Report on the Arab Press from A.

May 4, 2004

Yesterday Mr. Paul Bremer US governor of Iraq accepted the resignation of Mr. Abdul-Basit Turki Minister of Human Rights in the interim government in Baghdad. He commented on recent revelations of POWs abuse he disclosed that Mr. Bremer was aware of these abuses since November 2003.

Protesting against what he termed as flagrant violations to human rights, Mr. Turki presented his resignation on April 8 after the American forces launched an open war on the Iraqi town of Fallouja. But it was rejected three times by the US-appointed Transitional Governing Council.

About two months ago Mr.Turki announced that there were more than 54 thousand POWs in US-controlled detention camps and prisons. He said to London-based al-Sharq al-Awsat daily that many violations to human rights were committed in US-controlled prisons and detention camps according to many ex-prisoners who complained to the Ministry. Those Iraqis,said the then Minister of human rights,"stressed that they were exposed to outrageous torture as well as to certain disgraceful and immoral practices that flagrantly abuse Iraqi social and moral values".

Mr.Turki said released POWs were forced to sign a legal undertaking not to talk about what they were exposed to during their imprisonment and not to make any claim of their rights such as damages,apology, etc."Probably because of these undertakings which sought to deprive ex-POWs of their legitimate rights, some hesitated to file protests and complaints for fear of rearrest and vendetta", added the ex-Minister.

Aljazeera satellite channel this afternoon{tuesday 5 may} interviewed the resigning Minister who said he had told Mr. Bremer last November that some female lawyers complained to him that they wanted to see some femalePOWs but were threatened by American controllers of a prison to leave or else they would be imprisoned. He described those human rights abuses as, " disastrous to my people."

Two of ex- POWs were also interviewed. Haider Sabar Abid said "we were exposed to beating ,strangling,immoral practices." He remembered the names of 2 soldiers among others who practiced torture: a sergeant Joyler and a Miss Maya. "We were once left 10 days without food and 3 days naked, hooded and lying on wet water,"he added.

Hashim Muhsin Lazim said ,"we were driven, heads hooded outside cells.Then many soldiers came,each held the neck and hand of each of us and rushed us into running into a zig-zag narrow lane.Thus we were pushed to hit in the head and body the walls while we were blinded by those long hoods." He added after he and other POWs got exhausted with many injuries especially in the head,they felt American soldiers tearing POWs clothes with sharp cutters."Then we were pushed to fall down on each other thus I felt there were naked bodies under me and several others piled above me."