Saturday, October 31, 2009

War Crime Commission Hearing: Statutory Declaration by Salam Fanar Zabin


I, SALAM FANAR ZABIN (Iraqi Passport No. G2399607) of full age and a citizen of Iraq do hereby solemnly and sincerely declare as follows:

1. I am 24 years old.

2. I now live in Damascus, Syria.

3. The purpose of making this declaration is to put on record my torture in the Baghdad Airport prison (for 7 days) and Saladdin (for 3 days) and in Abu Ghraib prison (for 6 months).

4. I was 17 years old when I was detained on 19 October 2003 in my home at the Al Jehad area near the Baghdad Airport at midnight. I was at home with my father and the electricity supply to the whole area was cut off when there was a huge blast and the American soldiers broke into the house. My father is disabled with artificial legs. Both of us were taken in a tank to Baghdad Airport. We were put in separate cells. The cell was 1 ¾ by 2 meters. A hood was placed on my head and I was forced to sit on my knees in the middle of the cell. After some hours later I was taken for questioning. I was not told why I was detained. Later I was given a form to fill and in the form it was written I was accused of being part of the resistance.

5. In another room there were 2 Americans in civilian clothes and another person who spoke in Arabic. I was asked where is Saddam Hussein and the weapons of mass destruction. And who is behind the resistance. I said I do not know anything as I was only 17 years old at that time. They threatened that if I did not tell them any information they would send my father to Guantanamo Bay.

6. The interrogator then ordered I be taken to the black room where I was tied and my head was hit against the corner of the walls. My clothes were torn and I was in my underwear. My hands were tied and I was forced to crawl on my elbows and knees on the wet slippery cold floor covered with ice cubes and soap. My elbows and arms started to bleed. I also heard screaming and crying of other prisoners.

7. My hood was lifted and ice cubes were shoved into the hood and I was shoved onto the ground. I was then hit by a stick and kicked by the boots of the soldiers on both sides of my body. I could feel blood was flowing out of my wounds. After a while I could not feel anything due to the pain and the ice cubes on my head which made me feel numb.

8. I was taken back to my cell and my hood was removed and I saw my chest hair was removed and I was bleeding profusely. I was hurt all over my body. The cell had no roof with a cement floor with a plastic covering and I felt very cold as the cold outside air was coming into the cell. I had no clothes besides my pants. I did not have any amenities in the cell.

9. I was not given food and was only given some water for the 3 days I was in my cell. I was repeatedly questioned about my personal background. I was also asked again where is Saddam Hussein and the weapons of mass destruction. A food bag was thrown in my cell everyday and before I could take the bag the cell door would be opened and the bag would be removed. All the time I was verbally abused.

10. I was then taken to Saladdin prison by helicopter and I was still in my short pants and a hood was placed over my head. In the helicopter I was asked to squat with the door opened for the duration of the flight. This was done so as if there were any attack on the helicopter I would be in the line of fire.

11. When the helicopter landed I was transferred to a pick up truck and taken to a spot where I was then taken by another pick up truck to a place where I was in a room where they removed my hood. The room was a normal room with a sofa and 2 chairs. I was still not given any clothes.

12. I was in the room for half an hour or so and taken to another room which was an office and there I met Colonel J an American sitting with his feet on the table. I was asked to sit. I was offered tea, chocolate, juice and whiskey. The Colonel was chewing betel nut. I did not take any of the food and drinks offered. I was shown a list of 20 names and a picture of some people – some of whom I recognised because there are known in the country but whom I do not know personally. I said I am too young to know these people.

13. The Colonel got up and tried to tie my hands behind the chair. The chair was big and this could not be done. The Colonel called in soldiers and they tied my hands and put plastic bag on my head and it began to suffocate me. They kept asking me the same questions on the 20 persons and Saddam Hussein and slapped me many times. I struggled to breathe due to the tight plastic bag but I managed to bite a small opening that allowed me to breathe. I became unconscious. I awoke later in the first room.

14. Later they took me in a car with some soldiers. I was given an Iraqi flowing shirt, pants and slippers. I was taken to identify the homes of the same 20 people in Saladdin. I said I do not know where these people live because I stay in Baghdad.

15. I was brought back and my clothes were taken away. My hands were tied and my head hooded. Again I heard screams and sounds. I was very scared. And suddenly I was thrown in to water and I struggled because I cannot swim. A rope was tied to me and I was then dragged where the water was shallow and then dragged to the where the water was deeper. I realised I was in a swimming pool. This went on possibly for half an hour. I was removed out and placed in a room where the air conditioning was very cold and my hood was removed. One of the soldiers brought a towel to be placed under my feet so as not to wet the floor.

16. I felt something going out of my left lower leg but I could not feel what was it due to the freezing condition that I was in. They then dragged me from the hood. My hood was removed and I saw my leg was bleeding. My leg was then bandaged.

17. I had not eaten for 10 days. An interpreter told me that I would be taken back to Baghdad. I was taken in the same manner back to Baghdad.

18. Once I reached Baghdad I was taken to Abu Ghraib prison. I was taken to be registered in the prison and a number was given to me. I was given a blanket, tooth brush and a cup. I was then taken to the prison compound where tents had been pitched.

19. At the tent a Major gave me slippers to wear. There were 28 tents. Each tent had about 30 to 45 persons and there was a toilet. We were only allowed a few seconds shower once a week. We were fed 3 times a day but the food was very bad.

20. The Americans would also make periodic searches in the tents and harass the prisoners and at times they would take the prisoners copy of the Quran and and throw it on the floor and stomp on it with their boots.

21. I was not called for any questioning in Abu Ghraib. The prisoners would protest their detention and the poor prison conditions. One day there was a prison protest and the American soldiers responded to stop the protest by using live ammunition and grenades.

22. During this protest I was injured in my left eye. I fell on the ground. I was taken into the prison clinic. A piece of shrapnel had pieced the upper lid of my eye. They treated my wound and gave me some medication. They informed me that I will need surgery but there were no facilities in the clinic. I have since lost sight in my left eye.

23. I was released on 2 April 2004. All our property and assets were taken by the ruling government. I then returned to my family’s home town of Saladdin. From there I and members of my family moved to Syria.

24. I attach herewith the conditional release letter from Abu Gharib marked as Exhibit S-1. I also attach my medical report marked Exhibit S-2.

25. I wish to state that when I was detained there were no grounds to do so. Further, I was under aged and placed in prison with adults and in the process was tortured and abused. I could not finish my schooling and my future has been severely damaged by the wrongful actions of the American forces. I have also lost my eyesight in my left eye. My family was a well to do family based on our ancestral family wealth and we lost everything due to the invasion and the baseless persecution against me. I make a living by repairing mobile phones in order to support my family in Syria.

And I make this solemn declaration conscientiously believing the same to be true and by virtue of the provisions of the Statutory Declaration Act 1960.

Subscribed and solemnly declared by the above named

SALAM FANAR ZABIN on ___ October 2009 at Kuala Lumpur through the Interpretation of SHAIMA F. HUSSEIN with the said been first affirmed that she had truly, distinctly and audibly translated the contents of this Statutory Declaration to the deponent and that she would truly and faithfully interpret the affirmation about to be administered unto the said SALAM FANAR ZABIN

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War Crime Commission Hearing: Statutory Declaration of Dr Soud Naji Al-Azzawi


I, Dr SOUAD NAJI AL-AZZAWI (Iraqi Passport No. G1630368) of full age and a citizen of Iraq do hereby solemnly and sincerely declare as follows:

1. I am 57 years old. I am an Associate Professor in environmental engineering. I am a consultant for scientific affairs to private universities in Iraq and Syria.

2. I currently live in Mosul, Iraq and Aleppo, Syria.

3. The purpose of making this declaration is to put on record that the intentional use depleted uranium and other banned weapons till todate by the United States of America (USA) and United Kingdom is a crime against humanity because it targets not only the armies but also the civilians for decades to come due to their radioactive contamination that will be continuously present after military engagement.

4. Depleted Uranium (DU) is a radioactive and chemically toxic heavy metal. If ingested, inhaled, or it enters the human body through wounds or the skin, it remains there for decades.

5. Laboratory studies and scientific evidence prove the link and causal relationship between exposure to Depleted Uranium and the increased risk of inducing neurodegenerative diseases, immune and hormonal system damage, initiation or promotion of cancer, Tetratogenic Toxicity which causes mental retardation and congenital malformations, miscarriages, and sterility.

6. The medical research by Dr Rosalie Bertell research showed that how the internal exposure is more dangerous then external exposure to radioactive because it generates free radicals which will attack the antioxidants and create total oxidative stress in the human body. This stress causes failure to protective enzymes, leaving cells vulnerable to viruses. Free radicals can also totally disrupt the folding process and manufacturing of the molecule proteins which is sequenced by DNA and manufactured by the RNA. Some of the diseases resulted from misrouted proteins include cystic fibrosis, diabetes insipidus and cancer. Research by Dr Alexandra C Miller and her team proved in 2005 that the depleted uranium causes malformations of foetuses and attacks the immune system of laboratory animals and causes sterility specifically in males.

