Fångar i ett erövrat land, del 2
Andra delen av Eman Ahmed Khammas artikel om ockupanternas fångar.
Detainees in the Captive Country-II
Testimonies of Iraqi Prisoners In the American Prisons
Mothers and Wives
In a three day protest that was organized by the Islamic Party, hundreds of families, mainly from Baghdad, holding pictures, documents, banners, signs, very sad stories, unanswered questions, and much tears. It was shortly after the Abu Greib prison attack last March. Visits were not allowed in the two major prisons of Abu Greib and Bucca. But many prisoners had no visits at all.
Mohamad Naif Arrak, a 17 year old boy was arrested on February 2, 2005 while he was going to school in the morning. He was crossing the highway with many other people when a military convoy was attacked. They were arrested collectively.
His mother goes to Abu Greib every day asking for him. She never gets an answer. The families who were asking for their loved ones were hit with tear gas by the prison guards.
"I just want to know how he is, I am dying every day hundreds of times just to think that my child is in this savage prison. He is just a high school student. His father is dying, please help me"
Shatha has 4 persons arrested in her family, her husband, two of his brothers and a nephew. Two of them are teenagers. They were arrested inside their house in Daura, when the whole area was raided and searched last January. The family did not hear of them since then.
Soheib Mohamad Amin, 49, a father of five children, is in jail for almost two years now. His wife could not see him since last March. She does not know why he was arrested because they did not find any thing when they raided the whole area and searched the house. The family has no financial income since then. But this is not what worries the wife:
"His health is not good" she said, crying bitterly. "He did not say that, because he does not want us to worry about him. But I can see that he is not ok, when they took him he was walking on his legs, when I saw him in prison he was carried by others. His leg was wrapped, I asked him why that was, he did not reply. But he could not walk. I want to know how he is now; I want him to be out. His children are not doing well in school. They need him. I need him. I am very tired and collapsed. Even if he is crippled, or disabled I want him back, for the sake of his family"
Jamal and Son
Jamal Bedri is ill, he suffers from a brain bleeding. He had an operation but he became epileptic since then. His son, a student in College of Sience, Khalid is also ill, he has salts in his kidneys. Both of them need continuous treatment. Both are in Bucca for 6 months. There are no visits.
What were they accused of?
We do not know, the soldiers said there is bad information about them. They searched the house and did not find anything, not even an empty bullet "I am very worried about them, the wife and mother says, I just need to know how they are, if they are given their medicines or not".
Mohammad: The American took my father
Tahir Abdul Amir, was driving with a friend in Kadhimiya when an American convoy was attacked. All the men in the area were arrested in November 17, 2004. The family searched every where, but there was no trace of him. A curious email was sent to the family saying that Tahir is alive and is arrested in the airport. But they did not get any news about him, or even the car. No number, nothing. His son knows that the American took his father. "I do not know anything else, I want to see my father" says Mohammad Tahir's son, 5 years old.
Abu Ahmad Is Afraid of Arrest Again
Abu Ahmad, who spent the last two years in different American prisons in Iraq refused to uncover his face or to give his real name, "If you see what I saw in the American prisons you would do the same"
What did you see?
"I saw soldiers having fun torturing the Iraqi prisoners, I saw thousands of innocent people kept in jail for reasons they do not know, I saw very old people in prison, one of them was born in 1919, I saw 10 year old children, I saw women, one of them was 23, forced to go around in prison in front of every body in her underwear, all her crime was that her husband was an officer. I saw solitary confinement; I saw psychological torture, humiliation, deception, bad treatment, and bad conditions for two years. Once we found a lizard in the sauce. I do not want to go back there…
Abu Ahmad was arrested in the street with many other people. He had plenty of money with him. He is a car merchant. His money was confiscated, and his car, and were never returned back. His hands were tied and his head covered. He did not know his charge, until he was given a charge of bombed car. He spent months in the airport prison, Bucca camp, but he thinks that Abu Greib was the worst.
In Bucca the whether was difficult, the heat, the plastic tents, the bad food, the few cigarettes, the sand storms…A sign was written on the tents saying Welcome to the Zoo. They protested against it and it was removed. Their guards were called Creamy, Jacson, and Martina (according to his pronunciation). One of the prisoners had psoriasis, his skin ulcerated and he was bleeding. "We went on hunger strike to make the prison authorities take him to hospital. A female major saw him and ordered that he was to be sent to hospital. We wrapped him in a blanket and he was taken in a pickup, supposedly to the hospital. We realized later that he was put in what we called the silent tent, which was a solitary tent".
In Bucca there were 10 camps, Abu Ahmad says, "In each camp there are 20-25 tents, in each tent there is an average of 25 prisoners. The translator, an old Egyptian man called Abu Nasser, was a spokesman of the major. He was a big lire".
But the real agony was Abu Greib. After the finger and retina prints, the prisoners were given numbers, and sent to cages, which they call Gancies (according to the pronunciation). There were eight of them, in each one there were 20-25 tents. The conditions were very bad, cold and damp in winter. Little water in summer, bad food, that many prisoners had dysentery. The water was very bad. Once the prisoners asked the guard to drink from their impure water, he refused. The food was rotten, "smelling bad that even animals would not eat". The boiled eggs were blue. (No food) was a regular collective punishment. Many prisoners had no visitors at all.
- all those who were charged with jihad were
tortured, even if it was not true.I saw one of them, he was very old forced to put on a red women underwear nothing else, and to go around in front of all the prisoners. Another one was forced to sleep with a woman guard, he refused, he was tortured until he did sleep with her, then
she raped him with a special kind of belt that she put on and became like a man.. When he was returned to he was still bleeding. Another one was called Alla' Dambi, he had one finger in his right hand. His sisters were arrested too. They were screaming and calling him for help because they were raped. The female guards put their boots on men's heads, the soldiers would touch the dog, but would not touch an Iraqi prisoner, they had to put on gloves. Prisoners were hanged from their hands which were tied to the back, dogs bit them. Many of them admitted things that they did not do. There was a special kind of confinement, it is called the safe. There was no opening in it like a safe.
I saw Mohammad, he was10 years, was crying all the time. In Eid Alfitr 2003( Fast breaking feast, after Ramadan), there was a demonstration for releasing the innocent prisoners. It was shot by plastic and real bullets. 13 prisoners were killed, the wounded were taken to the hospital, but never returned back. Prisoners who came from other prisons, like Al-Baghdadi, or the Disco prison talk about sever torture…
What are these?
-Al-Baghdadi is the Qadissiya air base in the past, now it is an American military base. The Disco prison is a prison in Mosul where prisoners were tortured by too high music, to which they were forced to dance. But after the Abu Greib scandal the Gancies began to be emptied and the prisoners were sent to Bucca.
When Abu Ahmad was arrested, he was told that he was going to be asked few questions and released immediately. He was never charged. A lawyer called Hussein the Lebanese, would routinely come every six months for an appeal
This is good, isn't it?
It would be if there is a charge. But if there is no charge what to appeal! One of the prisoners insisted that he gets an appeal paper, so that he could know his charge. Hussein the Lebanese gave him any paper; the prisoner found that the name and the number are not his, Hussein told him to wipe them and put his own. Another prisoner who had a PHD, was asking about his charge, the guard asked him what do you want it to be? He said "a thief" sarcastically, and that what it was. Some prisoners do not get an appeal paper for a year. After Abu Greib scandal, it became every three months…