Iraq Torture 'Not Isolated': Amnesty
LODNON, May 1 – Amnesty
International said torture by U.S. and British occupation forces of
Iraqis is not "isolated", citing double standards on human rights in
the country and demanding a full independent and public
"Our extensive research in Iraq suggests that this is not an
isolated incident. It is not enough for the USA to react only once
images have hit the television screens," the London-based
international human rights watchdog said in a press release on
Friday, April 30.
immediately after the American CBS news network aired horrible
images of Iraqi detainees tortured by U.S. troops in Abu
for "a fully independent, impartial and public investigation into
all allegations of torture. Nothing less will suffice."
"The message must
be sent loud and clear that those who abuse human rights will be
It warned that scenes of torture in the prison could keep the
grim past memories alive for the Iraqis, with a feeling occupation
forces have played the same role of the overthrown regime.
"The prison was notorious under Saddam Hussein - it should
not be allowed to become so again. Iraq has lived under the shadow
of torture for far too long," said the release.
"The Coalition leadership must send a clear signal that
torture will not be tolerated under any circumstances and that the
Iraqi people can now live free of such brutal and degrading
Hours after the
release, Britain's mass circulation Daily Mirror published
gruesome images of British soldiers torturing an Iraqi
Amnesty said it has received frequent
reports of torture or other ill-treatment by U.S.-led
occupation forces during the one-year occupation.
"Detainees have reported being routinely subjected to cruel,
inhuman or degrading treatment during arrest and detention," said
"Methods often reported include prolonged sleep deprivation;
beatings; prolonged restraint in painful positions, sometimes
combined with exposure to loud music; prolonged hooding; and
exposure to bright lights."
Amnesty lamented that virtually none of the charges of
torture or ill-treatment "has been adequately investigated by the
"There is a real crisis of leadership in Iraq - with double
standards and double speak on human rights," the group said.
An Amnesty researcher said in a report released in May after
his return from the group's first fact-finding mission in Iraq since
1993 that mistreatment by U.S. and British forces of Iraq POWs
included "beatings with fists, with feet, also with weapons".
"In one case we are talking about electric shocks being used
against a man and in others people are being beaten for the whole
night and are still being kicked and their teeth broken, I think you
would call that torture," he said.
At the time, the
U.S. Central Command put at 3600 the number of Iraqis taken as POWs.
In a related
development, the European Union joined the wave of criticism over
the abuse photos, saying Iraqi detainees should be treated in line
with the Geneva conventions, reported Agence France-Presse
"I'm sure I can speak for everyone: we were all appalled,"
said Irish Premier Bertie Ahern at a press conference in Dublin
Saturday marking the bloc enlargement to 25 members.
He said the provisions of the Geneva conventions - which
explicitly forbid the torture of prisoners of war - were
applicable" in the case of occupied Iraq.
power has the responsibility to ensure that these provisions are
fully applied to those in their custody," said Ahern, whose country
holds the rotating E.U. presidency.
The CBS television aired photos of an Iraqi detainee standing
on a box with a hood over his head and wires attached to his hands.
CBS said he had been told that if he fell off, he would be
showed Iraqi prisoners stripped naked, lying on each other and
simulating sex acts, as smiling U.S. troops pointed and
While the Mirror's images showed a hooded Iraqi detainee
being beaten by British soldiers before being thrown from a moving
truck and left to die.
source: IslamOnline.net & News Agencies - May 01 2004