TIMELINE - ARTICLES - REPORTS OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL
Selling the Iraqi resistance
From our Baghdad correspondent, July 23, 2007
One of the more interesting — and quiet — visits to Washington was made recently by Sunni parliamentary leader Mohammed al-Dayni, who visited Capitol Hill during May to meet with Congressional leaders and administration officials. A Sunni member of the Iraqi parliament and head of the Sunni Iraqi National Dialogue Front, al-Dayni showed up in Washington for an extended 25-day visit to talk with policymakers about Washington’s Iraq strategy. The point of al-Dayni’s visit? To convince the Bush administration to begin talks with what al-Dayni described as “the real representatives of the Iraqi resistance” and not the “make believe resistance leaders.” What al-Dayni had in mind was that the Bush administration — and members of Congress — would reopen negotiations with Iraq’s Baathists, the same leaders it had accused of meeting with and harboring al-Qaeda operatives and hiding weapons of mass destruction.
The outspoken al-Dayni is known as a Sunni partisan, a strong anti-Shia activist, a long-time critic of Iran and a controversial and sometimes volatile critic of the Maliki government. More importantly, al-Dayni has strong ties to key figures in the Sunni resistance, a fact that has led him into increasingly disturbing clashes with Maliki — and which brought him to Washington in the first place. Then too, as head of the Sunni Iraqi National Dialogue Front (a disciplined political bloc that controls eleven seats in the Iraqi parliament) al-Dayni’s power cannot be ignored. “He is an articulate, if outspoken, political leader,” one Congressional aide remembers of his meeting with him. “He is a man of strong opinions, as well as a superb salesman.”
It took al-Dayni some time, but he was eventually able to arrange a meeting between key senior Iraqi Sunni resistance leaders in Amman of the “Baathist current” and a visiting delegation from Washington. Because of al-Dayni’s direct intervention (along with the help of an Iraqi European mediator), I have been told that “a group of U.S. elected leaders or their staff” met quietly with Sunni resistance representatives in Amman in early July. No further information on the make-up of the American delegation is available, but that the meeting took place is not in question. The meeting was quietly set up by al-Dayni through the ABSP’s (Arab Baath Socialist Party) contacts in Europe. The key intermediary was a well-known Iraqi living in Europe who is trusted by the ABSP’s Damascus leadership. This European mediator played a central role, according to my sources. His and al-Dayni’s argument to the reticent Damascus ABSP leadership was that without some contact between their leadership and members of Congress and their representatives, the Iranian foothold inside of Iraq would expand. Even so, the ABSP was skeptical that the Americans would show good faith during the proposed discussions.
In spite of this the Damascus ABSP leadership decided that they would send representatives to talk to the Americans visiting Amman. They also decided they would take a tough line and during the first hours of their meeting with the Americans — which took place in Jordan in early July — the ABSP leaders was adamant: the Iraqi resistance leaders insisted that “real progress can only be made once the Americans make it clear to Iran that they must stop interfering in Iraqi affairs.” The Congressional delegation was quiet, circumspect, even skeptical, “but they listened carefully to what the Baathists had to say.” They too, they said, were disturbed about Iran’s role in Iraq, but they could make no promises. They said that they would do what they could to end Iranian influence in the country, but they were concerned that the resistance would continue to kill American soldiers. This could not be tolerated, they said. The meeting ended on this indifferent note: with concern on both sides about the Iranians, but without any formal agreement being put in place to continue contacts.
What was interesting about the Amman meeting was not simply that Congressional officials were willing to meet with the ABSP, but that they were willing to meet with a faction of the ABSP that is notorious for its anti-American activities. The “Al-Ahman Faction” of the Arab Baath Socialist Party — headquartered in Damascus but operating widely in the western reaches of Iraq — is led by none other than Muhammad Yunis al-Ahmad, a former Baath Party regional leader under Saddam Hussein and a man with a $1 million cash reward on his head. Muhammad Yunis al-Ahmad is well-known as one of the most effective resistance captains, a political as well as military figure who has been able to weld together a set of disparate secular anti-American factions that have fought the American occupation in western Iraq to a stand-still. Al-Ahmad moves easily between western Iraq and safe houses in Damascus and is the financial facilitator and operational leader of the resurgent Baath Party apparatus in Iraq. “Yunis is charged with providing funding, leadership and support to several insurgent groups conducting attacks against the Iraqi people, the interim government, Iraqi National Guard, the Iraqi police and coalition forces,” a U.S. military statement said in 2005.
