Tuesday, July 3, 2007

The Stupidity of Man ...

"Suffering, poverty and torture do not breed humility and kindness ... au contraire ... they breed greed, selfishness and torturers of brethren" ---- Luna (2007)

We never seem to learn from our mistakes or sufferings ... I see these traits below ne Prishtine almost every week in the corridors of power. I guess suffering at the hands of a common foreign element makes all those suffering equal; but once that foreign element is gone, an internal element takes its place and, all of a sudden, all men and women are no longer equal amongst the "sufferees".

Kosova, my Kosova, when will our souls and spirits rise and seek true unselfish and uncorrupted Justice???

Detainees tortured in Kurdish area of Iraq, Human Rights Watch report says
Associated Press
July 3, 2007 at 7:58 AM EDT

IRBIL, Iraq — Kurdish security forces in northern Iraq — close allies of the United States — routinely torture detainees with methods including electric shock and hold them in overcrowded facilities without formal charges, a human rights group said Tuesday.
The Human Rights Watch report — based on interviews conducted from April to October 2006 with more than 150 detainees — demanded a comprehensive overhaul of detention practices in the Kurdish region and urged an independent body to investigative claims of torture.

“We are surprised that the Kurds are practising such violations after they were victims of torture during the Saddam (Hussein) era,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director for Human Rights Watch. “We appreciate the efforts by Kurdistan government to combat terrorism and secure Kurdistan, but we see that such violations against prisoners are not a good thing,” she told a news conference in the northern Kurdish city of Irbil.

The Kurds effectively broke with Saddam's government after the 1991 Gulf War and developed a largely autonomous mini-state under the protection of U.S. warplanes.
The post-Saddam constitution consecrated the north's autonomous status, with its own security forces. It is run by the region's main political parties, the Kurdish Democratic party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. PUK leader Jalal Talabani is Iraq's president.
Kurdistan has largely been spared the violence that has ravaged the rest of Iraq — though Sunni insurgents have carried out several deadly attacks in the region. One of them, a suicide truck bomb attack on a Kurdish political party in May, killed more than 50 people and was blamed on al-Qaeda. Kurdish security forces also operate in areas with large Kurdish populations outside the autonomous zone, such as the cities of Mosul and Kirkuk, which have seen frequent Arab-Kurdish violence as the two communities vie for power. Kurds want to incorporate oil-rich Kirkuk into their self-governing region, a step strongly opposed by other Iraqis. The New York-based Human Rights Watch report said abuses have been committed against suspects detained by Kurdish security personnel and others taken in U.S.-Iraq raids, including suspected insurgents. The report listed Kurdish violations of both international human rights law and Iraqi codes.

“Kurdistan security forces routinely subject detainees to torture and other mistreatment,” Whitson said. In interviews the New York-based group conducted at detention facilities — described as “severely overcrowded and unhygienic” — detainees said they were beaten with metal rods and cables and subjected to electric shocks. Some detainees were kept blindfolded and handcuffed for several days at a time, the report said. Jassir Abdul-Razaq, an official in Human Rights Watch's Mideast department, said most of the detainees are Kurds, “detained for terrorist, political or religious extremism causes.” Several Islamic militant insurgent groups that have carried out attacks, including Ansar al-Islam, have a large number of Kurdish members.

The report said the “vast majority” of the hundreds of detainees held by Kurdish security forces have not been charged with a crime, allowed access to a lawyer or provided with a means of appeal. It mentions several cases where defendants remained in detention after having been acquitted or having served their terms. Whitson said the Human Rights Watch team visited 10 prisons run by Kurdish security forces in the cities of Sulaimaniyah, Irbil and Dahuk, but “there are hidden prisons that we could not visit and prisoners whom we were not able to see.” Kurdish officials denied torture was taking place when Human Rights Watch presented them its findings, but they promised to form an independent investigative committee to review the allegations, Whitson said. “We hope that the Kurdish officials will live up to their promises,” she said.

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