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Showing posts from August 2, 2008

Held Hostage For Six Years In Guantanamo  : Information Clearing House - ICH

Held Hostage For Six Years In Guantanamo  : Information Clearing House - ICH
Silvia Cattori : What kind of torture did they subject you to?

Sami El Haj : All kinds of physical and psychological torture. As all the detainees were Muslim, the camp administration subjected them to many forms of harassment and humiliation linked to religion. With my own eyes I saw soldiers tearing up the Qur’an and throwing it in the toilet. I saw them, during interrogation sessions, sitting on the Qur’an until their questions were answered. They insulted our families and our religion. They made fun of us by pretending to ring our God, asking him to come and save us. The only Imam at the camp was accused of complicity with the detainees and was sent away, in 2005, for refusing to tell visitors that the camp respected religious freedom.

They beat us up. They taunted us with racist insults. They locked us in cold rooms, below zero, with one cold meal a day. They hung us up by our hands. They deprived us of sle…

Held Hostage For Six Years In Guantanamo  : Information Clearing House - ICH

Held Hostage For Six Years In Guantanamo  : Information Clearing House - ICH

Standing straight and tall, an impressive and deeply introspective man, Sami El Haj walks with a limp and the help of a walking stick. Neither laughter nor smiles light up the refined face of this man, old before his time. A deep sadness pervades him. He was 32 years old when, in December 2001, his life, like that of tens of thousands of other Muslims, became a horrific nightmare.

He endured horrendous suffering. Weakened by a hunger strike which lasted 438 days, set free on the 1st May 2008, he greets you attentively and with a gentle manner. He calmly tells you of a world whose paralyzing, suffocating horror is beyond your comprehension.
He is the first of the released detainees from the camps built by the Bush administration at the Guantánamo Bay naval base to be authorised to travel.

“I came to Geneva, the city of the United Nations and freedom, [1] to ask for the law to be respected, to demand the closure of…

Bomb kills Ugandan peacekeeper in Somalia

Bomb kills Ugandan peacekeeper in Somalia: "A roadside bomb killed a Ugandan peacekeeper in the Somali capital Friday, witnesses and an official said, breaking a brief period of relative quiet following a peace agreement between some of the fighting factions.

The explosion occurred near the Ugandan base at Mogadishu's international airport, said Ugandan commander Col. Godfrey Golooba.

Keyse Ali, a witness, said the bomb was hidden in a pile of garbage and exploded as the soldiers were making routine checks on the road. The blast knocked Ali back several yards.

Muhyadin Nor, another witness, said the area was covered in blood.

A spokesman for the African Union said the peacekeepers would continue their efforts.

'Unfortunately, this is not the first attack against our troops in Mogadishu,' said El-Ghassim Wane at the AU's headquarters in Ethiopia. 'But we are as determined as ever to carry out the mandate of the mission. ... This is an attack by elements bent on unde…

Sadr movement: U.S. should agree to go -

Sadr movement: U.S. should agree to go -
The Sadr Movement supports any agreement that would lead to the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, the group's foreign relations spokesman said Friday.

Sheik Hassan al-Zarqani, in an interview with Alalam News Network, said Iraqi sovereignty is a key issue for the followers of Moqtada Sadr.

Sadr in a public statement Thursday urged Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki not to sign an agreement that does not include the complete withdrawal of U.S. forces by the end of next year.

Zarqani suggested the government should wait until President George W. Bush leaves office, signing an agreement with the next administration. He criticized the Bush administration for sending mixed messages about a U.S. pullout and ignoring Iraqi opposition to any agreement that would allow U.S. forces to remain in the country.