Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Human rights (II)

"The U.S. official involved in the inspections, who would not be identified by name, described in an e-mail the abuse found during some of the visits since the Nov. 13 raid: "Numerous bruises on the arms, legs and feet. A lot of the Iraqis had separated shoulders and problems with their hands and fingers too. You could also see strap marks on some of their backs."
A neighbor of mine was, nine months ago, detained for about a week. Till now he shows strap marks on his back. He is an engineer, in early thirties, newly married and had just had his first child when he was detained. Because of the bad economic conditions in Iraq, he does simple works to make his living. He was painting a house gate when a group of Iraqi commandos raided the street he was working at. He describes what happened: "I couldn't understand what was going on. A soldier ordered me to go inside the house. There was lot of gunfire hitting a palm under which I was hiding. Several soldiers broke into the house dragged me and took me to their officer who slapped me on my face. A soldier kept on hitting me with the rare part of his machine gun; another searched me taking away my keys, cell phone, and wallet. Someone thrust his hand under my overall quickly tearing my flannel shirt, using it to fold my eyes. They handcuffed my hands and put me in a pickup with several other persons, whom I managed to recognize some of them as they were store owners and some neighbors of the house I was working at. They took us to their unit headquarters detaining us in a small room which was mainly crowded before our arrival. Fortunately, one of the detainees managed to keep his cell phone with him, so we started to call our families. The investigation performed by people whom we couldn't see their faces. It was either to put us on the floor facing a wall with our hands backward handcuffed, or the investigators put on masks. There, one can discover the sectarian discrimination which the Iraqi society does not suffer from.

On knowing my full name, they discovered that I'm a Shiite and "Sayed" (A Sayed is claimed to be a descendant of Prophet Mohammed). They scolded me for living in, what they called, a Sunni neighborhood, which looked very weird language for me. People with IDs of towns west to Baghdad were treated badly. The essential matters needed by every man (food, rest rooms, bed…etc.) were very miserable. There was no place to sleep, no mattress to sleep on except a blanket; though it was very cold days."
He remained in detention for about a week. His way of viewing the 'New Iraq' has changed completely. Each time he hears news of detaining a group of terrorists, he comments "Don't believe it. They are not terrorists; they are nothing but people like me". He quitted his work, closed the small workshop he had saying "From now on I'm a suspect for the terrorists who would consider me as a cooperator with MNF, ING, IP…etc which makes me a nominee to be killed"

A Sudanese, who has been living in our district for more than 15 years, is another example of inhuman treatment. An explosion took place in the street where he lives and he was immediately dragged from home to detention. In detention, one has to know that he must not ask about his cell phone, wallet or any other things in his pockets after being set free. He remained in detention for five days. His family provided him with meals during detention in the police station. Each meal has to be sufficient for at least three people since the guard at the main gate takes one part, the warden takes the other, and the third is supposed to reach him.
He suffers a lot because of the color of his complexion. Wherever he goes, he is asked the same question "Sudanese?" and a series of investigations begins. Every check point asks him to get out of the car and treats him as a suspect. The man uses the public transportation and when he gets out of the car, the men in the check point order the car to move on and leave him to be checked. In Baghdad one might face a check point every 2Km, so for our Sudanese friend 'How many cars he has to change to move for, say, 10Km' and 'How much unpredictable time he has to add to get on time to his target'.

To be continued…


Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are all saddened deeply
by the hatred Iraqi extremists have shown for each other.

It wa always Americas hope that if Saddam was removed Iraq would
flourish as a free nation.

I believe you must email
Sistani and repeat all of these stories.

Right now the biggest obstacle
to peace in Iraq is Iraqi-Iraqi
violence we all hope brave men
on both sides can bring an end to the senseless killing.

However it seems the hatred on both sides now runs very deep
I hope I am wrong

7:22 AM  
Blogger Rosemary said...

This is awful! These were police? I have heard some talk about training the police. They are going to remove some of them, those who commit crimes, and teach them the rules of true law enforcement. No more bribes! Such like that. I sure pray it is successful. Have a nice day.

11:14 AM  
Anonymous Josh Scholar said...

I think the worse part is that your friend said that being released from custody makes him a target for terrorists who would suspect him of collaboration.

4:25 AM  

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