[News] Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal Day 1

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Wed May 9 10:54:10 EDT 2012

Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal Day 1

by <http://www.laurenbooth.co.uk/>Lauren Booth
Tuesday, May 8th, 2012


When authority entrusted to further truth and 
justice betrays that trust, two options remain: 
one is to throw up your hands in despair and 
resignation; the other is to reclaim that power 
and to hold authority accountable.

This is the statement of intent from the Kuala 
Lumpur Foundation to Criminalise War on the first 
day of its proceedings against former US 
President George Bush and 11 members of his 
regime. Over the next five days, the Tribunal 
will hear from victims of US torture in both Iraq and Guantanamo Bay.

On ‘trial’ in their absence are former U.S. 
President George W. Bush and his associates. 
Namely Richard (Dick) Cheney, former U.S. Vice 
President, Donald Rumsfeld, former Defence 
Secretary, Alberto Gonzales, then Counsel to 
President Bush, David Addington, then General 
Counsel to the Vice-President, William Haynes II, 
then General Counsel to Secretary of Defense, Jay 
Bybee, then Assistant Attorney General, and John 
Choon Yoo, former Deputy Assistant 
Attorney-General. The charge reads as follows:

The Accused persons had committed the Crime of 
Torture and War Crimes, in that: The Accused 
persons had wilfully participated in the 
formulation of executive orders and directives to 
exclude the applicability of all international 
conventions and laws, namely the Convention 
against Torture 1984, Geneva Convention III 1949, 
Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 
United Nations Charter in relation to the war 
launched by the U.S. and others in Afghanistan 
(in 2001) and in Iraq (in March 2003); 
Additionally, and/or on the basis and in 
furtherance thereof, the Accused persons 
authorised, or connived in, the commission of 
acts of torture and cruel, degrading and inhuman 
treatment against victims in violation of 
international law, treaties and conventions 
including the Convention against Torture 1984 and 
the Geneva Conventions, including Geneva Convention III 1949.

The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission (KLWCC) is 
following the due process of the law in bringing 
these charges against the accused. In 2009, the 
Commission, having received complaints from 
torture victims from Guantanamo and Iraq and 
having conducted a painstaking and an in-depth 
investigation for close to two years. Thus, two 
charges on war crimes were drawn and filed 
against the both the Bush and the Blair regimes.

This War Crimes Tribunal heard the first charge 
in November 2011 against the two main accused; 
former U.S. President George W. Bush and former 
British Prime Minister Anthony L. Blair. After a 
4-day trial Anthony L. Blair was found guilty of 
Crimes Against Peace. Both former heads of state 
were found to have violated the United Nations 
Charter and international law when they planned, 
prepared and invaded the sovereign state Iraq on 
19 March 2003 using false and misleading 
‘intelligence’ as justification for the ensuing, long term, massacre.

An avalanche of information, emerging after the 
launch of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, are 
providing evidence of the ways in which almost 
every facet of international law is being 
disregarded with impunity. Including the way in 
which the wars were launched and conducted of the 
wars – and the politically endorsed torture of 
civilians. The perpetrators of such barbarism are 
not being made to account for their acts. Indeed 
there is no legally constituted forum to address 
the grievances of the world community offended by 
these crimes against humanity.

The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal is 
constituted of eminent persons with legal 
qualifications. Please visit the website of the Tribunal for more details.

The judges of the Tribunal, headed by retired 
Malaysian Federal Court judge Tan Sri Dato Lamin 
bin Haji Mohd Yunus, details of the judges panel 
can be found at the <http://criminalisewar.org/>Tribunals website.

In the event the tribunal convicts any of the 
accused, the only sanction is that the name of 
the guilty person will be entered in the 
Commission’s Register of War Criminals and 
publicised worldwide. However it is worth noting 
that since the tribunal found Blair guilty last 
year, Bush junior has cancelled several 
international trips for fear of legal reprisals 
and attempts to take such cases further.

The tribunal is a tribunal of conscience and a peoples’ initiative.

What follows is my partial transcription of the 
proceedings plus some conversations and personal 
observations. It is longer than pieces you 
usually read perhaps. It is much longer thank is 
usual for a news website. But the 1.4 million 
dead and tortured in Iraq deserve our attention. 
Soundbites and summaries no longer cut it. Read 
what you can, digest what you can cope with. 
Above all share these proceedings with your 
university or journalistic contacts and all those 
of conscience. Do what you like. But please don’t 
stay silent or turn away from your brothers and 
sister in humanity under such abject suffering. 
Those who demand justice and freedom from the 
aggressor of our age; The United States of America and Israel.

Yours in peace and in prayer to the One God of us all.
Lauren Booth
Kuala Lumpur
May 2012


Morning Break

I take coffee with three Iraqui university 
students. They want to know why Palestine ‘whose 
dead number in the thousands’ is the cause of 
such global outrage as opposed to Iraq ‘where 
millions are dead and millions displaced.’ Their 
genocide is being ignored there is no doubt. The 
man with the beard shakes with emotion, as he 
talks of the murder of thousands of scholars 
nationwide in Iraq. The other tells me that 
children for decades have struggled to even have 
pencils in schools because of the blockade and the subsequent occupation.

The Tribunal’s first witness is Abbas Abid. The 
defence council seeks permission for the witness 
to appear covered in court and for his image not 
appear. We are told this is because he fears the 
risk of further reprisals and danger back in 
Iraq. He appears with a Palestinian kaffiyeh 
wrapped about his face revealing only his eyes.

Witness is 48 year old man, married from Fallujah 
with five children born before his arrest. He was 
head of science and engineering in Iraq at the time.

First detained August 28 2005. He was removed 
violently from his house and after transferred to 
nearby base where he was detained for four weeks 
in the then secret prison known as, Jadrya bunker or shelter.

