Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Taliban Phenomenon - 19

Kaukab wrote:

You know Human Rights Watch [HRW] is a hard core Zionist organization. If you read the garbage Aamir has posted, HRW went door to door to dig up evidence against the Taliban. By contrast, over the last 7 years, HRW has been silent or made only token notes about the bombing of Afghan villages by the U.S. air force in which thousands of cvilians have been killed, including women and children.

kaukab Siddique, Ph.D

Dear and Respected Kaukab Sahab,

By the way the same Human Rights Watch which you have termed as a Zionist Organization, has also reported this:

The ambassadors and diplomatic missions’ staff are always exempted of laws of the country they are being designated to represent their respective countries.

Dear Friends,

For your kind perusal:

III. Living conditions

The first incarnation of the detention facility at Guantanamo was the makeshift Camp X-Ray, consisting of small cages with chain-link sides, concrete floors and metal roofs, offering scant shelter from the elements, and with very basic sanitary facilities. Not only the living conditions, but some of the practices applied to prisoners appear to have been harsher than in the facility that later replaced it, Camp Delta. Two of the detainees interviewed by Human Rights Watch described how initially they were not allowed to pray. One, Mohammad Sangir, claimed that he witnessed Arab detainees being beaten for having prayed (for more on allegations of beatings, see below).20

Shah Mohammed Alikhil, a Pakistani who was interviewed by Human Rights Watch, described his introduction to life in Camp X-Ray:

A person came to my cell and explained the rules and regulations to me. I was told not to talk with any other persons or shout or make noise or get close to the iron bars of my cell or the door of my cell… My cell was one of ten cells that were located on both sides of a narrow corridor with five rooms on each side. We could see each other, but we were prohibited to talk.21

Asif Iqbal, a British detainee, described Camp X-Ray:

Human Rights Watch Demolishes US Case On status of Prisoners in Camp X-Ray By Kenneth Roth Human Rights Watch January 28, 2002

January 28, 2002
The Honorable Condoleezza Rice
National Security Advisor
The White House
Washington, DC

Dear Ms. Rice, We write concerning the legal status of the Guantanamo detainees. Our views reflect Human Rights Watch's experience of over twenty years in applying the Geneva Conventions of 1949 to armed conflicts around the world. We write to address several arguments advanced for not applying Article 5 of the Third Geneva Convention of 1949, which, as you know, requires the establishment of a "competent tribunal" to determine individually whether each detainee is entitled to prisoner-of-war status should any doubt arise regarding their status. Below we set forth each of the arguments offered for ignoring Article 5 as well as Human Rights Watch's response. we hope the U.S. government will agree to establish the
"competent tribunal" required by Article 5 of the Third Geneva Convention for the purpose of determining case by case whether each detainee in Guantanamo is entitled to prisoner-of-war status.

Kenneth Roth Executive Director Human Rights Watch

IV. Impunity for the Architects of Illegal Policy To date, with the exception of one major directly implicated in abuse, only low-ranking soldiers — privates and sergeants have been prosecuted. No officer has been charged in connection with detainee abuse by people under his command. No civilian leader at the Pentagon or the CIA has been investigated.

Commanders and superiors can be held criminally liable if they order, induce, instigate, aid, or abet in the commission of a crime. This is a principle recognized both in U.S. law80 and international law.81

In addition, the doctrine of “command responsibility” or “superior responsibility” holds that individuals who are in civilian or military authority may under certain circumstances be criminally liable not for their actions, but rather for the crimes of those under their command. As explained in the annex to this report, three elements are needed to establish such

1. There must be a superior-subordinate relationship;


Amnesty International today published a 62-page Memorandum sent to the US Government detailing the organisation's concerns over detainees in US custody in Afghanistan's Camp Rhino and Guantánamo Bay's Camp X-Ray.

"The US government must ensure that all its actions in relation to those in its custody in Afghanistan and Guantánamo Bay comply with international law and standards," Amnesty International said. "This is crucial if justice is to be done and seen to be done, and if respect for the rule of law and human rights is not to be undermined."

The organisation is also renewing its 22 January request for access to the detainees held in Camp X-Ray, as no reply has been received from the US authorities.

