Official: children in Abu Ghraib
The US army has been forced to admit that young children are being held at Iraq’s notorious Abu Ghraib prison. Brigadier General Janis Karpinski, the former commander of the jail where US troops tortured and photographed detainees, told investigators that one boy held at Abu Ghraib appeared to be just eight years old.
Socialist Worker revealed in October that one child who was being held prisoner, Fadil Dalani, was just six years old.
The new evidence came in hundreds of pages of army records about Abu Ghraib obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union. Karpinski told officials investigating abuse, “He looked like he was eight years old. He told me his brother was there with him, but he really wanted to see his mother, could he please call his mother. He was crying.”
Horror of Afghan jails
The torture of detainees by US troops at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison followed an ugly precedent in Afghanistan, US army investigative reports show. The reports, revealed in the New York Times, describe how two Afghans died in US custody in December 2002 after being chained to the ceiling, kicked and beaten.
One soldier, Private Willie Brand, was last month charged with manslaughter. He was accused of killing one detainee by “destroying his leg muscle tissue with repeated unlawful knee strikes” over a five day period, the reports said. Brand admitted striking the detainee 37 times.
US holds an Iraqi reporter
The Paris-based Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF) group has called for the release of Iraqi journalist Majed Fadhil Zaboun, who has been held by US forces since 28 February. Majed, cultural editor of independent newspaper Al-Fourat, was arrested on the Syrian border. He was returning from a conference in Damascus that he had attended with a delegation of Iraqi poets.
Peace camp in Trafalgar Square
Anti-war activists were due to join a peace camp set up in London’s Trafalgar Square in the days leading up to Saturday’s demo. Tony Benn and Respect MP George Galloway were among those planning to spend a night at the camp established by Military Families Against the War.
School student Alys Zaerin said, “Students from my school, Alexandra Park, will definitely be going down there. People think it’s an amazing idea — it’s so different.'
The camp will also see a range of cultural events and visits from people who have been involved in the campaign against the war and the occupation. For details go to www.stopwar.org.uk