7. A crime is committed against the people of Iraq wherein thousands have died and are continuing to die from cancer. The contamination is an ongoing process. There was a six-fold increase in congenitial malformations since 1991 during the first Gulf War. During this period Basra was the site of contamination of depleted uranium in Iraq. And in 2003 this contamination extended to other regions of Iraq such has Baghdad, Fallujah, Samawa and other regions during the invasion of Iraq.

8. During and after the invasion in 2003 the invading forces also used napalm, white phosphorus besides depleted uranium. The use of these banned and illegal weapons defies the conventions of the international community, which have prohibited the use of these weapons. The Hague and Geneva conventions and its protocols and subsequent treaties clearly declare that weapons which cannot discriminate between civilians and military or combatants are prohibited from not only use but also from manufacture and sale

9. In 2007 and 2008 the Environmental Minister of Iraq admitted that Iraq is going through a cancer epidemic and called upon the international community to help Iraq to clean the environment and to offer medical care for the Iraqi people. The Minister also declared that there are more then 300 sites contaminated with depleted uranium.

10. The USA and UK armed forces used Depleted Uranium ammunition for the first time in the history of their wars during the Gulf War of 1991. About one million bullets, projectiles, and missiles were fired along the highway from Kuwait to Basrah then up to Nasriya and other Iraqi cities.

11. Spreading and dispersion of DU contamination to surrounding areas also occurs through wind storms, dust storms, sandstorms, and rainstorms. Published data indicate a significant increase in the frequency of annual dust storms in both Iraq and Kuwait areas. The first 8 months of 2009 witnessed 20 dust storms, as declared by the Iraqi Ministry of Health

12. After 18 years, Kuwait required US department of defense to remove the DU contaminated wreckage from their land. Over 6,700 tons of contaminated soil, sand and other residues were collected and shipped back to the USA for burial by American Ecology at Bios, Idaho. The US administration and Pentagon officials still insist that DU has no significant health hazards, yet they shipped back their dirty radioactive wreckage back home from Kuwait.

13. The court in Florence, Italy made a decision on 13 January 2009 ordering the Italian Ministry of Defense to compensate Gianbattista Marica with Euro 545,061, a parachutist who was deployed in Somalia for eight months in 1993. This decesion is very important because it states “the casual link between the presence of depleted uranium and the illness (cancer) of the Soldier”. The courts statement includes the report of a technical consultant who maintains that there is a causal link between the Hodgkin Lymphoma developed by the soldier and the exposure to DU.

14. However, Uranium radiation hazards are covered up and misrepresented through the obsolete models of risk and derived standards of allowable exposure set by the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP). This model was derived from invalid assumptions due to secrecy and cover up about the health effects of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs then, around the cold war developments of nuclear power and weapons.

15. The ICRP risk model was built from studies of the atomic bomb survivors, which overlooked the effects from the internal radiation source and ignored cancer that in some cases takes decades to appear. It was certainly developed before the DNA and the human genome knowledge existed the way it does to date.

16. Intentional denial and refusal of the US and UK administrations to release any information about the types, locations, and amounts of DU weapons that have been used against Iraq have caused additional radioactive doses, and health damages to the people in contaminated areas. Both administrations should be held responsible for this crime.

17. The drastic increase of cancer incidences in Iraq since 1995 to date and the DU related diseases like congenital malformation, miscarriages, etc, are all attributed to the use of prohibited weapons including Depleted Uranium.

18. DU contaminated areas all over Iraq are a continuous source of radioactive pollution. Without cleaning and other measures, resuspension of these contaminants with each dust and sand storm can be considered as systematic attacks by the US and UK armies on civilians in an armed conflict.

19. A copy of my paper on the matters stated above is attached as Exhibit SA-1.

20. This is a crime against humanity to its undifferentiated harmful health impacts on civilians for a long time to come after the military operations have concluded.

And I make this solemn declaration conscientiously believing the same to be true and by virtue of the provisions of the Statutory Declaration Act 1960.

Subscribed and solemnly declared by the above named Dr SOUAD NAJI AL-AZZAWI on __ October 2009 at ______.

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War Crime Commission Hearing: Statutory Declaration of Rhuhel Ahmed


I, RHUHEL AHMED (British Passport No. 105601983) of full age and a citizen of United Kingdom do hereby solemnly and sincerely declare as follows:

1. I am 27 years old.

2. I live in Sandwell, England.

3. The purpose of making this declaration is to put on record my torture in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay.

4. In October 2001 I and 3 of my friends Shafiq, Asif and Monir – all citizens of the United Kingdom went to Pakistan for Asif’s wedding and a holiday. We were there early about 3 weeks before the wedding and toured part of Pakistan and later we decided to go tour Afghanistan. We went with an aid organisation from Pakistan that was taking food and medical aid to the poor in Afghanistan.

5. We were in Kandahar when the bombing commenced by the United States of America. We stayed for 2 days and tried to get back to Pakistan. We were told that the border was sealed. The aid organisation members proposed that we follow them to Kabul where it was safer. We travelled by road to Kabul. We stayed here for 2 weeks.

6. We tried to get back to Kandahar to go back to Pakistan. We paid for the members of the aid organisation and ourselves to go back in a mini bus. We realised that the mini bus we had hired was taking a different route. We ended up Kunduz in Northern Afghanistan. We stopped at a Taliban base. Unknown to us the members of the aid organisation were actually Taliban sympathisers and they stayed at the base. We were taken to a medium sized hut to stay. We were there for 2 weeks. We were supplied by food and were free to move around the town.

7. During this period the Taliban had lost control of Afghanistan. The Taliban negotiated with the Uzbek warlord General Dostum for a a safe passage to Kandahar. On our way out of Kunduz there was a heavy attack launched by American helicopter gunships that pounded the area. I lost my friend Monir during this attack.

8. A Taliban convoy came and picked us up on our way to General Dostum. When we reached there we were all detained. Our belongings including those of the Talibans were taken away.

9. We were marched on foot in the desert without food and water for 2 days. And then we were put on trucks and taken to Mazar-E-Sharif. During this journey I saw United States soldiers close by on jeeps and sand buggies.

10. In Mazar-E-Sharif we saw photographers and saw containers made of metal and some by canvas. We were put in these containers. There were more then 200 people placed in each container. I was in a container covered by canvas and tore part of the canvas to allow some air in. Those in the metal container suffocated and many died. General Dostum’s forces then shot the bottom sides of the containers on the basis to allow air into the containers for the people to breathe. But this resulted in killing and wounding people. My friend Asif was injured by a bullet.

11. We were then driven to Shabarghm prison which took almost a day. There were hundreds of trucks there. Ditches were dug and those in the containers who were dead due to suffocation including those who were wounded were all thrown into the ditches and bulldozers covered the ditch with sand. Many who were alive but unconscious or wounded were buried alive. My friend Asif managed to survive.

12. In the prison we were beaten first before being put in cells. I and my other friend Shafiq looked out for Asif. And later Asif was put in to our cell. His gun shot wound was only treated with iodine and bandaged. Each cell was about 5 meters by 5 meters with about 40 people. For one week we were just given very little bread and some water. A week later the International Red Cross came and gave us some additional food, water and blankets.

13. We were never questioned by anyone. I could see American soldiers around the prison.

14. On 31 December 2001 prison guards came and asked for English speaking prisoners. I volunteered. My feet and hands were tied and taken to see some American soldiers. They stripped me and checked for bullet wounds and injuries. I told them my story and that I was a British citizen. I was told that I was under American custody and would be treated better.

15. I was then hooded and taken to a room and punched. Then I was put we on a truck and taken to an airport. In the plane we were made to lie down and we were beaten and kicked by the American soldiers.

16. We were taken to Kandahar and we were tied and a rope was tied to our arms and led around with hoods on our heads. We were told to sleep and within a few seconds we were told to start walking. A soldier pushed me down and another sat on me and cut up my clothes. They took swabs of my saliva, a strand of my beard, finger printed and photographed.

17. We were in a hangar. We were given wrist bands with numbers. My number was 102. The next day I was taken for interrogation. I was hooded , feet were chained together and hands handcuffed. I was interrogated and told they will inform the British authorities. I was given a blue jump suit. The days were very hot and the nights very cold. There were no blankets provided in the cold night.

18. The soldiers would do head counts once or twice during the day. During the night it was done every half hour or so which I believe was to prevent us from sleeping. I was in Kandahar for 6 weeks and interrogated on and off during this period by the US military intelligence and the FBI (they wore caps and jackets with the words ‘FBI’). These interrogations were done at gun point and I would get punched and kicked.

19. My hands would be handcuffed at my back and my arms would be pulled till my shoulders felt they were going to come out of their sockets. My legs would be chained and I would be asked to put my legs apart and then while holding my arms the would kick down on the chain which caused a great amount of pain with resulting in cuts and bruises.

20. The soldiers would randomly conduct searches of our cells and whenever they found a Quran they would throw it down on the floor and step on it.