Amnesty International's Memorandum accuses the USA of denying or threatening to deny the internationally recognised rights of people taken into its custody in Afghanistan and elsewhere - some 300 of whom have been transferred to Camp X-Ray - in particular by:

- transferring and holding people in conditions that may amount to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and that violate other minimum standards relating to detention;

- refusing to grant people in its custody access to legal counsel, despite ongoing interrogations which may lead to prosecutions;

- refusing to grant detainees access to courts to challenge the lawfulness of their detention;

- refusing to disclose full information about the circumstances of many of the arrests, including whether they occurred in Afghanistan, Pakistan, or elsewhere;

- undermining human rights protections in cases of people taken into custody outside Afghanistan and transferred to Camp X-Ray and elsewhere, including six Algerian nationals seized in Bosnia in apparent violation of Bosnian and international law;

- undermining the presumption of innocence through a pattern of public commentary on the presumed guilt of the Camp X-Ray detainees;

- threatening to apply an unfair justice system, in selecting foreign nationals for trial before military commissions lacking clear independence from the executive and with the power to hand down death sentences without the right of appeal to an independent, impartial court;

- raising the prospect of indefinite detention without charge or trial, or continued detention after acquittal by military commission, or repatriation threatening the principle of non-refoulement;

- failing to show that it conducted an impartial and thorough investigation into allegations of human rights violations against Afghan villagers detained by US soldiers in Afghanistan.

The US government has refused to grant any of the detainees in Afghanistan or Guantánamo Bay prisoner of war status, or to bring any disputed cases before a competent tribunal as required under the Geneva Conventions.

"The USA's 'pick and choose' approach to the Geneva Conventions is unacceptable, as is its failure to respect fundamental international human rights standards," Amnesty International said.

Read the Memorandum

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Memorandum to the US Government on the rights of people in US custody in Afghanistan and Guantánamo Bay

''The United States cannot expect to reap the benefits of internationally recognized human rights – in the form of greater worldwide stability and respect for people – without being willing to adhere to them itself.'' US Senior District Judge, New York, January 2002(1)

* Introduction - All detainees and prisoners have rights

More than 3,000 people lost their lives in the United States of America (USA) on 11 September 2001 as a result of the deliberate crashing of four hijacked commercial airliners in New York City, Washington DC, and Pennsylvania. In a televised address from the White House that evening, President Bush said: ''I have directed the full resources of our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and to bring them to justice.'' Military action began on 7 October 2001 with the first air strikes in Afghanistan that, with the use of ground forces, continued into March 2002.

Amnesty International has condemned the atrocities of 11 September and has consistently urged that the search for justice be conducted in strict compliance with international human rights and humanitarian law. It is concerned that the USA has failed to meet this obligation. On several occasions, the organization has raised its concern that international law and standards have been violated or are under threat of violation, including in the context of the more than one thousand foreign nationals arrested and detained in the USA in post-11 September sweeps,(2) and the situation of people taken into US custody in Afghanistan and elsewhere outside the USA, some 300 of whom had been transferred to the US naval base at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba at the time of writing.(3) It is these detentions in Afghanistan and Guantánamo that are the focus of this memorandum – which seeks to remind the US Government of its stated commitment to international law and standards, and provides detail on the ways in which its actions are failing to match this rhetoric. The memorandum concludes with Amnesty International's recommendations. The organization is separately requesting information from the authorities on cases raised in this paper.

All persons under any form of detention or imprisonment, including prisoners of war and other persons arrested, detained or interned for reasons related to an armed conflict, have numerous fundamental rights recognized under international human rights and humanitarian law.(4) Indeed, these rights are recognized even with respect to persons suspected of the worst possible crimes: genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. This law includes treaties ratified by the USA, as well as customary international law recognized by the USA. Furthermore, international humanitarian law recognizes that certain groups of people taken into custody, such as persons detained in an international or non-international armed conflict, have similar or additional rights. In particular, Amnesty International believes that those captured and held by the USA in the armed conflict in Afghanistan must be presumed to be prisoners of war. Under the Third Geneva Convention, any dispute about their status must be determined by a ''competent tribunal'' (which necessarily must fully respect the right to a fair trial). Despite claiming to fully support the Geneva Conventions, the US Government has refused to grant prisoner of war status to any of the people in its custody in Afghanistan or Guantánamo Bay, or submit the question of each person's status to a competent tribunal to resolve the doubts about their status that plainly exist.\USA

Even the Taliban leader Mullah Omar got away. All they got was the Taliban's ambassador to Pakistan, a relatively minor functionary.

The price of this American disaster for the people of Afghanistan was, according to a recent study at the University of New Hampshire, at least 5,000 civilian lives.

