainees, including mock executions and use of a religious symbol to taunt detainees.
"While the White House blames Newsweek magazine for damaging America's reputation in the Muslim world, the Army's own investigations show systemic abuse and humiliation of Muslim men by U.S. forces in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantánamo Bay," said ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero. "If we are to truly repair America's standing, the Bush Administration must first hold accountable high-ranking officials who allow the continuing abuse and torture of detainees."
One investigation into abuses at Rifles Base in Ramadi, Iraq details an incident in July 2003 in which an Army captain took an Iraqi welder into the desert, told him to dig his own grave, verbally threatened to kill him and had other soldiers stage a shooting of the man.
Another document dated July 15, 2004 related an incident involving two Iraqi men detained in Samarra. The men were driven to a bridge, where a platoon leader instructed three soldiers to push the detainees into the river. One of the Iraqi men could not swim and drowned. The body was recovered by the family 12 days later and buried. One soldier indicated to investigators that the chain of command had instructed the soldiers not to cooperate with the investigation and to deny that they pushed the men into the river.
To date, more than 35,000 pages of government documents have been released in response to the ACLU's Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.
[ aclu.org / documents
19. MAI 2005
ein navy-richter verurteilte einen mann der sich ,am 6.dez.letzten jahres, geweigert hatte ein schiff zu betreten mit dem er in den irakkrieg fahren sollte, zu 3 monate "schwerer harter arbeit" verurteilt. außerdem wurde er in den niedrigsten rang bei der navy zurückgestuft.
Navy judge finds war resistance "reasonable"
Navy military resister Pablo Paredes was found guilty of missing a troop movement at his court-martial in San Diego May 10. He had refused to board the USS Bonhomme Richard on its way from San Diego to Iraq last Dec. 6.
The courtroom was packed with report ers and anti-war activists, including Fer nan do Suarez del Solar and Cindy Shee han, both of whom have been anti-war activists since their sons were killed in Iraq.
At Paredes?s sentencing the next day, presiding Judge Lt. Cmdr. Bob Klant surprised onlookers by admitting that it was reasonable for the sailor to question the legality of the U.S. wars against Yugo slavia, Afghanistan and Iraq. He sentenced Pare des to three months at hard labor and a loss of rank, from petty officer third class to seaman recruit, the lowest position in the Navy.
While Paredes and his supporters had good reason to consider any guilty verdict or sentence unjust, most considered this at least a partial victory. Especially important was that the judge recognized both the strength of Paredes?s argument about the Iraq War and his belief that his participation in it would be criminal.
Paredes?s statement to the court, which was sensitive to his fellow Navy members and their families, nevertheless contained the following strong points condemning the Iraq War and justifying his reasons for resistance:
?I am convinced that the current war in Iraq is illegal. I am also convinced that the true causality for it lacked any high ground in the topography of morality. " I read extensively on the arguments and results of Nazi German soldiers, as well as imperial Japanese soldiers, in the Nuremberg and Tokyo Trials, respectively. In all I read I came to an overwhelming conclusion supported by countless examples that any soldier who knowingly participates in an illegal war can find no haven in the fact that they were following orders, in the eyes of international law."
10. MAI 2005
interview mit einem "resister" (verweigerer)
[ Camilo Mejia’s Long Journey of Conscience From Nicaragua, to Iraq, to Military Prison
An Interview with a Sandinista Son and Iraq War Veteran / english
[ El largo viaje de conciencia de Camilo Mejia desde Nicaragua a Irak y hasta la prisión militar
Una entrevista con el hijo de sandinistas y veterano de la guerra en Irak / spanish
7. mai 2005
die zwei als angebl. selbstmordattentäterinnen festgenommenen jungen frauen sind nach 6 wochen wieder entlassen worden.
FBI Releases NYC Teens Detained for 6 Weeks
NEW YORK -- The FBI has released a 16-year-old girl and will allow another to leave the country after the teens were detained for six weeks amid concerns they were potential recruits for a suicide bomb plot that never materialized.
