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Links on Abuse of Muslims

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  • Zafar Khan
    Further Abuse Sunday, May 29, 2005; Page B06 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/05/28/AR2005052800971.html THE LATEST FBI documents
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 1, 2005
      Further Abuse
      Sunday, May 29, 2005; Page B06


      THE LATEST FBI documents detailing allegations of
      prisoner abuse at Guantanamo Bay are, like previous
      FBI documents, highly disturbing. They contain
      prisoners' descriptions of beatings, strippings and
      abuse of the Koran. Detainees variously claim the
      Muslim holy book has been thrown on the floor, thrown
      against a wall and, yes, flushed in a toilet. There
      are also references to these kinds of events having
      led to an "altercation" between detainees and guards.

      But the status of these documents is nearly as
      disturbing as their content. They can be found, again
      like previous FBI documents, only on the Web site of
      the American Civil Liberties Union, which obtained
      them by suing the government under the Freedom of
      Information Act. They did not, in other words, appear
      in the context of a government or military
      investigation. After the ACLU released the documents
      Wednesday, Pentagon spokesman Lawrence T. Di Rita
      implied that such an investigation would be
      unnecessary, since these "fantastic charges about our
      guys doing something willfully heinous to a Koran for
      the purposes of rattling detainees are not credible on
      their face." But then, on Thursday, the commander of
      the Guantanamo facility, Brig. Gen. Jay W. Hood,
      acknowledged that incidents "broadly defined as
      mishandling of a Koran" had in fact taken place. Brig.
      Gen. Hood made this announcement following an
      investigation that he said had begun 12 days earlier
      -- which points to the deeper problem.

      For the fact remains that although one has been
      promised, no independent military, Pentagon or other
      body has yet published an extensive investigation into
      the multiple accounts of prisoner abuse at Guantanamo
      Bay. There have been verbal descriptions of
      investigations and summaries of investigations, but no
      documents. One consequence is that much of the world
      believes the misbehavior has been worse, and more
      extensive, than what has been documented, and people
      know little or nothing of the corrective action that
      has been taken. In the case of the Koran, for example,
      most or all of the offenses appear to have occurred
      before January 2003, when the Pentagon responded to
      prisoner protests by issuing strict guidelines for
      handling the Koran.

      If the administration really wanted to prevent the
      spread of unfounded rumors, and to convince people in
      this country and abroad that abuses no longer take
      place, then a public, written report should have been
      published months ago. The American public has a right
      to know what mistakes are being made in its name, as
      well as what improved procedures have been instituted
      in response.

      The Costs of Outsourcing Interrogation: A Canadian
      Muslim's Long Ordeal in Syria

      Published: May 29, 2005


      OTTAWA - In 2002, when the United States government
      seized Maher Arar as he changed planes in New York and
      took him to Syria, the reason was starkly stated in a
      Justice Department document: he was a member of Al

      But no evidence of that has been made public in a
      judicial inquiry here into why Mr. Arar, a Canadian
      who was born in Syria, was sent to his native country,
      where he says he was beaten with a metal cable and
      held for 10 months in a tiny cell. Instead, it
      increasingly appears that Mr. Arar was singled out
      because his ties to other Muslims under suspicion in
      Ottawa were misinterpreted by jittery Canadian and
      American security officers.

      Guantánamo is gulag of our time, says Amnesty

      Richard Norton-Taylor
      Thursday May 26, 2005
      The Guardian


      Britain and the US are betraying the cause of human
      rights in pursuit of their "war on terror", Amnesty
      International says in its annual report published
      Irene Khan, Amnesty's general secretary, launching the
      report, accused the two governments of condoning
      torture while trying to keep their consciences clear.
      Britain used the language of freedom and justice in
      the context of Iraq, yet insisted that the Human
      Rights Act did not apply to British soldiers operating
      there, she said.

      The British government was seeking diplomatic
      assurances from countries, including Algeria, to which
      it wanted to deport people. By seeking assurances for
      particular cases, it was admitting that torture was
      entrenched in those countries and was therefore, in
      effect, condoning the practice, she said.
      "A new agenda is in the making, with the language of
      freedom and justice being used to pursue policies of
      fear and insecurity. This includes cynical attempts to
      redefine and sanitise torture," said Ms Khan.

      She said the US claimed to be promoting freedom in
      Iraq, yet its troops had committed appalling torture
      and had ill-treated detainees. She described
      Guantánamo Bay as "the gulag of our time".

      She said: "The US administration attempted to dilute
      the absolute ban on torture through new policies and
      quasi-management speak such as 'environmental
      manipulation', 'stress positions', and 'sensory

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