21. I and the other detainees had lice. One day we had a shave and lice treatment. We were then put on a military plane. A chain was placed across my body on the seat. Goggles were placed on my eyes to prevent me from seeing. My hands had mittens and were then duct taped. We were given some food that was placed on our hands but we could not eat because our hands were tied.

22. When I went to the toilet a female soldier followed me to the toilet and pulled my pants down and wiped me after that. It was extremely humiliating and embarrassing for me to be out in that position.

23. We landed some hours later at destination that was very hot and we changed planes.

24. Many hours later we landed again. We were placed on a truck and kicked and punched. We were then put on a ferry and asked to sit in a particular manner. I was kicked many times on my left thigh when ever my seating position changed. It was extremely painful and my leg swelled badly.

25. We reached camp X Ray and stripped and checked us. After that we were put in a cell that was 2.5 by 3 meters. Given a blanket and insulation mat to sleep on. The floor was cement and the walls and roof was made of some softer material. Much later I knew that we were in Guantanamo Bay.

26. The next day I was interrogated and questioned about my personal background and family details. The day after I was interrogated by British intelligence on my background. I asked that I be released but were told they could not do anything about it as I was in American custody. While being taken to and returning from these interrogations I would be kicked and punched by the American soldiers.

27. The Americans showed me photographs taken from a video that they called the ‘Turnip Farms’ which was taken in Afghanistan showing Osama bin Laden giving a speech. The Americans alleged that I was in the video along with my friends I denied these allegations.

28. In 2003 the interrogations got worse. My hands and feet would be cuffed together and it would be an extremely difficult position for long periods. Played loud music with strobe lights for hours to force a confession out of you.

29. These intense interrogations continued for about 5 months from the middle of 2003. And I was put in solitary confinement during this period.

30. Sometime during the end of this period of 5 months the British intelligence confirmed that their records showed that I was in the United Kingdom during the time the alleged video mentioned above was filmed. They also said that unless I was using a false passport to travel at the said time.

31. After this the intense interrogations ceased and I was taken out of solitary confinement.

32. The regular interrogations continued and so did the abuse of punching and kicking.

33. In the last 3 months I was there the abuse stopped. I was released in March 2004.

34. The whole experience has affected my family and my life in a very severe way. I lost 2 ½ years of my life for something that I did not do. I feel that the government of the United States of America and which ever government(s) that were involved should be brought to justice to bring closure for all the victims of these grave injustice that has been perpetrated on innocent civilians.

And I make this solemn declaration conscientiously believing the same to be true and by virtue of the provisions of the Statutory Declaration Act 1960.

Subscribed and solemnly declared by the above named RHUHEL AHMED on ___ October 2009 at _________.

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War Crime Commission Hearing: Statutory Declaration by Abbas Zaid Obaid


I, ABBAS ZAID OBAID (Iraqi Passport No. G2077826) of full age and a citizen of Iraq do hereby solemnly and sincerely declare as follows:

1. I am 45 years old.

2. I now live in Iraq.

3. The purpose of making this declaration is to highlight the destruction in Fallujah city in Iraq.

4. The American military operations started in Fallujah about four months after the entry of invading forces to Iraq, when they tried very hard to establish a foothold in the city but the people of Fallujah try to defend it and make it a symbol of resistance. Also there were defenders coming from neighboring cities to join them.

5. Location of the city was suitable for the invading forces from all aspects to achieve easy victory. It was a land that cannot be defended by regular armies due to its geographical location surrounded by river and highway from 3 sides. And how can civilians defend it with only simple guns? The invading forces aimed to devastate this city and to make it a lesson (discipline) for the rest of Iraqi cities and for all who may think to oppose and resist the invading US forces, this monster is rampant, particularly when they consider and believe that Muslims are the new enemy of America after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

6. There is an Arabic saying that “calculations of the field cannot be identical with the calculations of the production” because what resulted after the first battle of Fallujah was a glorious victory which was achieved by the defenders. Humiliation and shame was the only gain of the invading forces, furthermore, the invading troops begged the defenders to allow the invading forces to enter the city only as a symbolic procession in order to safeguard their face after the had pounding of the city by the most recent military weapons produced by factories and laboratories developments designed for mass killing of people, such as depleted uranium, white phosphorus. Destroying the houses, streets and infrastructure of the city.

7. Families who were living in the city returned to it after the cooling down of the intensity of military operations and were taken to remove the consequences of aggression while they are keeping in mind that the coming event would be more severe because the Americans with their cowboy mentality did not accept the defeat which forced their troops to a desperate situation beyond their worst calculations.

8. For a period of more than six months the invading forces mobilize and expand all its efforts and capabilities to the extent that they call for British troops to replace them in southern Baghdad, to pounding the city with all what they have in store with ammunition, bombs and missiles. (Only ALLAH the merciful the greatest have the power to know it). Bombers ( B-52 bombers) bombarding the city daily,even one inch in the city was not spared, destruction was everywhere making the city to become a large cemetery for burial of bodies of defenders in its gardens and playgrounds. Many houses collapsed that led to even homes to become a cemetery for their owners.

9. Here a question comes to mind after all this devastation to this city with a limited area, who knew that it could tolerate all this huge amounts of shelling and air bombardments? One wonders when one knows that the total area targeted in the bombing was no more than thirty-five square kilometers!

10. I can summarize the results of the military operations that took place in the city as follows:

A. Destruction of roads.

-North and east of the city was surrounded by the high way, which is established according to the latest global requirements, this road is fully destroyed and there is no median, sidewalks fences, protective fence, parking resting locations and no traffic signs, the asphalt is fully with a pits and holes so the road is not suitable for vehicles.
- The road network linked the city to the suburbs and other cities before the invasion was valid for trucks and vehicles use, turned by military operations due to the passage of heavy military vehicles to roads full of holes and bumps.
- Military operations destroy the entire interior of the streets in the city.
B. Destruction of electric power network

Electricity network suffered the most severe destruction by military operations which destroy everything.
- Destruction of processing power lines to homes, shops, workshops and cutting wires, many towers are damaged or removed and most of transformers are destroyed.
- Lighting network of internal roads in fully destroyed.
- Destruction of power transmission lines, high tension and transition lines which pass nearby the city which is a part of the national high tension distribution network.
C-Destruction of water system network supply

The network of water supply has been totally destroyed.
- The passage of heavy military vehicles destroyed the network supplying water.
- Destruction of all roads, streets and alleys to crushed most of the pipes buried under the ground for the processing of pure water for homes and commercial and industrial shops.
- Destruction of the only water processing plant installed on the Euphrates River, which was equipped with the supply of clean water.
- Destruction of the only water purification plant installed unit on the Euphrates River, which was equipped with the debtor of clean water.
D. Destruction of the sewerage system

- The sewage system as much as experienced by the network processing of pure water has been completely destroyed.
E-Destruction of the educational system

The education system was the hardest hit by the military operations and was the first to be targeted by the invading forces as follows:
- Schools were being occupied by the invading forces and the teaching staff were prevented from working and also the students were sent home so that the whole system of education would collapse.
- The destruction of many schools, colleges and educational institutions was a result of indiscriminate shelling between school, hospital, homes and the site of resistance.
- They breaking into a lot of schools under the pretext of tracking resistance.
- Intimidate and prevent students from further studying because the schools were often targets of choice for machine gun fire at random.
- Prevention of teaching staff and students to come to schools because of banditry which last for several days
- The lack of access to school books and material, forcing the school administrations to use old ones.
- Failure to provide the necessary protection for schools and teaching staff from abuse.
- As for the students and their families, they are the first victims of this dirty war
-So many students left school and stopped learning and become illiterate and their families sent them to work in heavy jobs to earn money for a living.
F. Destruction of hospitals and health institutions

Health institutions have suffered so much because of the brutal aggression of the invading forces, especially when it needs to work in such conditions in its full capacity. The damage done to these institutions are as follows
- destruction of all small clinics that provide medical services.
- closing and destroying all the private clinics in the city.
- closing and destroying most of the pharmacies in the city.
- blockade of the road leading to the only hospital in the city and shooting over the heads of those who are coming to the hospital by foot.
- destruction of most of the ambulances in the city.
- the damage to major transportation routes affect emergency cases.
G. Destruction of shops and the industrial zone

Shops were destroyed together with the industrial zone by invading forces which stormed the shops and broke the locks and looted it. This led to a rise of unemployment leaving many were families without any source of livelihood.

H. Destruction of agricultural areas around the city

The agricultural areas surrounding the city were destroyed by the invading forces which did not care about the farm, homes and irrigation canals. The use of tanks and armored vehicles destroyed any plants like wheat vegetables crops at the farms. This resulted in the destruction of most of the irrigation canals and thus leaving farms without water.

I.Destruction of mosques and places of worship

Mosques received special attention from the invading forces which invoked their hatred as they believed that mosques are the headquarters for the presence of the resistance who take up position in the minarets to monitor and snipe invading forces. This resulted in the invading forces destroying 90 % of mosques in the city. And the destruction of 35% of the minarets and 65% of the imams, Ktabaiha, moathens (those who call people to prayers), guards and servants were killed.
And I make this solemn declaration conscientiously believing the same to be true and by virtue of the provisions of the Statutory Declaration Act 1960.