The girls were picked up separately by authorities on March 24 and sent to a detention center in Leesport, Pa.
Adama Bah, 16, a Guinean immigant, returned to her high school on Friday to friends and teachers who insisted she was innocent. The other girl, who was not identified because she is a minor and was not charged with any crime, was granted a request allowing her to return to Bangladesh with her family.
Details of the case have remained sketchy and it has been marked by closed hearings, sealed government documents and gag orders for lawyers. But lawyers for both girls said the teens had no connection to any suicide bombing plots.
Bah's lawyer, Natasha Pierre, told The New York Times in Saturday's editions that her client "should never have been detained in the first place." She said the teens were not friends and it was unclear Bah was swept into the investigation.
Troy Mattes, the Bangladeshi girl's lawyer, said his client came to the United States at age 4. Her family's applications for political asylum were closed in the late 1990s, although there were no deportation orders against them, Mattes said.
When the general consul of Bangladesh asked why the girl was being detained, the homeland security officials wrote that the girl was being held only because she was in the country illegally. Her parents asked the government to let the family leave the country.
28. April 2005
angeblich ist es dem cia verboten worden, "unregistrierte 'geister'- gefangene" in militärgefängnissen wie z.b.abu ghraib unterzubringen.
Pentagon Moves to Bar CIA 'Ghost' Detainees
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The CIA will no longer be allowed hold unregistered "ghost" detainees at U.S. military prisons such as Iraq's Abu Ghraib, the Pentagon's top intelligence official said on Thursday.
Stephen Cambone, undersecretary of defense for intelligence, assured the U.S. Senate that new interim rules on military interrogations eliminate the CIA's practice at Abu Ghraib of hiding detainees and subjecting them to separate interrogation methods that critics say were harsher than those employed by the military.
Army investigators who first disclosed that the CIA concealed dozens of unregistered detainees at Abu Ghraib blamed the spy agency's practices for a loss of accountability, abuse and a poisoned atmosphere at the infamous facility.
One CIA detainee, Manadel al-Jamadi, died at Abu Ghraib on Nov. 4, 2003, while handcuffed in a prison shower room.
At a hearing before the Senate Committee on Armed Services, Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona asked Cambone if the CIA could still hold ghost detainees under its own rules and practices at military prisons.
"I don't believe so. No," replied the Pentagon official, who said newly issued interim interrogation rules now require a single standard to be applied at military facilities.
"It makes plain that the rules that are applied by that command, apply at that command in those places where that command is responsible for the individual and the facilities," Cambone said. "What you are suggesting is not to happen."
"So that assumes there will be no more so-called ghost prisoners in our military prisons?" pressed McCain.
"Sir, to the extent that we can assure you that. I'm here to do that for you," Cambone answered.
Cambone said the just published interim guidelines were different from a forthcoming Army interrogation manual, which the New York Times said on Thursday would bar harsh techniques disclosed in the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal.
The CIA, which had no immediate comment on the committee's proceedings, also came under fire over the pace of its own internal investigation of detainee abuse allegations.
Military abuse of detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan, including the deaths of at least two dozen detainees, has been subject to about a dozen official inquiries, officials say.
But cases involving CIA detainees have been examined only by the Central Intelligence Agency's inspector general.
Since the prison abuse scandal broke in the U.S. media last year, the inspector general has transferred two cases to the Justice Department. In one, a CIA contractor faces criminal trial in North Carolina for the death of an Afghan detainee.
But the CIA inspector general has not reported to Congress on its activities, including probes of about half a dozen abuse allegations that remain under review.
"It seems to me we ought to find out what happened there ... sufficient time has elapsed for an investigation to be conducted and concluded," McCain said.
24. april 2005
USA / IRAQ
4 der 5 hochrangigen offiziere der us- army gegen die wegen der folter in abu ghraib ermittelt wurden, wurden von jeder verantwortung für die folter freigesprochen/ entlastet.
Top US officers cleared of Abu Ghraib abuse
The US army investigation into the torture of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib has cleared four out of five top officers of any responsibility for the scandal that shocked America and the world.
