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Home >> China
UPDATED: 16:21, March 08, 2007
U.S. troops in Iraq often abuse prisoners: report
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The United States has a flagrant record of violating the Geneva Convention in systematically abusing prisoners during the Iraqi War and the War in Afghanistan, says the Human Rights Record of the United States in 2006 issued on Thursday.

A report released in News Night of British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), originally provided by the U.S.-based Human Rights First, showed that since August 2002, 98 prisoners had died in American-run prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Among the dead, 34 died of premeditated murder, 11 deaths were suspicious, and 8 to 12 were tortured to death, according to an AFP report on Feb. 21, 2006.

A Human Rights Watch report in July 2006 said torture and other abuses against detainees in U.S. custody in Iraq were authorized and routine.

Detainees were routinely subject to severe beating, painful stress positions, severe sleep deprivation, and exposure to extreme cold and hot temperatures.

Soldiers were told that many abusive techniques were authorized by the military chain of command and Geneva Conventions did not apply to the detainees at their facility.

Detainees at Camp Nama, a U.S. detention center at the Baghdad airport- in violation of international law- not registered with the International Committee of the Red Cross, were regularly stripped naked and subject to beatings.

Some detainees were used for target practice. In May 2006 human rights group Amnesty International condemned the detention of some 14,000 prisoners in Iraq without charge or trial.

On February 15, 2006, Australia's SBS TV aired more than 10 pictures and video clips taken at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison; the images included: a man's throat was cut off, left forearm of a man was left with burns and shrapnel wounds, a blood-stained interrogation room, and a seemingly insane ma's body covered with his own feces.

U.S. army's criminal investigation division gathered materials including 1, 325 photographs and 93 video clips of suspected abuse of detainees, 546 photographs of suspected dead Iraqi detainees, all recorded between Oct. 18 and Dec. 30, 2003, reported the Guardian on Feb. 17, 2006.

Another report carried by the New York Times in December 2006 says a man named Donald Vance, a 29-year-old Navy veteran from Chicago who went to Iraq as a security contractor, was detained by American soldiers and put into detention center Camp Cropper for 97 days.

The man said American guards arrived at his cell periodically, shackled his hands and feet, blindfolded him and took him to a padded room for interrogation.

When he was returned to his cell, he was fatigued but unable to sleep, for the fluorescent lights were never turned off and at most hours, heavy metal or country music blared in the corridor.

He was not allowed to use telephone and denied the right to a lawyer at detention hearings.

The New York Times reported on March 18, 2006 that an elite Special Operations forces unit Task Force 6-26 converted one of Saddam Hussein's former military bases near Baghdad into a top-secret detention center.

There, American soldiers made one of the former Iraqi government's torture chambers into their own interrogation cell. They named it the Black Room. In the windowless, jet-black garage-size room, some soldiers beat prisoners with rifle butts.

According to another report by British newspaper The Independent, 460 people were confined in the Guantanamo prison camp, including dozens of adolescent prisoners, with more than 60 under 18 and the youngest only 14.

A young man named Mohammed el-Gharani was allegedly accused of member of al-Qaeda and conspiracy in the 1998 al-Qaeda London terrorist conspiracy when he was only 12. In 2001, he was arrested at the age of 14.

According to a report by the Washington Post, on May 30, 2006, 75 prisoners in Guantanamo went on a hunger strike against U.S. soldiers' maltreatment.

On June 10, 2006, three prisoners hung themselves with bed sheets and clothing, reported the Associated Press on June 11, 2006.

Mani Shaman Turki al-Habardi Al-Utaybi's family said his organs including the brain, liver, kidney and heart were all taken away when the corpse arrived.

Mani Shaman Turki al-Habardi Al-Utaybi's cousin said that might be done to conceal the truth behind his brother's death.

Another Saudi Arabian prisoner's father thought his son's death was not suicide but intentional hanging as he found bruises on his son's body.

The Amnesty International described it as another "indictment" of the worsening U.S. human rights record.

Human rights experts with the United Nations have condemned the United States for long-term arbitrary detention of suspects and abuses of detainees as serious violations of international law and relevant international conventions.

The U.S. Military Commissions Act signed into law on October 17, 2006 allows more severe means be used to interrogate terrorist suspects.


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