An International Conference to Criminalize War by the Perdana Global Peace Organization (PGPO) and Kuala Lumpur Foundation to Criminalize War (KLFCW) with the aim of stopping slaughter of innocents and prevent profiteers from earning blood money was held along with an Exhibition at Putra World Trade Center in Kuala Lumpur from Oct. 28 to 31. The conference was opened by former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who has been the driving force behind the conference , the exhibition and holding the Commission and the Tribunal . Renowned world and Malaysian experts and personalities participated in the events.
On the first two days of event, the conference heard views of both Malaysian and foreign Speakers on the wars and related matters.
( In 28 October morning session, British MP George Holloway ,Ms Cynthia Mckinney and the author spoke on
'Flouting of International Law and the Failure of International Organisations,'
Details would be given in follow up reports)
The War Crimes Commission and Tribunal heard testimonies from victims of torture following the illegal US led invasion of Iraq and earlier of Afghanistan.
The exhibition featured the carnage of war and torture committed by the US led forces and personnel in Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo and elsewhere.
Below is a media report on the testimonies of the victims
War Crimes Commission Hears Graphic Accounts of US Torture From Former Detainees By Maria J.Dass
November 01, 2009 --"SunDaily" -- KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 30, 2009): The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission today heard harrowing testimonies about the atrocities committed against the Guantanamo Bay detainees, which included psychological torture and routine humiliation.
A total of seven detainees including Sudanese journalist Sami Al'Hajj, and British nationals Moazzam Begg and Rahul Ahmed testified today about the atrocities that took place in the camps including how they were shackled, stripped naked in front of female soldiers, thrown naked into makeshift cells made with barbed wires, injected with substances and subjected to mental torture to the point they hallucinated.
Begg was detained in January 2002 in Pakistan, said he was told that there was no specific reason for his arrest except for the fact that he "fit a profile".
The family man, who had previously worked in Kabul, Afghanistan on a project to build a school for girls, moved to Pakistan after the Sept 11 bombings. He said he was "kidnapped" from his home, labelled an "enemy combatant" and detained for four years.
Begg, who is now director of Cage Prisoners – a human rights organisation that works to raise awareness of the plight of the prisoners held as part of the War on Terror – testified about the excruciating conditions in which he was transported from Pakistan to Kandahar and then to Guantanamo Bay.
Begg also revealed that he was interrogated more than 300 times including once when insinuations were made that his wife was in danger while the screams of a woman could be heard next door.He also said he was forced to sign a confession that he was member of the terrorist organisation Al-Qaeda under threat of torture and because he though it would give him access to legal recourse.
Begg also spoke of the psychological torture inflicted on him while he was imprisoned.
He said a psychiatrist assigned to speak to him had asked him if he had ever considered committing suicide and even suggested how he could kill himself by tying his prison clothes to make a rope that could be used as a noose.
"Of the six deaths that I knew of during detention, five were carried out in this way," Begg said, adding that the detainees were also drugged.
Summing up his testimony, Begg revealed to the commission that 92% of people held in Guantanamo Bay were not involved with the Taliban or Al-Qaeda, saying he believed many were detained and handed to the Americans to get the hefty bounty paid for each detainee.
He also had some harsh words for the role played by the British government in the affair.
"The British idea was that they were guests and that this was an American show and I believe my incarceration would not taken place without the aid of the British government who were closest allies to Americans."
Meanwhile Ahmed *and his friends learnt the hard way about the dangers of seeking pleasure in a hostile environment. In 2002, the then 18-year-old and two friends crossed the Pakistan-Afghanistan border to obtain drugs and alcohol which they were told was easily available in the American-occupied Afghanistan.
They were promptly arrested and Ahmed spent the next two and the half years of his life in Guantanamo Bay.
He said he was interrogated frequently, sometimes in awkward positions while being forced to listen to loud music and dogs barking for up to two days. "When subjected to this for several hours, the effects of this prolonged exposure makes you hallucinate and see things that are not here," he added.
Commissioners at the hearing were former Bar Council president Zainur Zakaria, former UN assistant secretary general for humanitarian operations in Iraq Prof Hans-Christof von Sponeck, former assistant secretary general for human resource management and head of UN humanitarian programme in Iraq Dennis J.Halliday, lawyer and former magistrate Musa Ismail, professor of law Gurdial Nijar, Perdana Foundation's Dr Zulaiha Ismail and Prof Dr Mohd Akram Shair Mohamed of the Islamic University.
The testimonies before the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission Hearings will be submitted to a tribunal in conjunction with the Criminalise War Conference and War Crimes Tribunal 2009 spearheaded by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Copyright© 2009 Sun Media Corporation Sdn. Bhd.
*( additional reporting) Rape and abuse of women and children by US troops were almost a daily affair over at the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad, said Iraqi-born Jameela Abbas Hameedi.
Jameelah, 54, was arrested in the Iraqi capital in January 2004 with her entire family, allegedly for supporting and funding forces against the US invasion.
"The US army even beat me with tubes and a plastic chair until it broke. A plastic shard entered my leg and caused a bad infection. I had to undergo surgery but without any anaesthetic given," said Jameelah who was also stripped to her underwear in the "black room" of the prison and bashed against a wall.
Her only daughter and nephew were beaten and tortured naked for six months until Jameelah admitted that she supported the resistance.
She also witnessed other abuses like sleep deprivation, forced stress positions, forced nudity, the use of dogs to scare and bite prisoners, death threats and sexual abuse.
Jameelah and her family were freed in July 2004 without any charges brought against them.