The probe has effectively exonerated Lieutenant-General Ricardo Sanchez, the US senior commander in Iraq at the time of the abuse. It also cleared three of Sanchez's deputies.
That has led to accusations that the investigation, carried out by the army's inspector-general, is a whitewash that has let ordinary soldiers carry the blame while letting off their commanding officers. The only officer recommended for punishment is Brigadier-General Janis Karpinksi, who was in charge of Abu Ghraib at the time. She is expected to receive a reprimand for dereliction of duty.
The pictures of American soldiers abusing and torturing prisoners created a global backlash against the US presence in Iraq, outraging allies and opponents alike.
Several low-ranking soldiers have been prosecuted. They blamed senior officers, saying they were just following orders, but the new probe has now cleared those officers.
The investigation was intended as the military's conclusion on the ultimate responsibility for the scandal. It is the only US inquiry so far to have had the power to apportion blame. Critics say it has made scapegoats of ordinary soldiers. 'This decision unfortunately continues a pattern of exoneration and indeed promotion for many of the individuals at the heart of the torture scandal,' said the Amnesty International spokesman Alistair Hodgett.
Army officials say 125 soldiers have been tried at courts martial or been otherwise punished. The officials have always denied that the abuse was systemic or planned by the senior military hierarchy. Yet some soldiers and Karpinski have said their superiors encouraged the abusive practises and relaxed rules about harsh treatment of prisoners.
Guy Womack, a lawyer for Specialist Charles Graner, who has been sentenced to 10 years for abusing prisoners, called for action to be taken against at least two of the senior officers describing the probe as 'a joke'.
Other official investigations have taken a stronger line than the latest army report. One probe by former Defence Secretary James Schlesinger had concluded that Sanchez should have taken firmer action in November 2003, when the army first realised the scale of the abuse. An investigation released last summer found that the 'action and inaction' of Sanchez and his senior officers 'indirectly contributed' to what was going on at Abu Ghraib.
But the new report, which will not be released until senior US politicians are briefed on its contents, is believed to have concluded that mitigating factors have exonerated Sanchez. They included a shortage of senior US officers, the increased pressure he was under as Iraqi insurgents stepped up their campaign, and the manhunt for Saddam Hussein.
The report followed a week of renewed bloodshed - including the massacre of 19 men in a football stadium in Haditha and the shooting down of a civilian helicopter - that appears to have been encouraged by three months of political stalemate in the formation of Iraq's first freely elected government after January's elections.
It also follows increasing disillusionment among foreign diplomats and Iraqi party leaders over the choice two weeks ago by the Shia majority of Ibrahim al-Jaafari for the key post of Prime Minister. Iraqi and Western officials have told The Observer, they fear Jaafari lacks the leadership skills to guide Iraq at such a crucial juncture.
According to a report in yesterday's New York Times, the political impasse is largely the result of leading Kurdish political figures trying to stall the formation of a new Iraqi government in an effort to force out Jaafari.
'The Kurds are intent on delaying the government so that Jaafari will fall,' Sami al-Askari, a member of the Shia alliance, told the paper. A Western diplomat in Baghdad confirmed the effort to 'filibuster' the negotiations.
Last week British and US officials blamed the increase in violence on the continuing inability of Iraq's political parties to agree on a government: a hiatus that bodes ill for negotiations on a new constitution due later this year.
A spokesman for the Kurdish alliance denied on Friday that there was any effort to unseat Jaafari. However, Kurdish leaders have never been comfortable with religious figures like Jaafari, the leader of a popular Shia religious party.
Iraq's caretaker Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, writing in today's Observer, called on his fellow Iraqi political leaders to end the impasse, blaming the 'dragging negotiations' for 'emboldening' those who 'reject democracy and the political process'.
Under Iraq's transitional law, Jaafari will lose his position if he does not name a cabinet by 7 May, a month after his appointment. If Jaafari is displaced, Iraq's new President, Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, and his deputies would choose a new Prime Minister. A strong candidate would be Allawi, a secular Shia seen as able to bridge the gap between religious Shias led by Jaafari and secular Kurds.
