Published on Wednesday, September 22, 2010 by TruthDig.com
Combat operations in
After landing in
It was then that Ramze Ahmed learned his son, Omar, had been arrested in
For months, Rabiha didn’t know what had become of her husband. Then, on March 28, her cell phone rang. “I don’t know the voice,” she told me.
“I said, ‘Who are you?’ He said he is very sick ... he said, ‘Me, Ramze, Ramze. Call embassy.’ And they took the mobile, and they stop talking."
Ramze Ahmed was being held in a secret prison at the old
As Rabiha showed me family photos, a piece of paper with English and Arabic words slipped out. Rabiha explained that in order to describe in English what happened to her husband, she had to consult a dictionary, since she had never used several of the English words: “Rape.” “Stick.” “Torture.” She wept as she described his account of being sodomized with a stick, suffocated repeatedly with plastic bags placed over his head, and shocked with electricity.
Not surprisingly, as detailed in the Amnesty report, the Iraqi government said that Ramze Shihab Ahmed had confessed to links to al-Qaida in
Malcolm Smart, director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa program, told me in London, “there’s a culture of abuse [in Iraq] that has taken root. It was certainly there during the days of Saddam Hussein, but what we wanted to see from 2003 was a turning of the page, and that hasn’t happened. So we see secret prisons, people being tortured and ill-treated, being forced to make confessions ... the perpetrators are not being held to account. They’re not being identified.”
After that brief, interrupted phone call that Rabiha received from her husband, she did call the British government, and its embassy in
Amnesty reports that there are an estimated 30,000 prisoners in
Meanwhile, Rabiha al-Qassab, isolated and alone in north
She told me: “I talk with the ducks. I say, ‘You remember the man who gave you the food? He is in a prison. Ask God to help him.’ “
Denis Moynihan contributed research to this column.
© 2010 Amy Goodman
Amy Goodman is the host of "Democracy Now! ," a daily international TV/radio news hour airing on 800 stations in
URL to article: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/09/22-3
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