While the early July Amman meeting between the Americans and representatives of the al-Ahman faction did not result in any formal understandings between the representatives of the two groups, the Iraqi European mediator told us that the al-Ahman representatives made their own point of view clearly understood: If the United States would act decisively to end Iranian influence in Iraq, the Baath resistance would end its attacks on U.S. forces in western Iraq. Moreover, future talks in Amman would be held on “an accelerated and more substantive basis” if the Americans would act quickly and in good faith to take on what the al-Ahman faction identified as “Iranian militias tied to the Quds brigades that are present in some parts of Iraq.” In the wake of the Amman meeting, and apparently energized by what he felt was the progress the meeting promised, the Iraqi European mediator flew to Damascus to talk with Muhammad Yunis al-Ahmad in person, then called me with the details of his talks. “The Baath Party leadership welcomed this initiative,” he said. “They are ready to calm the situation in western Iraq. They are ready for more talks. Al-Ahmed expressed his readiness to order his followers to stop attacking American troops in the western areas of Iraq. But it goes without saying that this move will irritate Al Maliki government. They clearly do not want any agreement between the Americans and former Baathists.”
That the Maliki government is sensitive about al-Dayni’s efforts to sell the Americans on talking with the “real” Iraqi resistance is well-known — at least in Iraq. In the wake of al-Dayni’s visit to the U.S. in May, Iraqi forces raided his offices in western Baghdad, and detained five of his guards. Dayni held a press conference in the wake of the raid, saying that Maliki’s forces confiscated 31 weapons from his offices and unspecified amounts of cash. “So far, the homes and offices of 20 parliamentarians, all Sunnis, have been raided,” Dayni said at the time. “What is happening in Iraq today, especially in Baghdad, is a coup by the executive branch against the legislative branch.” Another Sunni legislator, Noureddine Saeed al-Hayali, who appeared with Dayni, said the raids ignored parliamentary protocol. “Our immunity is guaranteed by the Constitution and has to be respected,” he said. The U.S. military had no comment on the raid.
Iraqi soldiers stand around confiscated weapons during a raid on the home of Mohammed al-Dayni, a Sunni lawmaker, in Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, Feb. 22, 2009. Iraqi authorities issued an arrest warrant for al-Dayni, who is accused of masterminding a series of high-profile attacks, including mortar strikes on the Green Zone and a 2007 suicide bombing inside the parliament building, a military official said Sunday. AP Photo by Qassim Abdul-Zahra
In Baghdad, a prominent Sunni politician rallied Tuesday behind a Sunni lawmaker accused of running a private terror cell and demanded full probes into Shiites and other parliament members suspected of links to violence.
Saleh al-Mutlaq, who leads a Sunni bloc, has used the allegations against one of his former political allies to press Sunni claims that the Shiite-led government is not doing enough to investigate Shiite abuses committed during the height of Iraq's sectarian bloodshed.
"We demand that all files against other lawmakers be opened and investigated by a special parliament committee that is free from government pressures," he told a news conference.
The demand could further complicate the crisis in Iraq's parliament, which has been in gridlock since December over disputes on selecting a new speaker. The impasse has left lawmakers unable to take up pressing issues such as U.S.-backed proposals to enact a law that covers foreign oil industry investment and revenue distribution.
Al-Mutlaq's remarks came a day after the accused Sunni lawmaker, Mohammed al-Dayni, claimed to be the victim of a government campaign to silence its critics.
Al-Dayni has frequently spoken out about alleged abuse of Sunni prisoners. He claims that Iran has undue influence over Iraq's Shiite political leaders.
Videotaped confessions by two of al-Dayni's former bodyguards — one of them his nephew — were released last week implicating him as the ringleader of a gang blamed for a string of attacks and abuses, including mortar strikes on Baghdad's Green Zone and a 2007 suicide bombing in the parliament cafeteria that killed one person.
Al-Dayni remains free under parliamentary immunity from prosecution. It was not clear when the parliament would take a vote on whether to strip him of the protection, a move that would enable legal proceedings.