The continued political wrangling came amid more violence in Iraq yesterday. At least 10 people were killed when US and Iraqi convoys were attacked by insurgents near Baghdad, officials say.
19. april 2005
GUANTANAMO / AFGHANISTAN
1 mann aus der türkei und 17 männer aus afghanistan wurden entlassen, angekündigt wurde die entlassung von 15 weiteren gefangenen. die afghanischen männer, einigen wurde erlaubt mit der presse zu reden, berichten von mißhandlungen.
laut pentagon sind, nachdem 167 entlassen und 65 weitere in knäste in ihren "herkunftsländern" inhaftiert sind, 520 gefangene in guantanamo.
U.S. Frees 17 Afghans, 1 Turk from Guantanamo Jail
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States has sent home 17 Guantanamo prisoners to Afghanistan and another to Turkey, and some of the Afghans said upon arrival in Kabul on Tuesday they had been mistreated by their American jailers.
"They used extreme type of tyranny against us," said Abdul Rahman, who appeared to be in his mid-30s and was among three men allowed to speak to reporters after being handed over to Afghan authorities.
Some said they had been in detention since the 2001 fall of Afghanistan's former Taliban rulers in a U.S.-led invasion.
The 18 who were released in the largest single exodus from the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, since last September were among 38 detainees who the Pentagon had decided no longer were considered enemy combatants.
Maj. Michael Shavers, a Pentagon spokesman, said another 15 detainees who also no longer were classified as enemy combatants remained at Guantanamo awaiting transfer to their home countries. Five others previously were released.
The United States still holds approximately 520 prisoners at Guantanamo after freeing 167 to their home countries and sending 65 more to their home governments for continued detention, the Pentagon said. Many detainees have been held for more than three years.
Human rights activists have accused the United States of condemning Guantanamo prisoners to indefinite detention in a "legal black hole," and note that some former detainees have said they were tortured by U.S. personnel at the base.
The United States has classified prisoners sent to Guantanamo as enemy combatants not entitled to the rights accorded to prisoners of war under the Geneva Conventions.
Following a June 2004 Supreme Court ruling allowing Guantanamo prisoners to go to U.S. courts to challenge their detention, the Pentagon created special three-member military panels to review whether the detainees had been properly classified as enemy combatants.
These panels conducted hearings for every Guantanamo prisoner, ended on Jan. 22, and 38 were found not to have been enemy combatants, the Pentagon said in March. The prisoners were prohibited from having lawyers in this process.
11. april 2005
zwei 16 jährige frauen wurden als angebl. selbstmordattentäterinnen
US: OUTCRY OVER DETENTION OF SCHOOLGIRL 'SUICIDE BOMBERS'
New York, 11 April (AKI) - Friends and teachers of two 16-year-old
schoolgirls detained in the United States on suspicion of planning to be
suicide bombers have expressed outrage at their imprisonment, dismissing FBI
claims as "absurd". The girls, who are of Bangladeshi and Guinean origin,
are being held at a detention centre for illegal immigrants in Pennsylvania
following an FBI investigation which the government says found them: "an
imminent threat to the security of the United States based on evidence that
they plan to be suicide bombers."
The two girls - who have not been named - are not believed to have known
each other before their arrest. Teachers and parents at Heritage High School
in East Harlem, New York, which the Guinean girl attended, say they are
outraged at the accusations. Deleen P. Carr, president of the parent-teacher
association, whose daughter is one of the girl's closest friends, told the
New York Times: "They have painted this picture of her as this person that
is trying to destroy our way of life, and I know in my heart of hearts that
this is bogus." Carr knows the girl's family well and often had the
16-year-old round to her house, she said.