Subscribed and solemnly declared by the above named

ABBAS ZAID OBAID on ___ October 2009 at _______.

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War Crime Commission Hearing: Statutory Declaration by Sami El-Haj


I, SAMI EL-HAJ (Sudanese Passport No. C 0338271) of full age and a citizen of Sudan do hereby solemnly and sincerely declare as follows:

1. I am 40 years old. I am the head of Public Liberties and Human Rights Desk of Al Jazeera.

2. I live in Doha, Qatar.

3. The purpose of making this declaration is to put on record my unlawful detention in Pakistan, and subsequent torture in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay.

4. On 15 December 2001 when I was a cameraman for Al Jazeera news network and was with journalists from Al Jazeera wanting to cross the Pakistan border to Afghanistan to cover the news of the fall of the Taliban. When I submitted my passport for an exit visa to leave Pakistan I was stopped. The immigration passed me a letter from the Pakistani intelligence stating ‘stop Sami from Al Jazeera who is coming from Afghanistan to Pakistan’. The immigration officer said this was a mistake because I have crossed the border before as part of the media team and the immigration department at the border knew me.

5. The immigration officer called the intelligence office and said I would be allowed to cross the border unless the intelligence officers come personally to clear the case. He was told that if he did so he would be arrested.

6. An intelligence officer came and found material particulars to be different as follows: the name in my passport did not correspond with the intelligence letter, my date of birth was different and the passport number did not match. I was told there has been a mistake and he will clear it. I also had an extension Pakistan visa that was just issued by Islamabad 9 days earlier.

7. The next day I was called to the intelligence office. They told me there is a mistake and they will clear it. I waited there in a room. I was there for 3 days when the Qatar consulate named Hassan came with a letter saying that he is the acting ambassador and told the intelligence officers that he knows me as a journalist from Al Jazeera. The intelligence said they couldn’t clear me until they get clearance from the head office. The consulate went to the head office. Quetta.

8. After 2 days the consulate called me and said the head office needed papers from Islamabad and he then went to Islamabad. From Islamabad the consulate called and said he will try to get the passport file from Sudan. Unfortunately the Sudan immigration office mistyped my passport number when sending the details over. This resulted in further confusion, as there were 3 different passport numbers.

9. After 23 days the Pakistani authorities wanted to send me back to Sudan. I was taken to Quetta prison. Later I was given a prison clothes and shackled. I was taken with a few other prisoners and we were sent to the airport at 11 pm and we were handed over to the United States military.

10. We were then taken to Bagram prison in shackles and hooded. We were in the plane and bound down with harness. The flight was for possibly for 3 hours and it was cold. When we landed my feet were numb. Two soldiers dragged me and threw me out of the plane onto the ground resulting in my right knee being very badly hurt. I was then kicked in the leg. I was not given any treatment. Till today I walk with limp in my right leg with the assistance of a walking cane as a result of this injury.

11. I was in Bagram for 17 days in total. For the first 13 days was not questioned. Later I was interrogated and told that I was the cameraman when Al Jazeera interviewed Osama bin Laden after 11 September 2001. I said that I did not do so but it was different Al Jazeera crew. I was asked where I on 11 September 2001, I said I was in Syria. I came to Afghanistan on 11 October from Doha with the Al-Jazeera team. There I stayed with the CNN team. I said they could verify this with the CNN team and gave the names of the CNN crew. The interrogator actually admitted that there is mistake and that I am not the person they want and the Pakistani authorities.

12. The American interrogators asked what would I do if I were released. I said I would tell people about the fact how I was tortured, abused, denied medical treatment, no proper winter clothes, very little food that was cold. The interrogator laughed and said if I needed anything now and I said I needed medical care, blanket, to contact my family and go back home.

13. A blanket was then given to me. I was not questioned again and on 23 January 2002 I was taken to Kandahar.

14. In Kandahar I was interrogated again about my background and I was told I was there in Kandahar by mistake. I was told that that they were willing to give some money for me to go back home to Sudan. I said that would be fine.

15. British intelligence also interrogated me and asked me to cooperate and I said I was doing so. On 13 June 2002 I was taken to Guantanamo Bay.

16. After landing in Guantanamo Bay I was immediately taken for interrogation for 4 hours by the military intelligence, CIA and FBI. They asked about my background. They asked why I cooperated with the British intelligence in Kandahar. They again told me that I was there by mistake and they were looking for another person. They told me not to mix with the other prisoners and brought a photocopied picture of my son that was in my possessions when I was detained. I requested for a book in Arabic to read and I was given a book to read. They advised me to be patient and I could be the first person to be released from Guantanamo Bay.

17. After that they questioned me about Al-Jazeera and whom I knew there and such related questions about Al Jazeera. I felt that they were looking for information about my colleagues and Al Jazeera and I stopped answering their questions. At that time they released 4 Afghans. I told them that they did not keep their word about releasing me first. They said I would be the first Arab to be released not the first person.

18. Later they asked me to work with them and they would give me American citizenship and also for my family and give a house and education for my son. They promised to also give money if I gave them information useful to them such as about al-Qaeda. They brought better food and newspaper for me. And asked me to think about their offer.

19. I asked another prisoner from Sudan in a Sudanese dialect who told me that the Americans will kill me if I promised to work with them and did not do so later.

20. I later asked the interrogator that if I agreed to work with them and if I did not do so upon my release what would happen to me. I was told I would be put in prison. I told them I would not work with them.

21. They stated to abuse me further and put me solitary confinement. I would be kicked and punched regularly. I started a hunger strike on 7 January 2007 that lasted for 480 days till the day I was released. During this period they would force-feed me through the nose using a special tube. I would be strapped to a special chair where I would be unable to move. They would then force the feeding tube through my nose into my stomach. I would be given too much liquid food and I would end up throwing up. As a result of the force feeding the diaphragm in my stomach was damaged by the repeated forcing and removal of the feeding tube. The tube would not be cleaned and would be used on the other prisoners who were on hunger strike.

22. I had written a few letters to my family but I never got any replies from them. Later I learned that my plight was being publicised and that Al Jazeera, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Reporters Without Borders and Amnesty International were pressing the United States government for my release.

23. I was released on 1 May 2008 and sent back to Sudan. I broke my hunger strike in the hospital in Sudan.

24. It is a great shame that a country like United States has perpetrated this injustice on me. I was unlawfully detained and my captors admitted their ‘mistake’ very early in my detention and yet I was not released for 6 1/2 years. I was tortured and suffer a permanent disability in my leg.

And I make this solemn declaration conscientiously believing the same to be true and by virtue of the provisions of the Statutory Declaration Act 1960.

Subscribed and solemnly declared by the above named SAMI EL-HAJ on __ October 2009 at _____.

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War Crime Commission Hearing: Statutory Declaration by Jameelah Abbas Hameed


I, JAMEELAH ABBAS HAMEEDI (Iraqi Passport No. G2582171) of full age and an citizen of Iraq do hereby solemnly and sincerely declare as follows:

1. I am 54 years old. I used to be Head Chief of the Cooperation Unions (that manages the other government unions in Kirkuk) prior to the invasion in 2003.

2. I now live in Damascus, Syria.

3. The purpose of making this declaration is to put on record my torture in the Baghdad Airport prison and Abu Ghraib prison in 2004 after the invasion of Iraq.

4. In January 13 2004 at around 1 a.m the American military broke into my home by force in Kirkuk and I was very frightened. The Americans rounded up the whole family including my daughter ( 22 years old), a son ( 17 years old), a nephew (25 years old) and a female guest (23 years old) and myself. We were told that we were providing monetary assistance to the resistance and they wanted the money. The searched the whole house and found nothing except for 150 dinar which is for daily expenses.

5. My hands were tied at the back with wire very tightly and the soldiers dragged me by my hair out of the house into the rain. It was winter and we were in only in our night clothes that were not suitable for going outside.

6. They destroyed everything in the house including the furniture, electrical appliances and all other belongings. They then searched our family car and found a car battery charger and they alleged that it was used to explode bombs. The car was then riddled with bullets and practically destroyed.

7. My head was then covered with a hood and I felt I could not breathe and would die. I was pushed into the military Hummer (military vehicle) and kicked by the Americans like animals.

8. After about 20 minutes being driven in the Hummer we were pushed out of the Hummer and I felt the road. I was then dragged on the paved road and after sometime I felt the ground changed from a paved road to a cemented finish. I was left standing at a wall for sometime.

9. Then my hood was removed and I saw that I was in a big hall with no windows except for a window in the ceiling. And I was then asked 2 questions - my name and date of birth by an American soldier. I asked if my hands could be untied as I was in pain. He refused to untie my hands and I remained standing facing the wall. As the hours went by I began to realise that I was in the Kirkuk military airport.

10. Later a hood was placed again on my head and I was dragged to another room. There my hood was removed and I saw an American who was in civilian clothes with another Arab looking man who spoke Arabic. The American gestured me to sit on a chair. I requested my hands to be untied. The Arab man responded that if I did not stop making this demand I would be slapped and thrown on the floor.