"Let's begin a real effort to disclose information about those involved in killings and sectarian displacement," al-Mutlaq said. "Then we all will discover that there are leaders inside the political process who took part in these events."___
Associated Press writer Sameer N. Yacoub in Baghdad and AP staff in Mosul contributed to this report.
Mohammed al-Dayni is an Iraqi politician and member of the Council of Representatives of Iraq.
Al-Dayni was elected in the Iraqi legislative election, December 2005 as one of the eleven MPs of the Sunni Arab-majority secular Iraqi National Dialogue Front party.
Visit to America
In July 2007 al-Dayni visited the United States for nearly a month and held talks with policymakers in Washington DC trying to persuade them to hold talks with "the real representatives of the Iraqi resistance" - supporters of former President Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party.
In February 2009, two of his bodyguards were arrested on suspicion of involvement in the 2007 Iraqi Parliament bombing and other attacks. Alaa Khairallah Hashim, his security chief and Ryadh Ibrahim al-Dayni, his nephew, confessed on television and said the MP had given authorisation for the bomber to enter the parliament area. Mohammed al-Dayni claimed that the accusations were lies and that his bodyguards had been tortured into making a false confession because he had been disclosing human rights abuses in Iraqi prisons.
The security forces asked the Council of Representatives of Iraq to lift al-Dayni's parliamentary immunity. Al-Dayni took a flight to Jordan, but the airplane was forced to turn back; parliament then agreed to lift his immunity. However, al-Dayni fled before he could be arrested.
He was eventually arrested on October 10, 2009 at Kuala Lumpur International Airport after he entered Malaysia with a fake passport. The authorities were preparing his deportation.
Iraqi lawmaker disputes claims that he ordered attacks
Trenton Daniel | McClatchy Newspapers
last updated: March 22, 2010 03:58:57 PM
BAGHDAD — An Iraqi lawmaker on Monday blasted accusations that he'd ordered mafia-like murders, charging that the case was politically motivated because of his hard-line stance on human rights issues.
The Iraqi military says that Sunni Muslim Arab lawmaker Mohammed al Dayni orchestrated a string of deadly attacks that ranged from burying his rivals alive to hiring a suicide bomber who killed one person and wounded 22 others in a cafeteria in Baghdad's fortified Green Zone.
"The injustice against us is because of our national positions," Dayni said at a news conference in the Iraqi parliament, referring to his advocacy work. "We knew that we were going to pay a price for that."
Parliament members soon will have to decide whether to lift the immunity that Dayni has as a lawmaker. Dayni, who's from Iraq's Diyala province, belongs to the Sunni-led National Dialogue Front.
His rebuttal came a day after Iraqi authorities announced at a news conference that they'd issued an arrest warrant alleging that Dayni was the chief architect of several deadly attacks on the Green Zone. The Iraqi military based the warrant on statements given by two former bodyguards of Dayni's, one of whom is his nephew.
In a statement taped by authorities, Riyadh Ibrahim Jassim Hussein al Dayni said that his uncle had ordered him to rob gold merchants, bury more than a hundred rivals in Diyala province and fire mortars at the Green Zone, the fortresslike compound where the parliament, U.S. Embassy and other government buildings are.
The nephew also charged that his uncle was behind a bloody attack in a parliament cafeteria in April 2007. After clearing the Green Zone's numerous security checkpoints with Mohammed al Dayni's identification badge, a suicide bomber received an explosives-laden belt from a cafeteria supervisor and blew himself up among the lunchtime crowd. The blast killed a Sunni lawmaker from Dayni's party.
The bombing exposed how much the heavily guarded Green Zone — then under U.S. military control — was still vulnerable to attacks.
On Monday, the parliament building was abuzz with Iraqi reporters shadowing lawmakers to find out more and gather responses. A waiting room TV was tuned to the latest news report on Dayni.
Then Dayni emerged and strode alone into an auditorium. Wearing a dark brown suit, he read from a prepared statement and answered questions.
He said that the accusations were part of a political attack because of his advocacy on human rights, and that the Iraqi military spokesman who announced the arrest warrant had defied legal procedures by going to the news media first.
Dayni's former bodyguards, he added, made their statements after being beaten.
"They were tortured heavily," he said. "These confessions need proof."
Lawmakers called for a committee to study the Dayni case.