Teachers and friends say the girl was fully integrated into the life of the
school, coming second to a friend in the election for student body president
and wearing jeans under her Islamic dress. "I just can't fathom this," said
art teacher Kimberley Lane. "She's just a regular teenager - two weeks ago
her biggest worry was whether she'd done her homework or studied for a
science test." Another teacher described her as a "wonderful girl" who
looked after her four younger brothers and sisters after school.The girl has lived in America since she was two, but her parents are illegal immigrants and her father is also being held, on immigration violations.
Lane said that when they first heard the news of her detention, one of the
girl's friends asked if someone from the school had reported her as an
illegal immigrant. "I remember telling her the government doesn't go after
16-year-old girls," Lane said. "And in the last few days, I'm wrestling with
the fact that, yes, it does,"
While the Guinean girl embraced every aspect of her school life, the
Bangladeshi girl is said to have become increasingly uncomfortable listening
to subjects her classmates talked about, and withdrew to home schooling. Her
interest in her family's Muslim religion also increased, and she learnt
Arabic and taught Islamic classes at two mosques. A 17-year-old girl who
taught with her and said she was "very close" to the girl said:"We talked
about what was going on in Palestine, suicide bombings, and I know she's
completely against it."
The Bangladeshi girl's father fears he prompted her detention after
reporting her missing when she failed to return home one night. The girl's
mother said her daughter told her she met the Guinean girl for the first
time at the FBI's headquarters on the day both were arrested in early
morning immigration raids, and the Guinean girl gave her a traditional
Muslim greeting on seeing her veil, something she believes led the federal
agents to believe they were friends. Her mother said her daughter also told
her she had been warned by FBI interrogators that if she didn't admit to
having terrorist links, her youngest siblings, who are both US citizens,
would be taken into foster care and her parents would be sent back to
Neither girl has been charged with any crime, and evidence is withheld from
the girls and anyone representing them under a 'protective order' obtained
by the FBI. Last week, the Bangladeshi girl's bail hearing was closed to the
public by a judge, and adjourned until Thursday.
der asylantrags eines aus der us-army geflohenen mannes wurde abgelehnt.
By BETH DUFF-BROWN
Canada denies refugee status to U.S. soldier
TORONTO -- Canada on Thursday denied refugee status to a former U.S. Army paratrooper who said he would be committing war crimes if sent to Iraq, a major blow to Americans who have fled north of the border rather than fight a war they claim commits atrocities against civilians.The government's ruling said Jeremy Hinzman had not made a convincing argument that he would face persecution or cruel and unusual punishment if sent back to the United States.The decision, which was formally announced on a government Web site, could affect at least eight -- and possibly dozens more -- American soldiers seeking refuge in Canada, yet help improve strained relations between Washington and Ottawa.Hinzman's attorney, Jeffry House, said his client would appeal the ruling and still believed he would be granted refugee status in Canada.
"He is disappointed," House told CBC TV. "We don't believe that people should be imprisoned for doing what they believe is illegal."Hinzman, 26, fled from Fort Bragg, N.C., in January 2004, weeks before his 82nd Airborne Division was due to be deployed to Iraq. He had served three years in the Army, but had applied for conscientious objector status before his unit was sent to Afghanistan in 2002.Hinzman lives with his wife and young son in Toronto, where Quakers and the War Resisters coalition of anti-war groups have taken on his cause and provided some shelter. Coalition supporters intend to demonstrate later Thursday in front of the U.S. Consulate in Toronto.
Hinzman could face charges of desertion if sent home and would face up to five years in prison. He and seven other U.S. military deserters are being represented by House, a Wisconsin native who came to Canada in 1970 as a draft dodger during the Vietnam War.Canada opposed the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. The Pentagon has urged the deserters to return to the United States and take up their concerns at their respective military bases.Immigration and Refugee Board member Brian Goodman, who wrote the ruling, said Hinzman may face some employment and social discrimination. But, he added, "the treatment does not amount to a violation of a fundamental human right, and the harm is not serious."
