Amnesty International expressed concern today at the disturbing article and images portrayed in the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet which show American soldiers escorting naked Iraqi men through a park in Baghdad. The pictures reveal that someone has written the words ‘Ali Baba – Haram(i)’ (which means Ali Baba – thief) in Arabic on the prisoners’ chests.
The article quotes a US military officer as saying that this treatment is an effective method of deterring thieves from entering the park and is a method which will be used again; another US military officer is quoted as saying that US soldiers are not allowed to treat prisoners inhumanely.
“If these pictures are accurate, this is an appalling way to treat prisoners. Such degrading treatment is a clear violation of the responsibilities of the occupying powers,” Amnesty International said today.
“Whatever the reason for their detention, these men must at all times be treated humanely. The US authorities must investigate this incident and publicly release their findings.”
Article 27 of the Fourth Geneva Convention clearly states that “Protected persons are entitled in all circumstances, to respect for their persons, their honour, their family rights, their religious convictions and practices, and their manner and customs. They shall at all times be humanely treated, and shall be protected especially against all acts of violence or threats thereof and against insults and public curiosity”.
To link to the article from Dagbladet please go to: http://www.dagbladet.no/nyheter/2003/04/25/367175.html
For a full copy of Amnesty International’s report: Iraq: Responsibilities of the occupying powers please go to:http://web.amnesty.org/library/index/engmde140892003