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An account of mistreatment of girls and boys in Iraqi prisons: “Undressing, blows and cold water”

Wednesday 7 July 2004

Internal UNICEF report: USA intern children for an indefinite time without legal process

According to inquiries undertaken by the ARD political magazine REPORT MAINZ, indications increase that, within Iraqi prisons, US soldiers even mistreated children and youngsters. Two different sources independently recorded the inhuman treatment of imprisoned minors within the premises of the scandalous prison Abu Ghreib, according to REPORT MAINZ.

Samuel Provance, sergeant of the military secret service, and who was stationed at Abu Ghreib, in an exclusive interview with REPORT MAINZ reported that US interrogation specialists importuned a girl inside her cell. Military police did not intervene until the 15 to 16 year odl girl was half naked.

According to Provance, a 16 year old boy was showered with water and then driven through the cold (night). Afterwards they “smeared” the boy “with mud” and presented him to his father who was prisoned as well. “After he saw his son in such condition his heart broke”, says Provance. “He cried and promised to tell everything he knew”.

A reporter with the Arab TV station Al-Jazeera, Suhaib Badr-Addin Al-Baz, himself prisoned for 74 days at Abu Ghreib, told REPORT MAINZ, how a 12 year old girl was knocked around by US soldiers. The Journalist was the first to inform about a prison camp for children. “When they brought me from the cell into the camp, there was an independent camp for children, young, below puberty. For sure there were hundreds of children in that camp.”

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) acknowleged the imprisonment of Iraqi children through foreign military personnell. REPORT MAINZ has available an internal report of the Children’s Fund, from which it becomes apparent that the occupation forces hold Iraqi children as prisoners of war in internment custody. Verbatim it says in the yet undisclosed report, dated June 2004: “Children, which were arrested for reasons of alleged activities against the occupation forces in Basra and Kerbala, were routinely handed over to an internment custody in Um Quasr, according to reports. The categorisation of such children as “internments”is alarming, as it means indetermined custody without contact to the family, the prospect of a process or trial.”

Additionally the UNICEF document mentiones a new established prison camp for children in Baghdad. In July 2003 UNICEF applied for a visit of this installation. However, UNICEF was barred from entering. Says the report: “Insufficient security within the premises of this prison camp” has banned independent observers “since December 2003”.

Also the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) confirms the internment of children and youngsters through the coalition forces; among others in the infamous torture prison of Abu Ghreib. Florian Westphal, speaker of the ICRC in Geneva, tild REPORT MAINZ: “Between January and May this year we registered 107 children, and this in the wake of 19 visits on six different prison premises. Here it needs to be emphasised that these are prison compounds who really are controlled by the coalition forces.” The number of prisoned children may well be higher than this.

According to the internal UNICEF report the Children’s Fund “via a variety of channels” tries to find out more in regard to the internment conditions of childrens, and “to ensure that their rights do not get infringed”.

The British Ministry of Defence informed REPORT MAINZ not to keep any imprisoned children in Iraq at this time. The US Ministry of Defence until now did not show any reaction towards a submitted request.

The Human Rights Organisation Amnesty International in REPORT MAINZ demands clarification about internments of children. Barbara Lochbihler, general secretary of the German section, declared: “The US government has to reply to this report. It has to provide precise information: How old are the children, what are the reasons for internment, what were the circumstances of them being taken prisoners, and whether children were subjected to torture and mistreatment.”

Barbara Lochbihler further: “The report is dated June 2004 and what is infuriating is that those US persons in charge and the governments seem not to have taken it up in earnest to throw light on such incidents. (...) And here we even do not know the names of the children, how many children we talk about. Independent inspections are unwanted. This is scandalous.”

Also the internal UNICEF document displays severe criticism towards the practice of internment by the occupation forces. Verbatim it says: “The perceived unjustified internment of male Iraqis, including minors, on suspicion of activities against the occupation forces, has become a major reason for the growing frustration among male youngsters and a potential for radicalisation among this part of the population.”

For queries please call to REPORT MAINZ, Tel. +49-6131-929-3351

http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/torturingchildre
n.html

Forum posts

  • And then there was a time, during WWII, when American-born children of German ancestry were held in captivity in the United States by the Department of Justice and in Germany shortly after the war by the United States Army... the following is a brief description of one such case that has not been addressed by the US Congress, the US Supreme Court, nor the United Nations:

    You may read the entire story in the book, The Prison Called Hohenasperg: An American boy betrayed by his Government during World War II, uPublish, Parkland FL, May 1999

    Unknown to most Americans, more than 10,000 Germans and German Americans were interned in the United States during WWII. This story is about the internment of a young American and his family. He was born in the U.S.A. and the story tells of his perilous path from his home in Brooklyn to internment at Ellis Island, N.Y. and Crystal City, Texas, and imprisonment, after the war, at a place in Germany called Hohenasperg.

    When he arrived in Germany in the dead of winter, he was transported to Hohenasperg in a frigid, stench-filled, locked, and heavily guarded, boxcar. Once in Hohenasperg, he was separated from his family and put in a prison cell. He was only twelve years old! He was treated like a Nazi by the U.S. Army guards and was told that if he didn’t behave he would be killed. He tried to tell them he was an American, but they just told him to shut up. His fellow inmates included high-ranking officers of the Third Reich who were being held for interrogation and denazification.

    The book tells how the author survived this ordeal and many others, and how he fought his way back to his beloved America.

    • The internment of Europeans in the US during WW ll was not due to unrest in the country, nor was there any sabotage, bombings, suicide or otherwise. There were not even public marches, nor dissent of any kind in protest toward the inexorable march toward the US eventual entry into war against Germany.
      I was arrested in my Woodward High Classroom at the age of 17. My picture was expunged from the yearbook, except where it appeared on football, baseball, and Spanish Club group pictures. I was the interned until I was 22 within the same internment camps with Japanese. The Japanese were compensated for their losses, but we, of European heritage, received as we were not politically correct.
      Eberhard Fuhr, Palatine, Illinois

    • Because this was done during WWII doesn’t make it acceptable or right. It was wrong then and holding children is wrong now. As a matter of fact the whole damn war is wrong.