Hinzman argued before the Immigration and Refugee Board last December that he would have been taking part in war crimes if he had been deployed with his unit. He claimed the war in Iraq was illegal and he would be persecuted if forced to return to the United States.House believes as many as 100 other American war resisters are hiding in Canada, waiting to see how Hinzman's case is played out before coming forward. He said 30,000 to 50,000 Americans fled to Canada during Vietnam and were allowed to settle here, but Hinzman would have become the first American soldier to be granted political asylum in the country.
During the Vietnam era, young American men could be drafted into military service, but now enlistment in U.S. military is voluntary. The military attracts many young recruits with job skills training and programs that help pay for university.Pvt. 1st Class Joshua Key, 26, of Oklahoma City is the latest war resister to flee to Toronto, arriving two weeks ago with his wife and four children. He told the Toronto Star that he served in Iraq with the 43rd Combat Engineering Company, which was deployed in April 2003.
Key said he served eight months in Iraq before he left the military when he was on leave back at the 43rd's base in Fort Carson, Colorado in December 2003."I was in combat the entire time I was there," said Key. "I left for Iraq with a purpose, thinking this was another Hitler deal. But there were no weapons of mass destruction. They had no military whatsoever. And I started to wonder."
klage verschiedener aclu - gruppen wegen der illegalen inhaftierung eines
irakischen mannes in den usa.
[ ACLU Sues Federal Agents for Illegal Detention of Iraqi Refugee in Montana
[ Complaintin Habeeb v. Castloo
16. märz 2005
AFGHANISTAN / IRAK / USA
nach einem untersuchungsbericht der army und navy sind 26 todesfälle in den
knästen in afghanistan und irak als mord einzustufen
26 died in U.S. custody: Report
WASHINGTON—At least 26 prisoners have died in U.S. custody in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2002 in what Army and Navy investigators have concluded or suspect were acts of criminal homicide, according to officials.
The number of confirmed or suspected cases is much higher than any accounting the military has previously reported. A Pentagon report sent to Congress last week cited only six prisoner deaths caused by abuse, but that partial tally was limited to what the author, Navy Vice Adm. Albert Church, called "closed, substantiated abuse cases" as of last September.The new figure of 26 was provided by the Army and Navy this week after repeated inquiries. In 18 cases reviewed, investigators have now closed their inquiries and recommended them for prosecution or referred them to other agencies for action. Eight cases are still under investigation but are listed by the Army as confirmed or suspected criminal homicides.
Only one of the deaths occurred at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, officials said, showing how broadly the most violent abuses extended beyond those prison walls and contradicting early impressions that the wrongdoing was confined to a handful of military police on the prison's night shift.Army officials said the killings took place inside and outside of detention areas, including at the point of battlefield capture.Church said last week the abuse of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan had been the result primarily of a breakdown of discipline, not flawed policies or misguided direction from commanders or Pentagon officials. But he cautioned his conclusions were "based primarily on the information available to us as of Sept. 30,2004"
14. märz 2005
GUANTANAMO / USA
ein richter hat die auslieferung von 13 gefangenen aus guantanamo in den
yemen vorerst ausgesetzt. die anwälte der gefangenen befürchten daß diese
nach einer auslieferung entweder gefoltert oder für unbegrenzte zeit
inhaftiert werden. das pentagon will die zahl der gefangenen reduzieren, da
die meisten gefangenen ihnen keine informationen lieferten bzw. liefern.
[ US judge blocks Yemeni jail move
11. märz 2005
GUANTANAMO / USA
205 gefangene wurden bisher aus guantanamo entlassen, 65 davon sind in ihren
herkunftsländern weiter inhaftiert, 29 aus pakistan, 9 aus uk, 7 aus
rußland, 6 aus frankreich, 5 aus marokko, 4 aus saudi arabien und bei den
restlichen fünf steht nur "und je einer aus fünf verschiedenen ländern".