11. The American asked questions that were personal and about my relationship with the Baath party till the day I was detained. He told me that I was accused of being part of the resistance, assisting and funding the resistance.

12. I replied that I am not part of the resistance and nor am I assisting the resistance. And that nothing was found in my house when it was raided and destroyed. The Arab man then slapped me across the face. It was stinging and felt a burning sensation in my eyes and face. The interpreter said that this is just the beginning if I do not cooperate I will face worse things that no one has seen or heard about. At that time I was more concerned about my daughter and our female guest.

13. I was hooded again and asked to face the wall and remain standing. Sometime later 2 American female soldiers came and removed the hood and took photographs of me like a criminal- from my head to my feet.

14. I was not allowed to go to the toilet and no drink or food was given to me. Three days later an American soldier placed the hood on my head and dragged me into the open air. It was very windy and the hood flew off and I saw the rest of my family. I was very emotional as I felt that my family and our female guest were enduring this suffering due to me. My family tried to comfort me.

15. I saw an Iraqi interpreter and asked him to look upon me has his mother and to help our female guest by calling her family to inform them where she is. He obliged and took the contact phone number.

16. Two Apache helicopters came with a few American soldiers. My son, nephew and myself were taken in one helicopter and the girls were taken in another helicopter. The helicopter windows and doors were not closed and when we asked for the same to be closed as it was very cold, the soldiers said this could not be done because to avoid any attack by the resistance. Because if the resistance shot at the helicopter we would be likely hit first.

17. We where airborne for a few hours and I thought we were being taken far away and maybe Guantanamo Bay. When we landed we did not know where we were. Then our hoods were taken off and we saw American soldiers who appeared surprised to see our condition of wearing light clothing and with no shoes.

18. I also met my daughter and our female guest at the same place. The girls were placed in a cell together with me. Our hands were untied. I told them that we were not fed for 2 days and were not allowed to go to the toilet. We were in a tiny wooden cell with no windows. I asked the guard where we were and were told that it was Baghdad Airport.

19. A shortly within an hour I was hooded and my hands tied again. Two Americans in civilian attire questioned me. One was a doctor. They asked similar personal questions like in Kirkuk about my health.

20. I was then taken to an individual wooden cell with no amenities that was about 2 meters by 2 meters. Shortly later they took me again and placed a hood and tied me again. A woman soldier checked my person for any objects.

21. I was feeling dizzy and felt very weak. I asked to sit but they refused to allow me. The asked me to confess that I was part of the resistance and also who were my colleagues in the resistance.

22. I told them that my home was taken over by the Kurds militia for 2 months. The house was returned to me after I had appealed to the Kirkuk government. I told them I had no connection with the resistance.

23. One of the interrogators instructed the female soldier- a black American to take me to see what I had never seen before. I was then hooded and taken to a room that was all black in colour with some white dots. There were 2 pictures of Saddam Hussein with the eyes cut out on both sides of the wall. I was dragged by my hair and thrown from wall to wall continuously where the pictures of Saddam Hussein were many times and I lost consciousness a few times. When I regained consciousness they played loud sounds in the room that made me disorientated.

24. I was then dragged to another cell and I dropped to the floor as I was very tired. An American soldier came and asked me to stand up. I could not stand for long and when I leaned on the wall or sat the soldier would come and hit me with a stick and asked me to stand straight.

25. They threw a bag containing food that I did not recognise and some biscuits along with some water. In the night I heard music and dancing and shouting. Then my cell was opened and a large dog was brought which barked at me and I was terrified. After awhile they left and closed the cell door. When the cell door was opened I saw that this was being done to the other cells also.

26. The second day with my head hooded I was taken for questioning. I was told that if I did not confess they will put my other son in prison and then will rape my daughter. I said I did not do anything wrong and have no connection with the resistance. I am willing to swear on the Quran or Bible. The American said he is the devil himself. I was then taken to the black room by the same black American female and my clothes were removed and asked to sit on my knees and hands. Icy water was poured on me and asked to crawl from one side of the wall to the other. A plastic tube with wood inserted in the tube was used to hit me and was kicked when I dropped on the floor. until I started bleeding on my shoulders, back, arms and legs. The interrogator was very cruel and kept doing this for many hours.

27. I was then taken to my cell and asked to stand straight again. When I leaned on the wall I would be beaten. My wounds were not attended to by the soldiers. I cried for the interpreter by hitting the door. The interpreter came and was sad to see my condition. He asked the soldiers why I could not rest and they said it was part of my punishment.

28. I was taken to the black room where my hands were tied and my hair was grabbed and pulled tightly by the same female soldier. I could not take the pain and asked God to take me. In the process my hands became free and hit the soldier’s face in the struggle. The soldier was very angry and smashed my entire body into the wall. Another soldier came to the room and asked I be taken back to my cell.

29. I was left in the cell for 2 days without any interrogation. On the third day I was taken and hooded and when my hood was removed I saw my daughter. Her hair was cut short. We were asked to confess again. I felt for my daughter who was a student in the university and should not be facing this. I wanted to just agree to anything the Americans wanted me to say to release my daughter. But my daughter gave me strength and said not to do so.

30. They put hoods on our heads and I heard a bullet shot. I was told my daughter was shot dead. I lost my mind and began to shout and felt totally helpless. I was taken back to the cell.

31. Later in the same day I was taken to the toilet and I saw my daughter in the toilet and I felt great relief.

32. Next I was taken to the black room and my nephew was there naked and I was in my under wear. They said they would beat us until we confess. A black American man was beating my nephew and the black American female was beating me with the tube and kicking me. Loud sound was played and we were beaten by using plastic chairs till the chairs broke. Part of the broken plastic chair pieces got embedded in my feet. This beating went on for possibly some hours. They brought a machine and said the machine will be used to harm us. And then after frightening us they laughed and asked me to clean the room. My nephew said he will clean it. They continued to beat my nephew on his private parts. My nephew was kept naked and later he was taken to Abu Gharib in the same condition.

33. The Iraqi interpreter informed me the next day my female guest was released. I was taken to another cell and was informed my daughter was released and passed the prayer beads which they said she left for me. I was happy. But later I found out it was a lie.

34. I was taken away the next day in an Apache helicopter. I asked for assistance for my injuries but was refused. I was taken back to Kirkuk. There I was taken to a house. I was chained at my feet and hand.

35. Next day proper good food was served and I took a piece of bread but the chief interrogator said stop and said where are the resistance fighters. I dropped the bread and said I do not know any resistance fighters. I was slapped and hands tied at the back and put into a pick up truck and taken to a large house which was converted to a prison. People there where my friends and colleagues who recognised me and offered some food by tossing it to my cell.

36. After 3 days I was taken by Apache helicopter back to Baghdad Airport prison and told that my son and nephew were released. Later I found out this was a lie. I was getting a fever caused by my wounds especially the plastic piece embedded in my feet. A doctor came and said I needed surgery, which was done next day. The surgery was done without anaesthetic and the plastic was just pulled out of my feet. It was very painful.

37. Two days later I was taken to Abu Gharib by pick up truck. In the prison there were a lot of prisoners. I was given a wrist band with a number. I would be called by this number -157574 and no longer by my name. A hood was put on my head and entered a room and was examined by a doctor who said I was seriously injured and need urgent treatment. But the interrogators refused to treat me.

38. In the cell I was given some medicine. No follow up medicine was given. Food was very bad and the cell was tiny-about 2 by 2 meters. In front of my cell was the bath where men where tortured with cold showers and threatened with dogs.

39. I was not given proper clothing and nothing for my feet. I was asked to join them with promises of better food. They would release me if I cooperate. I said I do not know anything about the resistance.

40. During winter cold water was poured in the cell to make the cell very cold. All this aggravated my injuries.

41. When news of Abu Gharib reached the world outside and prisoners begun to be released. I was in Abu Gharib for almost 6 months. And about 20 days in Kirkuk and Baghdad Airport.

42. The members of the press came one day to see Abu Gharib prison and we raised our voices and the press heard us and realised that there were women in the prison. The press was surprised that women were there when officially there were not supposed to be there. We were later not given proper food because we had alerted the press.

43. In Abu Ghraib there was a department for prisoners to complain called the CID. I lodged a complaint about my ill treatment and situation. Unknown to me my sister also had lodged a complaint about my detention. Shortly after that an American committee came and interviewed me. I told them all that I have stated here. The committee acknowledged that I am a war victim.

44. About one month later I was released on 22 June 2004. I attach herewith the release letter from Abu Gharib marked as Exhibit J-1. I also attach my ICRC letter confirming my detention and marked Exhibit J-2.

45. Till todate I endure physical suffering due to my beatings and conditions in which I was detained. I am unable to move my left leg freely and cannot support me on its own. My left arm is also affected in that I am unable to use it like I used to and I suffer aches. I am also unable to wear shoes that cover my feet due to my injuries. I cannot endure cold climate or very cold air conditioning. My injuries to my lower back needs further treatment but I am unable to afford the cost of the surgery.

