Daily Archives: September 12, 2006

Many top Bush officials guilty of violating anti-torture laws

By Sherwood Ross in Middle East Times (Sept 3)

WASHINGTON — At least a score of high Bush Administration officials authorized, and hundreds of US military and other government employees committed, crimes involving the torture of prisoners captured in the Middle East, published reports and legal documents indicate.

Indeed, any impartial probe of the widespread abuse of prisoners in US custody could go well beyond the handful of prison guards who have been arrested and tried to date. The list would include top White House officials who designed the torture policies and Pentagon flag officers who executed them. It would include CIA officials and their contract pilots and immigration personnel involved in abducting suspects to be tortured. It would include doctors, nurses, and paramedics who abetted interrogators in torture. And the civilian contractors of the Department of Defense (DOD) who tortured, and foreign officials who turned suspects over to US authorities for torture.

In his May 8, 2004, speech, US President George W. Bush deplored “shocking conduct in Iraqi prisons by a small number of American servicemen and women.” But he added, “We will learn the facts, the extent of the abuse, and the identities of those involved. They will answer for their actions.”

As that’s a very good idea, let’s begin, starting at the top.


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Uzbek folk singer receives suspended sentence for song about Andijan crackdown

From Fox23 News

TASHKENT, Uzbekistan (AP) – A dissident Uzbek folk singer has been given a three-year suspended sentence for writing a song about last year’s bloody crackdown of an uprising in the city of Andijan, his lawyer said Monday.

Dadakhon Khasanov was convicted Friday by the Tashkent Criminal Court, which then suspended his sentence provided he does not write politically motivated songs or poems, defense attorney Surat Ikramov told The Associated Press. Ikramov dismissed the trial as “theatrical” and “absurd.”

Khasanov, 66, whose trial began in July, was forced to sign away ownership of his house and car, and he turned down legal defense after pressure from the Interior Ministry, Ikramov said. Khasanov faced official accusations of insulting President Islam Karimov and disseminating illegal information.

Days after government troops opened fire on protesters in the eastern city of Andijan on May 13, 2005, Khasanov composed the “Andijan song,” whose lyrics included the words: “Children died, red like tulips in spring. … We tested our ruler, he turned out to be a terrorist. … Dictators will keep on shooting until the Uzbeks sleep.”

Rights groups and witnesses say hundreds of mostly unarmed protesters were killed by government forces in Andijan; authorities insist 187 died and blamed Islamic radicals for instigating the violence.

It is unclear how widely Khasanov’s song has been distributed; it was recorded on tape and has been passed mainly person-to-person. At one point, U.S.-funded Radio Liberty played it every time they reported on the Andijan events, and the criminal case against Khasanov was opened after a police officer heard it on a bus in the western city of Bukhara.

Two men in Bukhara were convicted in early August to four and seven years in prison, respectively, after they were caught listening to the song on a tape.


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