[ Rumsfeld Wants More Detainees Sent Home
10. märz 2005
anweisungen des verteidigungsministeriums zu inhaftierung und verhören
[ Department of Defense Briefing on Detention Operations and Interrogation Techniques
[ An executive summary of the results.pdf
8. märz 2005
[ Federal suit charges Rumsfeld authorized detainee torture
8. märz 2005
[ Afghan and Iraqi prisoners detail abuse by US torturers
8. märz 2005
ein unter terrorverdacht inhaftierten mann wurde in der haft “mental krank”
und ist suizidgefährdet.
bhatti ist unter den extrem strengen “kategorie a” - bedingungen inhaftiert
, eine kategorie von gefangenen die als höchst gefährlich für die
öffentlichkeit die polizei oder die staatliche sicherheit eingeschätzt
werden und für die eine flucht unmöglich gemacht werden muß.
[ Clarke to Review Plight of 'Suicide Risk' Terror Suspect
1. März 2005
artikel über die klage gegen rumsfeld wegen der folter an gefangenen
[ The Lawsuit Against Donald Rumsfeld Over U.S. Torture Policies
18. februar 2005
artikel über folter an gefangenen in afghanisatan.
[ US army details Afghan abuse
.....der britische innenminister, hat seinen antrag, einen algerischen mann erneut zu inhaftieren, verloren.
der beklagte steht als terrorverdächtiger unter hausarrest.......
[ Artikel hier
[ No jail return for terror suspect
es gibt etliche videos die die folter an den gefangenen in guantanamo
[ Guantanamo videotapes expose brutality against detainees
7. Februar 2005
während einer konferenz am 1.2. in san diego sagte ein us - general ( in
afghanistan und im irak eingesetzt,u.a. beim angriff auf fallujah) u.a.:
„es macht spaß bestimmte leute zu erschießen“
„ man geht nach afghanistan und dort sind typen die seit 5 jahren frauen
verprügeln weil sie keinen schleier tragen. solche typen sind keine männer
mehr / haben keine männlichkeit. also macht es einen höllischen spaß die
daraufhin brach lautes lachen und begeisterter applaus bei den teilnehmern
der konferenz der armed forces communication and electronics association
alles wurde von reportern auf kassetten aufgenommen, aber rumsfeld wollte
auf der pressekonferenz am 3.2. nicht antworten.
General who led US Marines in Iraq says “It’s fun to shoot some people”
7. februar 2005
ein aus guantanamo entlassener mann wurde von der regierung als „person des
interesses“ besteht,was bedeutet er steht unter ständiger beobachtung durch
bullen und geheimdienst.
er war in pakistan im oktober 2001 festgenommen worden. nach verhören durch
pakistanische us-amerikanische und australische geheimdienste, wurde er auf
anordnung der usa nach ägypten gebracht, wo er 6 monate in isohaft
war und gefoltert wurde. im mai 2002 wurde er wieder nach afghanistan
gebracht und von dort nach guantanamo.
[ Australian government persecutes released Guantánamo prisoner
cherif bassiouni, der von der un eingesetzte „unabhängige experte für
menschenrechte in afghanistan“,
hat am samstag in kabul „ ausländische kräfte“ u.a. der folter beschuldigt.
bassiouni sprach nicht direkt von den usa, aber sie sind die einzigen die
knäste im land haben. natürlich betreitet die militärführung zu foltern,
gibt aber mittlerweile zu, daß 8 menschen bisher in der haft gestorben sind.
[ US military rejects accusations of prisoner abuse
6 Februar 2005
noch ein bericht über einen ehemaligen guantanamo - gefangenen. er will die
britische regierung verklagen da der britische geheimdienst eine
entscheidende rolle bei seiner festnahme spielte und somit für die folter in
guantanamo mitverantwortlich ist.
clarke , der britische innenminister sagte zu der folter in einem interview:
„ich bin für menschenrechte, aber ich bin noch mehr dafür das unsere
nationale sicherheit gewährleistet ist.“
[ Clarke under Fire over Guantanamo Comments
ein soldat der im irak gefoltert hat wurde „unehrenhaft“ aus der armee
entlassen und zu 6 monaten knast verurteilt.das urteil wurde schon vor dem
prozeß in einem sog. Plea bargain festgelegt.
[ Six months for Abu Ghraib abuser
[ zurück ]