46. I am one of the many who have suffered as war victims. I have seen much suffering. Women have suffered tremendously and many have been raped.

And I make this solemn declaration conscientiously believing the same to be true and by virtue of the provisions of the Statutory Declaration Act 1960.

Subscribed and solemnly declared by the above named JAMEELAH ABBAS HAMEEDI on October 2009 at Kuala Lumpur through the Interpretation of SHAIMA F. HUSSEIN with the said been first affirmed that she had truly, distinctly and audibly translated the contents of this Statutory Declaration to the deponent and that she would truly and faithfully interpret the affirmation about to be administered unto the said JAMEELAH ABBAS HAMEEDI.

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War Crime Commission Hearing: Statutory Declaration by Moazzam Begg


I, MOAZZAM BEGG (British Passport No. 464541423) of full age and a citizen of United Kingdom do hereby solemnly and sincerely declare as follows:

1. I am 41 years old. I am a director of human rights organisation called the Cage Prisoners which advocates for people detained without charge or trial in the war on terror.

2. I live in Birmingham, England.

3. The purpose of making this declaration is to put on record my torture in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay.

4. In mid 2001 I went to Afghanistan with my family to build a primary school for girls. When the United States of America invaded Afghanistan in October 2001, I and my family evacuated to Islamabad, Pakistan.

5. On 31 January 2002 I was abducted from my house in Islamabad. At midnight I had a knock on the door and a group of men stormed in and pointed guns at me and also had electric Taser guns. They were wearing civilian clothes and did not produce any ID. The pushed me on my knees and shackled my hands behind my back and put a hood over my head.

6. They then stormed into the rest of the rooms the house and took me to a waiting vehicle. In the back of the vehicle someone moved my hood and photographed me. These men were 2 men who were Caucasian and were American based on their accent. One of them produced a pair of handcuffs which he said was given to him by a wife of a 9/11 victim and he handcuffed me with it.

7. They took me to a room and there were cells outside the room. The Pakistani’s told me they were doing this at the request of the United States and that they did not want me for anything.

8. There were a series of interrogations in different location where I was interrogated by Americans who were in civilian clothes. They questioned my presence in Afghanistan and Pakistan. There were no specific allegations. On one occasion there was a British man present who also questioned me about my friends and my background.

9. Prior to my adduction, I had received a call from my friend informing me that British intelligence had met him and asked about me. I told him to give my telephone number to them. From his description this British intelligence officer was the same one who questioned me in Pakistani.

10. After being held for 3 weeks by the Pakistanis I was handed over to Unite States military custody in a military airbase in Islamabad. The moment I was handed over the American, I was shackled, hooded and choked and thrown to the floor. And then they raised my arms from behind my back ( this is called the strapaddo technique) and carried me by my arms into the plane while I was in excruciating pain and screaming.


11. I was thrown on to the floor of the plane and strapped down over the ankles and thighs. I was punched and kicked through out. A knife was put to my throat and threatened that my throat would be slit if I spoke. Photographs were taken because I could sense the flashes of camera through my hood.

12. I was then flown to Kandahar in Afghanistan and dragged out of the plane thrown into the mud and kicked, punched, choked with my hood and constantly sworn at. I was taken to the processing area and one soldier put a knee on the side of my head into the mud while another put his knee into my lower back. I felt a cold steel blade that was being used to rip off my clothes. All my clothes were removed.

13. They dragged me to a make shift hangar lit with flood lights. They took photographs of me and brought dogs that were barking very close to my face. I was kicked and punched and verbal abuse that was racial, ethnic and religious was hurled at me. My hair and beard was shaved and I was again photographed. I was shackled at my feet and hands tightly and my ankles begun to bleed.

14. They took me to a tent to be interrogated by 2 FBI interrogators who had FBI caps on. They asked me when was the last time I saw Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar. I responded in English and said I don’t know anything about Mullah Omar or Osama bin Laden.

15. I was given clothes and kept in a cell made of coils of razor wire within the hangar. Process of removal from the cell for interrogation would have a soldier on over watch putting a round in his chamber and pointing it at me. While another would ask me to lie on the floor with my hands behind my back and 2 others would come in and shackle my feet and hands and place a hood over my head. Another stood outside pointing a handgun at me. And then I would be taken in a bowing down position. And on the way I would be punched and kicked and barking dogs were brought to my face. The interrogation would be done with me on my knees and hands tied behind my back.

16. These interrogations could last very short where they asked me to confirm my name or last for 24 hours. Once I was asked to write my whole life story and then they tore it up once I finished.

17. I remained in Kandahar for 6 weeks. During this time the British intelligence came to question me on 2 occasions. I was asked about the list of Imams in Britain and others. I felt I was profiled and discriminated based on your etnicity and religion.

18. I was then moved to Bagram airbase detention facility which was a airport warehouse. We were not allowed to talk, walk, stand and no movement was allowed. If anyone breached the rule the person would be tied at the top of the door in the cell and left suspended. I had been punished a few times like this.

19. I remained in Bagram for 11 months. I was intensely interrogated for a month in solitary confinement by the CIA, FBI and US military intelligence and also by British intelligence. My legs and arms were hog–tied. During this period I was threatened to be sent to Egypt. I was told that there was another man who was in my position who did not cooperate and was sent to Egypt. And I heard from other prisoners that this man was Ibn Al-Sheikh Al-Libi who was put in a box and sent to Egypt where he confessed.

20. An American soldier told me that this threat is not a joke and that this was done to another person who was sent to Syria. (I later discovered that this man being referred to was Maher Arar).

21. I had written some letters through the Red Cross to my wife and I did not receive any replies. And one day during this period they brought photographs of my wife and children. They asked me if I thought I was ever going to see them again, and what do I think happened to them the night I was abducted and whether they were safe. At the same time I heard horrific screams of a woman and soldiers screaming back profanities from the next room. They did not say it but insinuated it was my wife being tortured. The CIA wanted me to work with them and the FBI wanted me to be a witness for them about anything. I was willing to agree to their demands has I feared for my wife’s well being who I thought was being tortured in the next room.

22. I was in Bagram till February 2003. During this period I saw 2 persons that were severely beaten by American soldiers. Later it was confirmed to me by the Americans in Guantanamo Bay that these 2 persons had died from their beatings.

23. The conditions in Bagram were extremely poor. There was no fresh food and no warm food. Food and water was limited and no tea or fruits. Medical care was dependent upon the level of cooperation of the prisoners. Each cell was communal with about 10 prisoners and we shared a bucket as a toilet. The stench was disgusting and there was no water to wash with. We were taken for communal showers in a very humiliating way, where we were all chained together while some of the soldiers would put diapers on the head of prisoners and have women soldiers present during the showers.

24. In February 2003 I was taken to Guantanamo Bay. I believe the journey was about 20 hours or so. I was shackled in a ‘three piece suit’ of chains. A face mask was placed on my face, blackened goggles and ear muffs. All of these appendages were very tight fitting and caused pain. The journey was thus very painful and I had to plead for a sedative from the soldiers and which was given.

25. At Guantanamo Bay I was taken to camp Echo which was maximum security and placed in solitary confinement. I remained there for about 20 months.

26. The cell was 8 by 6 feet, there was no natural light, no windows and no contact with any other prisoners. Although physical abuse was lessened but the conditions were still very brutal. For example I developed some medical conditions and was taken to camp hospital where one hand and one leg were shackled to the bed for days at a time. The recreation time allotted initially was 15 minutes twice a week with a series of armed guards with military dogs and their handlers all around me. I was designated a high value detainee because they wanted to process me through the military commissions and because I had witnessed the beatings in Bagram.

27. The same interrogators who threatened to send me to Egypt came to Guantanamo Bay 2 days after I arrived there and asked the guards to leave the cell and produced a document for me to sign which was a confession that I was a member of al-Qaeda and that I was engaged in the war against the United States ( I have never been to the United States). I was threatened that if I did not sign this document I would either face a summary trial which could result in execution and that execution chambers had been built in Guantanamo Bay. Or that I would remain for decades in Guantanamo Bay without access to anyone and without any legal process.

28. I signed that document and thereafter I was treated a little better wherein I was interrogated less frequently and I was abused less by the guards. But I remained in solitary confinement.

29. My mental state was affected due to being placed in solitary confinement. Having had no contact with my family all these years other then sporadic letters that were heavily censored by the American authorities, I had been left in a state of constant anxiety and despair. I had experienced several anxiety attacks where I lost control of my senses. I would scream, kick and punch during these attacks- things that I would never do normally. And a female physiatrist once suggested to me a method of suicide, and asked if I have ever considered removing my trousers and thread it with the bed sheet and make a noose and tie it around my neck and tying the other end to the top corner of the cell.

30. Some drugs were prescribed to calm me down and get me to sleep. I do not know what these drugs were but I experienced hallucinations when I took these drugs.

31. In November 2004 I was removed from solitary confinement and placed in the blocks with other prisoners. And 2 months later I was released.