The judiciary must submit a formal request for lawmakers to vote on the immunity matter; an Iraqi military spokesman said the court had received the motion. Once the request reaches the chamber, lawmakers need an absolute majority to lift immunity and deliver the arrest warrant.
Some lawmakers said they opposed the public circumstances of the warrant, while others said they'd honor the request, provided that the judiciary offered convincing proof.
"We are awaiting a request from the judiciary to lift immunity based on detailed documents or evidence . . . that would warrant lifting immunity," said Haider al Abadi, a Shiite Muslim lawmaker from Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki's Dawa party. "When we receive them, we will vote for it one time."
Even after the parliament receives the warrant, however, it could take weeks or months before lawmakers put it up for a vote.
The chamber has been at an impasse for more than two months, after the speaker resigned under pressure because some of his cohorts didn't like his impulsive leadership style. Lawmakers have been unable to agree on a successor, holding back debate on a new budget or other matters that could speed up reconstruction efforts.
"I think it will take months," Mithal al Alusi, a lawmaker with the Sunni-led Iraqi Nation party, said about lifting Dayni's immunity.
Alusi added that it was crucial for parliament to do so because of the need to serve the arrest warrant or at least question Dayni.
"We're talking about a huge criminal case," he said.
Also on Monday, the Interior Ministry announced that it had detained 12 low-level police officers on a range of criminal charges, including the high-profile killing in 2006 of Maysoun al Hashemi, the sister of Sunni Arab Vice President Tariq al Hashemi. Authorities also issued warrants against another 15 who were outside the country.
Hashemi and her bodyguard were killed as they left her home in southwestern Baghdad. The slaying happened only a few days after parliament appointed her brother to the vice presidency. A couple of weeks earlier, another brother had been gunned down in Baghdad.
Most of the suspects nabbed in the Interior Ministry investigation hailed from Sadr City, a Baghdad slum once known as a hotbed for Shiite militias.
(Daniel is a staff writer for The Miami Herald. McClatchy special correspondent Mohammed al Dulaimy contributed to this report.)
March 14, 2009
The mysterious case of Mohamed al-Dainy
By Robert Fisk
The authorities claim he planned a suicide bombing in parliament. His allies insist the Iraqi MP is a respected human rights campaigner. But no one knows what has happened to him.
Where is Mohamed al-Dainy? In prison in Baghdad? On the run? Or is this Sunni Muslim Iraqi member of parliament and human rights defender facing torture or even death in his own country? Certainly that is what his brother Ahmed fears. "We are afraid for his life and the lives of our family members in Baghdad," he says from the safety of Damascus. "The whole family fears they are in direct threat from the Iraqi government."
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government denies that it has arrested or imprisoned the disappeared man - even though government agents tried to detain him at Baghdad airport on 25 February after his flight to Amman was ordered to return to Iraq when it was almost halfway to Jordan with an Iraqi parliamentary delegation.
The authorities have alleged that he planned a suicide bombing in the Iraqi parliament on 12 April 2007, which killed eight people including a colleague from his own political party, a claim that the Geneva-based human rights group Alkarama, which is also fearful for Mr al-Dainy's safety, says is "politically motivated" because of the missing man's exposure of secret prisons and torture in Iraq.
Many Iraqis have stories of illegal prisons, mistreatment and even rape by security forces nominally controlled by al-Maliki's government - some true, some highly exaggerated - but Mr al-Dainy is a respected human rights investigator who last year flew to Geneva as a guest of Alkarama, which covers the Arab world, to discuss his work with UN officials, the International Red Cross and several NGOs. In Switzerland, he presented a 16-minute documentary which included video footage he had himself taken in "secret" prisons.
His disappearance last month was as frightening as the charges laid against him by the government. After his flight returned to Baghdad airport, government agents boarded the aircraft and formally arrested Mr al-Dainy in front of his fellow parliamentarians and other passengers. First reports said that he was taken from the airport in a convoy of security vehicles. Later information suggested that he left the airport with fellow MPs and asked to be let out of his car on the airport road to avoid arrest at a government checkpoint. Mr al-Dainy's bodyguards were supposedly arrested for their part in his "escape".