Apart from copious information available freely in the media , a November 1, 2009 New York Times article by SCOTT SHANE and CHARLIE SAVAGE
'Documents Detail Conditions Found at Secret C.I.A. Jails'
underlines the fact that torture by US was a common practice even earlier . It says ;
" F.B.I. agents who arrived at a secret C.I.A. jail overseas in September 2002 found prisoners "manacled to the ceiling and subjected to blaring music around the clock," and a C.I.A. official wrote a list of questions for interrogators including "How close is each technique to the 'rack and screw,' " according to hundreds of pages of partly declassified documents released Friday by the Justice Department.
"The documents include handwritten notes, apparently prepared by Justice Department officials, discussing the possibility of prosecuting some employees of the Central Intelligence Agency. The notes reveal that the Justice Department considered prosecuting a C.I.A. interrogator for a previously reported incident in which a detainee was threatened with a gun and a power drill, but it says department officials declined to prosecute the case.
"The documents were released in the latest response to several Freedom of Information Act lawsuits filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and Judicial Watch, a Washington advocacy group. Some are new versions of documents previously released.
Newly disclosed passages from a 2008 report by the Justice Department inspector general describe what agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation saw at the C.I.A. jail where Ramzi bin al-Shibh, one of the plotters of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, was being questioned.
The F.B.I. agents helped C.I.A. officers prepare questions for Mr. Binalshibh but "were denied direct access to him for four or five days," the report said. Then an F.B.I. agent, identified as "Thomas," was allowed to see him and found him "naked and chained to the floor."
Out of over 40 articles on US led illegal war on Iraq , a few covered the torture by US led forces and personnel . Two examples,
US Franchised Torture Refuses To Go Away-By Gajendra Singh 18 Jan, 2006 www.informationclearinghouse.info/article11601.htm
01/18/06 "ICH" -- -- The ramifications of US franchised torture and street revolutions in Serbia, Georgia ,Ukraine , Kyrgyzstan et al are not going to go away . The recent fence-mending visit to Washington by the newly sworn in right wing German Chancellor Angela Merkel was overshadowed by human right violations and torture at US base in Guantanamo and rendition of terrorism suspects to prisons in Europe and elsewhere by CIA. --
The question of torture at secret prisons specially in East Europe had erupted following a clutch of media reports led by the Washington Post and Der Spiegel which reported US use of airports in Europe for CIA flights to transport terror suspects to a network of secret jails for questioning.
One of the persons picked up for questioning as a suspected terrorist was a German citizen Khaled Masri , who was on holiday in Macedonia. He was flown out and tortured in Afghanistan for five months before being released on grounds of mistaken identity in 2004. During the last December visit of Ms Condoleeza Rice to Europe , Merkel had said that the United States had acknowledged responsibility.
Gen Taguba Unveils Abu Ghraib, US Gulag - "The abused are only Iraqis!" http://www.uruknet.info/?p=m34046&hd=&size=1&l=e 27 June, 2007
Recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world : Preamble, Universal Declaration of Human Rights
"From the moment a soldier enlists, we inculcate loyalty, duty, honor, integrity, and selfless service. And yet when we get to the senior-officer level we forget those values.---we violated the laws of land warfare in Abu Ghraib. We violated the tenets of the Geneva Convention. We violated our own principles and we violated the core of our military values. I believe, even today, that those civilian and military leaders responsible should be held accountable." Gen Taguba.
Seymour Hersh , the well known US investigative journalist has done it again –methodically chipping away at United State administration's blatant lies and spins to further unveil the torture and abuse of Iraqis at US created 'Gulag' at Abu Ghraib and US Administrations effort to muzzle an honest US voice .
In an interview with Hersh in New Yorker , Major General Antonio Taguba who led the first military investigation in 2004 into human rights abuses at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq has bluntly questioned the integrity of former US Secretary of Defence, Donald Rumsfeld, suggesting he misled the US Congress by downplaying his own prior knowledge of what had happened. Gen Taguba also claimed in the interview that President George Bush also "had to be aware" of the atrocities despite saying at the time of the scandal that he had been out of the loop until he saw images in the US media.
The world needs to know the atrocities and illegal acts perpetrated by US led West not only in Iraq , Afghanistan, Yugoslavia but else where too , in fact since centuries . For example the British earlier,
Genocide in India ; Ten millions killed after the 1857 revolution.
In his book "War of Civilizations: India AD 1857" writer/journalist Shri Amaresh Misra ( released by India's Vice President MH Ansari in 2008 ) states that 1857 revolt was a revolution which failed because it was not sufficiently well organized . It was a war of civilisations.
The number of Indians killed in revenge after 1857 has been estimated at 10 million (7 per cent of the population) in UP, Haryana and Bihar alone based on primary sources in the National Archives in New Delhi and the state archives in Lucknow , Patna, Bhopal, Bombay, and Ahmadabad apart from the Raza Library in Rampur, Shibli Numani Library in Azamgarh, Khuda Baksh Library in Patna, and the Deoband Library. The original sources are in Urdu, Persian, and Arabic
US led west and its allies financed and trained jihadis /terrorists in 1980s , who have since attacked India almost at will including the 26/11 rape of Mumbai.
On 31 October , the Commission presented its findings to the Tribunal , which after a whole day's hearings adjourned and will resume its proceedings in the near future.
Movements and actions to punish the war criminals must be encouraged , financed and supported.
I returned from Kuala Lumpur I November night after participating in the conference , visiting the exhibition and attending the Commission and Tribunal hearings.
Gajendra Singh , Delhi 2 November, 2009