32. I never knew what was my crime to this day. I would never understand the brutality or its justification. Perhaps the worst thing was being in an environment where I had to prove my innocence but there was no opportunity to do this. I believe that it was by design to break my spirit by torturing other people in front of me, which was worse than being tortured myself. The absence of due process became worse then the physical torture.

And I make this solemn declaration conscientiously believing the same to be true and by virtue of the provisions of the Statutory Declaration Act 1960.

Subscribed and solemnly declared by the above named MOAZZAM BEGG on __ October 2009 at ________.

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Friday, October 30, 2009

War Criminal Conference: Last Day Exhibition Tomorrow















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Criminalise War Conference: Harrowing atrocities of war


"People must realise the horrors of war. What they (the Americans) do is inhumane”, said Tun Dr Mahathir during the press conference at the end of the conference session of the Criminalise War Conference & Exhibition at PWTC yesterday. The War Crimes Commission Hearings will begin today and end tomorrow.

Dr Mahathir went further, "They champion liberty, freedom, human rights and democracy but in actual fact, they torture people who they detain without trial."

He was refering to the US detention centre in Gunatanamo Bay, Cuba and Bagram, Aghanistan and many secret prisons established by CIA all over the world.

Yesterdays the conference was presented with gruesome description of two former Guantanamo detainee and hazards from banned weapons used in Iraq, Palestine, and Afghanistan.

Sami Al’Hajj, a Sudanese journalist from Al Jazeera was detained in Guantanamo Bay for seven years and was only released on May 1st, 2008. He described the beatings, water boarding, striped naked, sleep deprivation, degradation of religion and being force-fed he endured.

"There were psychiatrists who were part of the programme to psychologically break us," the Sun reported him saying. Read further in The Sun report below and on Marthaba here.

In the fourth session, another former Guantanamo prison detainee British citizen Moazzam Begg ridiculed George W Bush Operation Endurance Freedom as Operation ENd Your Freedom.

Begg is a British of Indian heritage had went to Bosnia as peace volunteers. Married to a Palestinian and went to a Jewish school, he was exposed to both side of the politicaldivide of the Middle East.

He was detained at his home in Britain and after a series of secret detention camps aroudn the world, he ended up in Guantanamo. During detention, prisoners are placed in a 6 ft by 6 ft cell and their only contacst with humen are the prison guards.

He said there are some 775 men, women and children were detained without trial in Guantanamo Bay was never charged and found guilty for any offenses. Guantanamo Bay detention was inextricably linked to invasion of Iraq even tortured customized specifically to each detainee.

Hana Al Bayaty, an Iraqi award winning film maker and executive member, described the invasion of Iraq as permanent war. Prior to the invasion, Iraq was fully disarmed and unable to defend against the attack.

Iraq was imperialism at its height as the country is now being dismantle culturally, economically, its civilisation, and its capability to revive the country.

Hana described the country being pushed further into chaos with sectaranism as the minority is armed and pitted against the majority. Education, healthcare, food and basic services denied to the population.

The Iraqi culture and heritage is dismantled.

The middle class are being literally destroyed to stem any possible capacity to recover. The professionals are living as refugee abroad.

The living quarters of the people is being partitioned and walls are erected with single access similar as in Palesine. The checkpoint is manned by militia which discriminately kill civilians.

Iraq is slowly being eroded its Arab character. The constitution no more described Iraq as an Arab state.

Dr Leuren Moret, a doctor who was a whistleblower from the Livermore National Laboratory, described the impact of the use of uranium shell and chemical.

Neighbouring countries are also affected. Air current could carry pollution and radiation from chemical and depleted uranium shells accross the borders. The rain then will affect the drinking water and food chain.

She told of the rising incidence of diabetes in countries like Israel as arising from this effect. The same effect is found in China far away from the scene of war.

This was the reason Dr Mahathir said during the press conference for the Malaysian public to be concerned and aware, although we are far away from the theater of war.

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Journalist recalls living hell at Guantanamo

Maria J. Dass, The Sun

KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 29, 2009) : A journalist from Al Jazeera who was detained in Guantanamo Bay for seven years today described his detention as a living hell.

Sami Al’Hajj, a Sudanese who was released on May 1, 2008, told the Criminalise War International Conference of the beatings, water boarding, being striped naked, sleep deprivation, degradation of religion and being force-fed through a tube that he endured throughout his detention.

"There were psychiatrists who were part of the programme to psychologically break us," he said.

He claimed five of the detainees were driven by American soldiers to their death.

Sami was detained by Pakistani authorities at the Afghanistan border on Dec 15, 2001, mistaken for his colleague Tassir Alony who was wanted by the United States for information on Taliban and Osama bin Laden whom he (Tassir) had interviewed after the Sept 11 attacks in New York and Washington.

Sami believes he was a victim of the Pakistani authorities who were eager to hand over people to the US for a bounty of US$5,000 (RM17,129) for each person.

He was first detained at the Bangram detention centre in Afghanistan for six months before being transported to Guantanamo.

"We were shackled in a hunched position with hoods placed over our heads and ear plugs to cut us off completely from what was happening around us.

"My legs were numb from having to hunch for several hours during the journey from Pakistan, and then I was forced to stand up and pushed out of the plane, causing me to fall and break my legs at the knee," said the 40-year-old who depends on a walking stick as a result of that injury.

The 20-hour journey from Kandahar to Guantanamo was as harrowing.

Sami said although the Americans realised that he was not the person they wanted, they were reluctant to release him probably because they fear he would expose the atrocities he witnessed at the detention centres which held children as young as 11 and men as old as 95.

He appealed to representatives of countries attending the conference to take in prisoners released from Guantanamo who have nowhere to go.

"I appeal to all of you to find homes for men who were tortured and detained without trial, so that they can lead normal and meaningful lives.

"The torture has not ended. The reality is there are 212 detainees at Guantanamo still suffering under the Obama regime," he said.

He said many of those released were sent home only to be imprisoned in their own countries, such as Tunisia, Libya and Morocco.

"This is despite the fact that they were detained without any sound reason without trial for so many years," he said.

"Those who have to return to China face the possibility of being imprisoned and tortured worse than they were in Guantanamo Bay."

According to Sami, the largest group of people at the detention centre at the moment are 97 Yemenis.


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Moazzam Begg Addresses Conference to Criminalize War


October 29th, 209

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (Mathaba) Born and raised in Britain as son of Asian parents, Moazzam Begg went to a jewish school and with a Palestinian wife, has a good view of all sides of faiths and went to Bosnia to join the foreign volunteers because of being outraged at the atrocities committed there.

Many years later he went to Taliban administered Afghanistan to help social projects, and this was to change his life forever. With his own years he has seen what a 1,500 pound bomb does, and what cruise missiles do, as well as smart bombs and phospherus bombs. Under the bombing he fled to safety in Pakistan, where the U.S. were dropping leaflets offering bounties to locals to sell foreigners.

Thus on the night of 31 January 2002, was a knock on his door, and a gun to his head. It was the last knock he'd heard for many years. There was no explanation, identification, and he was shackled and a hood went over his head and blocked his ears for the next 3 years. He was questioned by British intelligence and others, and finally ended up in Guantanamo, after passing through "extraordinary rendition" which means kidnap, abduction, false imprisonment, torture and in some cases murder.

"Gitmo" is thus the tip of the iceberg, he pointed out, since there are so many other torture centers around the world, through which abductees pass, and from which only some emerge in Guantanamo, the US occupied port in Cuba.

He recounted the case of a Libyan Ibn Sheikh al-Libi who was tortured and while being water boarded he said that he was working on nuclear weapons with Iraq. This Libyan disappeared, was given no legal process, and just three months ago he turned up dead in a Libyan desert prison. This is the person whose "confession" was used to claim that there was an Iraqi program of weapons of mass destruction in cooperation with others, in order to justify the war on Iraq.

Moazzam Begg recounted some of his experiences of being thrown into cages made of barbed wire, naked. He pointed out the irony that if the photographs had not been taken by American soldiers and leaked to the public of the atrocities committed at Abu Ghraib, the world may not know or believe what had happened.

For two years he was isolated from others while imprisoned, and the feeling of being abandoned by the world, Muslims, non-Muslims, was terrible. No legal process, being made a "sub-human", having to hear the screams of a woman he was led to believe was his wife being tortured, the orange suit that implied guilt, without one having ever being convicted of anything to do with September 11.

Still there are 200 people being held there, he said, and that "Operation Enduring Freedom" should have been called "Operation End Your Freedom." 2,976 people died on September 11, every person accounted for in that terrible terrorist act, but how many people know how many people died in the first week of "operation enduring freedom", in Iraq, or in Afghanistan, or in the proxy wars, no one cares, and it is an untold unknown number that we are being told is somehow justified.

Moazzam Begg said that it would be incorrect and unjust to say everyone is a torturer, biggot, or racist. The death and destruction wrought by Bush and his co-conspirators have been far worse than anything any terrorist could do, and this war crimes tribunal offers some hope.

He revealed to Mathaba News that the international media, who are not covering this conference in Malaysia, are quite open to covering his story and that of others, but that they are often not informed nor invited. The conference is not being covered by any non-Malaysian news networks other than the Mathaba News Agency.