Those close to his family suggest that he was captured and detained in the Kadimiya prison, then later transferred to Jadriya jail, although the authorities deny all knowledge of this. Family members say security forces have raided their homes in Baghdad and that the missing man's 85-year-old father has been arrested. Mr al-Dainy denied government claims of involvement in the 2007 suicide bombing, saying that a nephew and his own senior security guard had been tortured before "confessing" on television that he had been behind the killings.
Alkarama believes the whole affair started after Mr al-Dainy issued a statement in Geneva on 30 October last year in which he appealed for international help to end the suffering of Iraqis held in prisons across the country. "Through my work, I have access to many official documents," he said. "I have many people and officials from within the government secretly giving me documents ... I have many, many documents from official ministries which confirm extra-judicial killings in the detention centres, the problem of systematic rape in the women's prisons and about the ... human rights situation in Iraq."
Mr al-Dainy also condemned America's "massive killings" in Fallujah, adding that George Bush's 2003 invasion was illegal and that Iraq remains under occupation.
In more detailed allegations, Mr al-Dainy stated that 26,000 people were detained by US forces in Iraq - but that a further 40,000 are held in 37 official government-controlled prisons. "In one secret prison I visited, hundreds of prisoners were crammed into each of the six rooms. There are all kinds of people, men, women and children. In one prison, there were 23 minors." He condemned the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (Unami) as ineffective and complained that officials wanting to investigate human rights abuses were not being granted permission to visit prisons.
Mr al-Dainy, like many other Sunnis, is highly critical of Iranian involvement in Iraq and warned officials in Geneva of Iran's influence over the Maliki government - but he says that he himself managed as an MP to visit 13 jails, three of them jointly controlled by US and Iraqi forces. "I'm an MP and this puts me in danger," he told his audience in Geneva. "But I'm going back to Baghdad and it will not stop us."
Prescient words. As his brother Ahmed al-Dainy told The Independent: "We can do nothing with the government because they are refusing to talk or deal with us. Any contact we make, by phone or in person, is cut off immediately.
"The most important work that can now be done is from international human rights organisations and whatever international pressure can be put on the Iraqi government."
Human Rights Council Thirteenth session
Report of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances
21 December 2009
The Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances was the first United Nations human rights thematic mechanism to be established with a universal mandate. The original mandate derives from Commission on Human Rights resolution 20 (XXXVI) of 29 February 1980.
The primary task of the Working Group is to assist families in determining the fate or whereabouts of their family members who are reportedly disappeared. In this humanitarian capacity, the Working Group serves as a channel of communication between family members of victims of disappearance and Governments.
This report reflects communications and cases examined by the Working Group during its three sessions in 2009, covering the period 5 December 2008 to 13 November 2009.
IRAQ – The case of Iraqi MP Mohammed Al-Dainy
The Working Group sent 17 cases under its urgent action procedure to the Government. The first one, sent on 27 February 2009, concerned Mohammed Gatof Mansour, alias Mohammed Al-Dainy, an Iraqi Member of Parliament, arrested by security forces on a plane and taken away from Baghdad airport in a convoy of vehicles by security forces in February 2009. Another three communications were sent on 12, 19 and 25 May 2009, concerning 16 members of his entourage, Shaker Al Bayati, Alaa Khayr Allah Al Maliki, Haytham Khaled Barbooty, Mahmoud Kareem Fahran, Houssein Gattouf Mansoor, Mohamed Hussein Ghadban, Odey Hassan Mansoor, Hashem Kareem Ibrahim, Omar Ibrahim Jasem, Rahman Ahmed Kahrem, Abbas Kazem Khamis, Mahmoud Maksoud, Farkad Jama Taha Yassine, Ali Abdel Taha Yassine, who were arrested by security forces on different occasions. No response was received from the Government.
The Working Group transmitted one newly-reported case to the Government. It concerned Alla Al Dain Abdul Kariem Shakir Salah, last seen at the Fox Brigade Police Checkpoint, in Al Sadiyia District, Baghdad in July 2007.
Information from the Government
The Government of Iraq transmitted three communications to the Working Group, dated 10 July 2008, 25 June, and 15 October 2009. The first and third communications concerned outstanding cases. The information provided was considered insufficient for clarification. The second communication was not translated in time for inclusion in this report.
Information from sources
The Working Group received information from sources on seven cases.
Following the information received by sources, the Working Group decided to clarify five cases.