For all the posed photographs of American troops against desert landscapes, hardly any of them have seen combat. Instead, impoverished people in dusty villages are killed from the sky.


by John Pilger Daily Mirror (London) March 01, 2002

VII. Beatings and other inappropriate use of force

Asif Iqbal, a British detainee, claims that a guard punched him in the face numerous times and kneed his thigh, leaving a huge bruise, on one occasion.73

Shah Mohammed Alikhil told Human Rights Watch that he had witnessed the beating of detainee Abdul Salam Zaeef, who had been the Taliban’s ambassador to Pakistan, while they were both in the punishment cells:

He along with other prisoners shouted at one of the guards who threw down a holy Koran one day. He and other prisoners had shouted as a way to show their anger and protest. So he was put in this cell. I saw him one day while he was circled by many guards equipped with protection guards [shields] which were like reflecting mirrors. He was resisting getting into the cell, but the guards were pushing him forward. During this time I saw that one guard got angry and hit Abdul Salam Zaeef with a punch and then other guards also beat him with the protecting guards.74

Afghan former detainee N.H. told Human Rights Watch:

Sometimes the prison guards would throw water bottles or other things at prisoners to agitate them, and then two or three of them would badly beat the angry prisoner. In many instances, I have seen prisoners badly injured with blood coming out of their mouths, noses and ears.75

Mr Ayaz Amir had written on September 22, 2006 Friday in Daily Dawn

The ordeal of Mullah Zaeef By Ayaz Amir

"On the morning of January 2, 2002, three officials of a secret agency arrived at Zaeef’s house in Islamabad with this message: “Your Excellency, you are no more excellency.” One of them said, no one can resist American power, or words to that effect. “America wants to question you. We are going to hand you over to the Americans so that their purpose is served and Pakistan is saved from a big danger.” Zaeef could have been forgiven for feeling stunned. From the “guardians of Islam” this was the last thing that he expected, that for the sake of a few “coins” (his words) he would be delivered as a “gift” to the Americans. Under heavy escort he was taken to Peshawar, kept there for a few days and then pushed into his nightmare. Blindfolded and handcuffed, he was driven to a place where a helicopter was waiting, its engines running. Someone said, “Khuda hafiz” (God preserve you).

There were some people speaking in English. “Suddenly I was pounced upon and flung on the ground, kicked and pummelled from all sides. So sudden was the attack that I was dumbfounded... My blindfold slipping, I saw a line of Pakistani soldiers to one side and some vehicles including one with a flag...My clothes were stripped from my body and I was naked but ‘my former friends’ kept watching the spectacle. The locks on their lips I can never forget... The (Pakistani) officers present there could at least have said he is our guest, in our presence don’t treat him like this. Even in my grave I will not be able to forget that scene.”


Ex-Taliban envoy freed from Guantanamo - Afghan TV KABUL, Sept 12 (Reuters) - The former Taliban ambassador to Pakistan has been released from a U.S. military prison in Cuba under an Afghan government reconciliation programme, Afghan state television said on Monday.Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef became the Taliban's spokesman after the Sept. 11 attacks and held regular news conferences at his Islamabad embassy at which he tried to convince the world the Taliban's guest, Osama bin Laden, was not responsible. "The Taliban ambassador to Pakistan, who had been in Guantanamo prison for some time, has been released with the help of the reconciliation programme," state run Kabul National Television said.Zaeef had met the head of the reconciliation programme, former president Sibghatullah Mojadidi, the television said. It gave no details and Mojadidi was not immediately available for comment.Four prominent former Taliban members are running in the election. Among them is Zaeef's old boss, former foreign minister Wakil Ahmad Muttawakil who surrendered to U.S. troops after the Taliban's ouster and was detained for about two years.(Posted @ 21:58 PST)

September 12, 2005 Monday

Ex-envoy Zaeef narrates tale of woes ISLAMABAD Oct. 04 (PPI) Former Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan Mulla Abdul Salam Zaeef recently released from the Guantanamo prison has said he was treated like a hardened criminal in the prison and lost one ear and got deaf due to US soldiers’ torture in Pakistan. He narrated to the VOA in an interview the details from the day the Pakistani authorities handed him over to the US and the final release upon being absolved of all the charges levelled against him. "I was the man who tried his best for reconciliation. I was not in favour of imposition of a second war on Afghanistan”, he said. (Posted @ 18:45 PST)

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