Moazzam Begg called upon people to be brave, and steadfast, something he had learnt from the prisoners at Guantanamo. He asked of Malaysia to accept the 40 or so prisoners who are unable to return to their countries, some for as long as 8 years. Some of these have children who have never met their fathers, and will not have a normal life while their fathers are accused and held for crimes they did not commit.

Portugal, Ireland and Sweden have accepted these victims into their embrace, and he asked that Malaysia do so too.

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Criminalise War Conference: Civil society as "the united voice of the people against war" - Mukhriz


After the keynote speech by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the first day of the conference was followed by three panel sessions.

The first panel was entitled Flouting International law and the Failure of International Institutions. There were two star attractions on the panelist; namely Bitish MP George Galloway and US Green Party Presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney. Another is former Indian diplomat, Mr Gajendra Singh.

The second panel is on Economic Warfare with panelists - the reknown antiwar Economist, Prof Michel Chossudovsky, former UN Assistant Secretary general Hans Von Sponeck, and Iraqi Hematologist, Khudhair Waheed Hussein.

The subject of the first two panels have been often discussed. The voluminous work by Galloway, McKinney and Prof Chossudovsky can be found on their blogs and websites at The Daily Record - Galloway, CynthiaMcKinney.com and GlobalResearch.ca, respectively.

Marthaba.net, an online anti-war news portal whose correspondent I had the honour of meeting in the media room, had undertaken an excellent coverage of the conference. His reports can found in the hyperlinked names of each speakers. He reported of a British Malaysian PR who questioned the seriousness of the Malaysian Government on antiwar effort.

My interest for the day was on the third session entitled War & Civil Society - Persepetives. It is to me a more practical discussion on what we could do.

The first panelist was Dato Mukhriz, who this time around is wearing the hat of Government. He spoke on what civil society can do in the anti-war effort. His speech is avaiable in full below.

The second panelist, Rtd General Dato Seri Mohd Azumi spoke of the role millitary could do in achieving peace. He spend sufficient time describing the experiance and role of the Malaysian armed forces in peacekeeping mission in war torn area.

An important role the millitary could do in maintaning peace is in their advisory to the political masters and in a seldom spoken area of millitary diplomacy.

Azumi, who received part of his training in the US, expressed disgust to the war atrocities commited by the Americans in Iraq. The US did not practise what they preach with regardds to war conventions and millitary disciplines.

He strongly suggest the public to visit the exhibition to undertand and value peace.

The third panelist in the third session was Dirk Adriaensens. He is an Executive Committee member of Brussels Tribunal and spoke of the role of Tribunals. War tribunals may not be able to implement its execution but it could, as mentioned by Dr Mahathir, ostracise war criminals like Tony Blair and Gerge W Bush Jr for life.

The scary part of his presentation when he quoted Wolfowitz saying in his plan to invade Iraq as about "ending states that sponsor terorism". "Ending" is meant to totally destroy Iraq; infrasturcture, politics, economics, culturally and every aspect of Iraq nation.

He, I believe was featured in an interview on Astro Awani last night. That was what Kamarul told me.

The second day session today will covers area of mass media, banned weapons, and peace & justice. The final session for the day will be a Q&A with panelists chaired by Tun Dr Mahathir. Tomorrow onward, the War Crime Commission Hearings and Tribunal Hearings will commence.

The exhibition will remain open till 6 pm Saturday 31 October. Do come.

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MUKHRIZ SPEECH AT THE THIRD SESSION OF THE CRIMINALISE WAR CONFERENCE 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen.

Assalamualaikum WBT and Salam 1Malaysia.

Firstly allow me to say how thrilled I am at the level of support given by the public to this conference. Judging from the packed rooms; I’d be inclined to say that we are well on the path towards overcoming the greatest enemy that is apathy towards the conflicts in this world and a lack of empathy with our fellow man.

I’d like to start my discourse on the topic of war and civil society by first citing Aristotle who wrote in ‘A Treatise on Government’, that; “As we see that every city is a society, and every society is established for some good purpose; for an apparent good is the spring of all human actions”.

This, I believe is the very basis upon which civil society finds its moral authority and sense of obligation towards society and to an extent the common man.

This ancient Greek philosopher goes further by stressing on the importance of the virtuousness of every citizen in a city and society.

Also, Allah S.W.T commands in the Noble Qur’an that - “Believers, be the supporters of justice and the witnesses for Allah, even against yourselves, parents and relatives, regardless of their being rich or poor. Allah must be given preference over them. Let not your desires cause you to commit injustice.”(Surah an-Nisa, 4:135)

Therefore, based on the reasoning and commandments cited above – every conscientious citizen must vehemently oppose war on every scale, in any part of this globe and against any human being, communities of peoples or sovereign states. There isn’t any justification for unleashing the horrors of war upon another, especially on the pretext of fighting for peace. This notion in itself is selfdefeating and absurd.

I am not an expert or learned in theorizing about what civil society can do to prevent war. What I can share with you are perhaps my insights gained from my years of heading an NGO - dedicated to promoting global peace and conducting humanitarian missions to disaster- and war-stricken areas.

I think that I have crossed the broad spectrum of civil society, NGOs, politics and most recently government- to be able to say something about this topic.

My first thoughts are that in the context of civil society and war - civil society could serve as an early warning system (if you like) in tense scenarios that could lead to war.

Civil society groups are in a unique position whereby they are not constrained by political or bilateral issues, and are able to effectively communicate with the citizenry and raise alarm bells of impending conflict. In fact, such groups can either play a part by averting conflict or resolving conflicts altogether.

Civil society groups may represent the united voice of the people against war. In many cases, whilst governments are preoccupied with national security concerns, political posturing and hegemony - it is the people to people network and opposition to war – at a domestic or global theatre; however justified by their
governments that will eventually lead to the cessation of the killing.

Civil society groups add a human dimension in the advent of war, as irresponsible governments led by warmongers will try to legitimise the need for war. By voicing the people’s opposition to aggression, we can remove the moral imperative and justifiability for war. That’s not to say that we can ever justify the need for war.

The unlawful invasion of Iraq is a good case in point. The widely publicised rebuke by Peter Brierly; the father of a fallen British soldier towards Tony Blair was felt around the world in part due to the actions of the global civil society network in highlighting the illegality of the Iraq invasion and the ensuing loss of human lives.

His action exemplifies the abhorrence that we share against war hawks. Mr. Brierly refused to shake Tony Blair’s outstretched hands at the Commemoration Service for British troops whom died in Iraq saying- “I’m not shaking your hand, you have got blood on it”.

On this note, I would also like to touch on another aspect in terms of the impact of technology and globalization on civil society. The social media allows civil society to function in many ways – the mesh of globalization and technology has no doubt created a web of civil society groups around the globe. But more importantly, such a global grouping of civil society entities could utilize the internet to influence perceptions and thoughts against the concept of war.

Of course, I’d expect that such a global civil society grouping would have come to the conclusion and realisation of the futility and illegality of war itself. If this were the case, then civil society may be given that elusive opportunity to not just rally against war – but to attempt to change the mindset of generations to come against the act of war. An enduring message of peace that is mooted by the citizens of the world across various boundaries. That war is illegal and can never be justified on any grounds. Period.

I am also inclined to say that in the ASEAN context, of which member nations have been dangerously skirting around contentious issues that have inflamed passions-could do with a regional civil society grouping that promotes peace and positive bilateral relations.

In this context, civil society groups can filter through the misconceptions, negative perceptions or malicious media campaigns and crystallize a solution to the tension or at least lower the temperature. In the instance of the recent but continuous bilateral spats between Malaysia and Indonesia-much could have been done to bring tempers down as in the case of the purported ownership of the ‘Pendet’ dance that was featured by Discovery channel by civil society groups.

And then of course, there’s the people and the voting process and national elections. The People should demand for propeace candidates. PGPO has made this call before and I think that it would be a great platform for a united global civil society call to action around the world. We must only support political candidates whom advocate peace and uphold the concept of the illegality of war under any circumstances without exception.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I have highlighted some of my general observations with regards to this topic whilst acknowledging the fact that this area of discussion is wide and constantly evolving.

Personally, I am encouraged by the Richard Goldstone report on the atrocities committed in Gaza. This report marks a shift in global attitudes in which the citizens of the world can no longer standby idly as Israel continues to commit atrocities against the Palestinian people as well as against humanity.

This damning report is an indictment against the Zionist state that has been supported and protected by the allies of Israel for far too long-at the cost of so many lives.

I pray that the genocide committed against the Palestinian peoples will finally be brought to book at the appropriate court of justice without bias and pressure from Israel’s allies based on the findings of this report.

I also think that the work of civil societies around the world have directly or indirectly contributed to this milestone in our fight against tyranny, oppression and war.

We seem to have made a great gain in this struggle but I shudder to think of the magnitude of this task.

My friends, before I go, I’d like to share the emotive of the former UN Secretary-General, Dag Hammarskjold whom said that - “without passion nothing happens, without compassion, the wrong things happen.”

He couldn’t have been more right.

Thank you.

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My Say