Representatives of the Government met with the Working Group at its eighty-ninth session to discuss developments connected to outstanding cases.
Total cases transmitted, clarified and outstanding
Since its establishment, the Working Group has transmitted 16,544 cases to the Government; of those, 28 cases have been clarified on the basis of information provided by sources, 107 cases have been clarified on the basis of information provided by the Government, and 16,409 remain outstanding.
The Working Group appreciates the meeting held with representatives of the Government of Iraq and looks forward to continued cooperation.
The Working Group calls upon the Government to sign and ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance and accept the competence of the Committee under articles 31 and 32.
Human Rights Council Thirteenth session 18 February 2010
Report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, Martin Scheinin
Communication sent to the Iraqi Government
On 1 December 2009, the Special Rapporteur, jointly with the Chairperson- Rapporteur of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, sent a communication regarding a group of persons arrested and held in secret detention for prolonged periods in connection with accusations against Mr. Al-Dainy, a former member of Parliament, namely Omar Ibrahim Jasem, aged 20; Ryad Ibrahim Jasem, aged 31; Alaa Khayr Allah Al-Maliki; nine individuals arrested on 22 February 2009 and still in detention: Abbas Kazem Khamis; Rahman Ahmed Kareem; Wissam Ibrahim Jasem; Farkad Jamal Taha Yassine; Ali Adel Taha Yassine; Shaker Al Bayati; Haytham Khaled Barbooty; Mahmoud Maksoud; and Mohamed Hussein Ghadban. According to the information received:
Mr Ryad Ibrahim Jasem was arrested on 11 February 2009, at around 9 a.m., not far from his home by a group of Iraqi armed soldiers. Upon arrest, he was violently handcuffed and blind-folded. The soldiers then searched his house, destroyed all the furniture and took a considerable sum of money. Mr Alaa Khayr Allah Al-Maliki was arrested on 17 February 2009. Whereas their whereabouts are unknown, unofficial sources indicate that they have been held in the Baghdad Brigade prison in the Green Zone, where they were subjected to ill-treatment and threats against them and their families.
In the morning of 22 February 2009, officers from the 2nd Battalion of the 54th Brigade, linked to the Baghdad Brigade surrounded Mr Al-Dainy’s office and arrested the above listed nine individuals, and Messrs Mahmoud Kareem Farhan, Ahmed Majeed Kachkoul, and Hashem Kareem Ibrahim, aged 27, who were later released. They asked for the identity cards of everybody present at the office. Mr Khamis collected all the cards and passed them over to the Colonel, who refused to explain why he had asked for them. The responsible Colonel then went back to his car, where he remained for over an hour. Following this, a force of 40 men from the Baghdad Brigade attacked the office. They tied the hands of the eleven individuals present in the office, blindfolded and beat them. When the eleven requested to see the arrest warrants, the officers stated that they did not need such orders, as they were subordinate to the Prime Minister’s Office. The responsible Colonel called the official television channel (Al Iraqiya), which came to record the event. The soldiers then collected all the documents in the office including the petitions from alleged victims, as well as the licensed weapons.
Subsequently, the group was taken to a place it did not know, but which was later identified as Al-Muthana Airport, where the base of the Baghdad Brigade is located. The individuals were put in single cells. In the early hours of 23 February 2009, they were transferred to another Baghdad Brigade location in the Green Zone. Upon arrival there, the group was informed of the accusations against the individuals: supporting the insurgents and providing them with weapons; transferring explosives; bombing cars; and killing and evicting people from their homes; and participating in the bombing of Parliament in 2007.
Mr Omar Ibrahim Jasem was arrested on 25 February 2009, together with Mr Odey Hassan Mansoor, aged 28, and Mr Hossein Gattouf Mansoor, aged 38, who have subsequently been released. Following their arrests, the three men were taken to the Anti-Terrorism Directory in Al-Masbah District under the Ministry of Interior, headed by General Rahman, where they were not interrogated, but were subjected to ill-treatment. On 10 March 2009, the small group was transferred to the Baghdad Brigade Prison, located in the Green Zone. Two months later, in May 2009, interrogations started. Mr Odey Mansoor and Mr Hossein Mansoor learned that they were suspected of having put on fire a commercial centre in Al-Shorja Bazaar and of killing 53 people in Diyala Governorate.
