Subject: [Stop-traffic] News/Iraq (3 Reports): World News: Britain accuses Iraq of human right abuses
From: Melanie Orhant (email@example.com)
Date: Mon Nov 06 2000 - 20:26:42 EST
Copyright (C) 2000 Irish Times; Source: World
Saturday, November 4, 2000
World news: Britain accuses Iraq of human right abuses
The Iraqi government is systematically violating the human rights of
its citizens, according to an internal report from the British Foreign
Office published in the Guardian.
A Foreign Office spokesman confirmed that the report was drafted by
officials and passed to the newspaper.
The report, classified as restricted, paints a picture of
state-sponsored brutality in Iraq, with people guilty of minor offences
being mutilated or murdered.
It claimed that more than 50 mental patients were executed in place of
prisoners who had bribed their way out of the death sentence.
In other allegations, it said eight prisoners were executed last month
for defacing a mural of President Saddam Hussein, while a man's tongue
was cut off for slandering the Iraqi leader.
Thirty prostitutes were beheaded in a 'clean-up' in October and their
severed heads were left on the doorsteps of their homes, according to
It added that execution or torture orders are signed by members of
President Saddam's family, including his sons and half-brothers, or by
one of his closest advisers.
The orders often specify how the signatory wants the victim to be
tortured or killed, said the report.
The Foreign Office spokesman said: 'They were Foreign Office reports
and they were provided to the Guardian. They are reports that we have
compiled based on a range of sources.'
Referring to the acts detailed in the report, the spokesman added:
'They are violations that we condemn.'
The leak of the report to the press comes against the backdrop of a
debate over the future of the United Nations sanctions, imposed on Iraq
in the aftermath of the 1990 Gulf War.
Some European countries, led by Russia, believe the sanctions have
failed to topple the Iraqi leader and should therefore be relaxed or
But the British and American governments are adamant the sanctions
should stay in place.
'The material in the documents. . . will help Britain and the US in
their efforts to shore up the sanctions,' said the Guardian.
'They will argue that the world must go on trying to force such a
monstrous regime out.'
Copyright (C) 2000 The Guardian; Source: World
Friday, November 3, 2000
Murders and mutilation in Iraq revealed: New
Iraqi abuses revealed
EWEN MACASKILL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR
Barbarous acts perpetrated on Iraqi political prisoners and women
persist under Saddam Hussein's regime in spite of a decade of
international economic sanctions engineered by the west to topple him,
according to restricted Foreign Office documents obtained by the
These state that in the last few weeks President Saddam and members of
his inner circle have signed orders for executions and other acts of
The material in the documents is said to have come directly from
informants in Baghdad and, indirectly, from exiles. It will help Britain
and the US in their efforts to shore up the sanctions - imposed on Iraq
for igniting the Gulf war by invading Kuwait in 1990, but now under
They will argue that the world must go on trying to force such a
monstrous regime out. Opponents will argue that the abuses show how
ineffective sanctions have been in weakening the dictatorship.
The Foreign Office papers, classified as restricted, provide details
of the extensive prison network in Baghdad and on individual cases that
confirm the regime's reputation as one of the cruellest in the world.
Among many incidents, the documents say that:
*More than 50 mental health patients were executed in place of
prisoners with the means to bribe their way out.
*Eight prisoners were executed in October for defacing murals of
*Thirty prostitutes were beheaded in a "clean-up" during the last
month and their heads were left on the doorsteps of their homes.
*A man's tongue was cut off in September under a new decree making
slander of President Saddam an amputation crime.
While the international debate has gone on in recent years about the
sanctions imposed on Iraq, and the bomb ing of its capital and missile
sites by Britain and US, the regime's abuses have tended to be
overlooked, partly because information is so hard to get.
One of the Foreign Office papers says that the Iraqi government is
obsessive about cataloguing its abuses. "Each execution or torture order
is signed by an immediate member of Saddam Hussein's family or his
closest advisers." It adds: "The orders allow the signatory to record
how they want the victim to be tortured or to die." The tor ture and
execution orders are said to be held on the eighth floor of the ministry
of interior's main building in Baghdad. "None of the normal lifts in the
building stop at the eighth floor. This is only accessible by its own
Among the signatories are President Saddam, his two sons, Uday and
Qusay, and various relatives including the president's half-brothers. A
former minister of the interior, Watban Ibrahim al-Hassan, is said to
have "had every execution videoed. Copies of the videos were kept in a
vault in Hassan's office on the second floor of the ministry".
Among the many prisons dotted round Baghdad, the Mahjar (Sanctuary),
near Palestine Street, holds about 600-700 political prisoners,
according to the documents. To maintain the fear factor, and give an
impression to the public of impartiality, the president has imprisoned
relatives of his inner circle there to show that no one is immune.
"These high-level prisoners were held in the cells for detainees
rather than in the prison itself and were only there for a number of
days," one document says. Among those held was Ziyad Aziz, son of the
deputy prime minister, Tariq Aziz. The document de scribes the layout of
the prison in detail. "The execution area, the hadiqa (garden) is
located near the women's [part of the] prison. The hadiqua is an open
area with a sandbank covered by an awning" where prisoners were killed
by machine gun. Between 1993 and 1998 about 3,000 prisoners were
executed there, it says.
At another Baghdad prison, Abu Gharaib, death-row inmates are said to
have been able to buy their freedom from the governor for Dollars 5,000:
"To meet the quota of people executed, and to avoid this scam being
uncovered, someone would need to be executed. The prison governor
devised a scheme whereby he would take a patient from al-Sha ma'eel
mental hospital to be executed in place of the released prisoner." About
50-60 people died in this way until both the governor and the director
of the hospital were transferred in July, it is alleged.
One of the groups carrying out the recent drive against prostitutes -
the Fedayeen Saddam militia set up by Uday - is said to have "beheaded
about 30 prostitutes in Baghdad, Basra and other major cities. The . . .
heads were left on the front doorsteps of the prostitutes' homes as a
Another paper reveals that last month "the Iraqi authorities executed
eight prisoners on charges of forming an opposition organisation and
defacing several murals depicting Saddam Hussein.
"Muhammed al-Naji, an engineer from Baghdad province, was the first to
be charged with leading the organisation. His body, together with those
of three of his companions, were handed on to their families on October
When in September the authorities began cutting off the tongue of
anyone slandering the president or his family, an early victim is said
to have been driven around his home suburb, New Baghdad, "with a
loudspeaker announcing the crime and the punishment".
Sunday, November 5, 2000
Baghdad rejects British report on executions in Iraq
BAGHDAD, Nov 5 (AFP) - A spokesman for the Iraqi culture and
information ministry Sunday strongly rejected a British foreign
office report on the execution of prostitutes and the mentally ill in
"This report, riddled with lies, clearly reveals the spitefulness
and deep hatred of the British colonialists towards Iraq," the
spokesman said, quoted by the INA news agency.
"The British government and its ally, the American (state)
department, could find nothing better to counter the crumbling of the
embargo imposed on Iraq and the collapse of the air embargo that to
make up a report infested with stupid accusations, to try to
prejudice the image of Iraq," the spokesman added.
"This report can only be interpreted as a failure of the British
government and the American administration to handle the
international move opposed to the continuation of the embargo and the
aggression against Iraq."
In a report published Friday by the British daily, the Guardian,
the foreign office said that more than 50 mentally sick people had
been executed in Iraq in the place of condemned prisoners who payed
to save their lives, and that 30 prostitutes had been decapitated and
their heads left on their doorsteps to set an example.
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