All the persons arrested in connection with Mr Al-Dainy were held in incommunicado detention at Baghdad Brigade prison in the Green Zone, without notification of their families or their location, at least until May 2009, but the location of some others is still not known. They were severely ill-treated, including by beating with cables, suspension from the ceiling with either the feet or hands upwards for up to two days, or electroshocks. Some had black bags put over their heads and were suffocated for several minutes until the bodies became blue several times in a row. Also, some had plastic sticks introduced in the anus. They were also threatened with the rape of members of their families. They were forced to sign and fingerprint pre-prepared confessions, which were collected on 24 February 2009. As a result of the ill-treatment, several of them had visible injuries on several parts of their bodies. Many have lost considerable weight. Mr Ryad Ibrahim Jasem suffers from liver failure as a result of the torture sustained.
Several names of those alleged responsible for the torture are known to the Special Rapporteur.
On several instances, when human rights commissions or prosecutors came to inquire about the torture allegations, the Commander of the Brigade threatened to kill them if they raised any allegations and refrain from complaining. A medical doctor who visited them, also beat them and forcibly put cream on their injuries.
When some of the detainees were in May brought before an investigating judge, he ignored the allegations of torture and sent them back for further interrogations. In mid-June, after having been threatened again, the Al-Dainy guards were gathered and taken to a caravan one after the other in front of a man wearing a mask, who they however immediately recognized as the investigator. They had to sit down in front of the camera and were asked about their treatment. They all answered that they had not been tortured, that they had been well treated and that the food was perfect.
On 4 May 2009, Mr Kachkoul was transferred from the military camp. He was then transferred to Atasfirat Prison near the Al-Shaab stadium in the Green Zone and allowed to meet with a lawyer on 12 May. On 3 June 2009, he was taken to Al-Baladeyat Prison and released on 15 July 2009, without ever having been put on trial for the offences of which he had been accused. Mr Mahmoud Kareem Farhan was released on 22 June 2009. The whereabouts of the remaining nine individuals arrested on 22 February 2009 (Abbas Kazem Khamis; Rahman Ahmed Kareem; Wissam Ibrahim Jasem; Farkad Jamal Taha Yassine; Ali Adel Taha Yassine; Shaker Al Bayati; Haytham Khaled Barbooty; Mahmoud Maksoud and Mohamed Hussein Ghadban) are still unknown. They are presumed to be detained in Baghdad Brigade Prison and in Al-Tasferat Prison in the Green Zone.
Mr Ibrahim was released on 18 May, Mr Odey Mansoor on 16 July, and Mr Hossein Mansoor on 17 September 2009. Furthermore, Mr Omar Jasem was transferred on 30 September 2009 to a detention facility for minors, the Al-Ahdath Prison in the Al-Eskan/Tobchi area. He was able to meet with his parents on 4 October 2009.
With a view to the long-term secret and incommunicado detention of the above named individuals and the serious allegations of torture and ill-treatment, the mandate holders expressed concern for the physical and mental integrity of the twelve individuals who remain in detention, and in particular of those whose whereabouts are not known. They further recalled the obligation of each State to protect the right to physical and mental integrity of all persons, in particular paragraph 7.c of Human Rights Council Resolution 8/8 of 18 June 2008, which reminds all States that “Prolonged incommunicado detention or detention in secret places may facilitate the perpetration of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and can in itself constitute a form of such treatment, and urges all States to respect the safeguards concerning the liberty, security and the dignity of the person;” and articles 9 and 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
They requested clarification regarding results of any investigations, medical examinations, and judicial or other inquiries carried out in relation to the above mentioned persons and the legal basis for the arrest and continued detention of Mr Omar Ibrahim Jasem; Mr Ryad Ibrahim Jasem; Mr Alaa Khayr Allah Al-Maliki; Mr Abbas Kazem Khamis; Mr Rahman Ahmed Kareem; Mr Wissam Ibrahim Jasem; Mr Farkad Jamal Taha Yassine; Mr Ali Adel Taha Yassine; Mr Shaker Al Bayati; Mr Haytham Khaled Barbooty; Mr Mahmoud Maksoud; and Mr Mohamed Hussein Ghadban.
B. Reply from the Government
As of 31 December 2009, there had been no response to the Special Rapporteur’s correspondence.