In Baghdad there were five shelters against 
nuclear attack. One of these were changed into a 
secret prison named above.  The Iraqui National 
Guard and US troops launched a raid on his 
uncle’s home with 4 American Humvees and 12 
trucks of Iraqi soldiers. More than 15 Iraqi 
soldiers stormed the house in a ‘terrifying 
manner’. Smashing down doors and using sound 
bombs. They would scream and terrorise those 
inside the home ie his brothers family. His 
nephews came to his families home crying for 
help. His brother was absent at the time so he 
was called to help them. He said he was ready to 
answer any questions and was entirely co 
operative.  They said ‘why so many Holy books – 
there are too many holy books!’ I told them – 
everyone in the family has their own Quran. The 
soldiers examined some articles from the internet 
on the situation in Iraq. He was told to follow 
them for questioning. He was taken to Al 
Munhtanna Brigade Headquarters for questioning. 
They beat him up demanding to know the names of 
‘terrorists’ in his neighbourhood.

‘They even electrocuted me’ he says. He was 
cuffed with hands behind him. A cord with a 
positive and negative charge attached to his 
hands and then attached to a power supply.

He stands up to show us his hands behind him.

The wire cable had current in it immediately and 
he felt the shocks straight away. The place he 
was in was’ new’ and not a’ professional place 
for torturing’ so they had amateur tools which they used at this time.

What was the effect of the electrocution he is asked?

I would turn into a dancer” he says to nervous 
laughter around the court. “You cannot react and 
your senses stop and you just shake, dancing’.

This was done more than three times and he was 
then threatened with being shot. The US soldiers, 
would use an AK47 and re load it with his eyes 
covered, then shoot near his ears saying the next 
shot would be to his head if he didn’t 
co-operate. He knew it was an AK47 as it is a popular gun in Iraq.

He saw Americans in uniform. The eye cover had a 
small space at the bottom and he could tell from 
the lower attire of the US military uniform. Plus 
their voices and accents were American. After the 
torture was finished he would see the soldiers involved were indeed American.

They tortured some of his cousins to get 
testimony against him. With 7 detainees he was 
moved to Al Jadrya-  he was again tortured using a wide range of methods
    * Electric shocks to his body especially the penis
    * Hitting with tools, pipes
    * Forced to drink water mixed with diaretics 
then having his penis tied to prevent urination
    * Hung to wall with weights hanging from his penis
    * Threatens of sexual assault and abuse to  sexual organs.
    * Shooting live rounds around his body

During the investigation period he was not given 
food and only drink with diaretics as above.

They pulled out his finger nails – the audience 
gasps using pliers – more gasps.

He was hung with his hands behind his back until 
his shoulders dislocated. Detainees were forced 
to have sex with each other. Solid objects were 
forced into the rectum of detainees. Forced standing for hours.

He was beaten on every part of his body – his 
genitals were assaulted.  Detainees were used as ‘ash trays’ by the torturers.

In a room 6×6 he was with thirty detainees for 
three days.  This room was a temporary room after 
torture, where detainees were brought in 
unconscious. Piles of bodies would lay there. He 
was wake from time to time and would then faint again.

A bag was put over his head for two months and 
only removed when food was given. Some detainees 
would have a bag on their head for more than five 
months. All the time in the prison detainees had 
bags on their heads from the minute they arrived to the moment they left.

The room he was kept in was so overcrowded no one 
could sleep lying down and all had injuries. 
Everyone had to urinate in plastic bottles by the 
door. Visits to the toilet were permitted only 
once every four days. This was timed at one 
minute per person. At all other times we had to 
discharge our waste into plastic bags by the 
door. These would be trodden on or tip over and 
spill waste all over the floor. The bags were only emptied every four days.

No medical care was available at all and men died 
from their injuries. He lists the names of almost 
a dozen men who died from their injuries in the 8 weeks he was there.

Water was withheld. A litre per detainee every 
three days was the ration. Sometimes thirst would 
become so bad that detainees would drink from the 
urine bottles. He confirms that US troops not 
only knew about the torture facilities but that they visited them all the time.

On release he was charged ten thousand  USD by 
the authorities. He was released with 3 other 
detainees. On release two cars followed him – one 
a BMW  with darkened windows. He evaded them. He 
later found out that the other two released at 
the same time were killed and their families 
forced to pay huge amounts of money in order to reclaim the bodies.

He stayed just one hour in his house with his 
family before moving to another house and then 
leaving his country. He is now back in Fallujah.

He says ‘my suffering was a test from Allah which 
I endured with patience. I am now unable to have 
children. I have nightmares all the time
dreams of someone coming to catch me, torture me 
or hurt my family. My family have similar 
nightmares of soldiers coming to torture me’.

When he married he wished to have 15 children. 
And according to plan he and his wife would 
conceive every two years until the time he was 
detained. He was happy to be released and he was 
overwhelmed by the joy of his loved ones but, the 
worst thing, that happened- the thing that took 
all his joy since,  is the fact he left his wife 
pregnant at the time of his capture. But as a 
result of the trauma of this capture – she 
miscarried twins. After going back to his life he 
realised his dream of a large family was 
shattered. He cannot have further children due to 
his injuries. He is giving this testimony to the 
world that those who act cruelly must be brought to justice.

The court defence lawyer examines Abid Abbas, who 
was born in Abu Ghraib district. He says that as 
the man has five children he is fortunate. 
Intimating that his long standing damage from his 
torture has not such serious effects. “Each man 
has his own dreams” replies Abid to accepting laughter around the court.

He is asked are you from Sunni or Shia?

You see this question regarding being a Muslim 
Sunni or Shia only started to be asked here and 
in other parts of the world after the war.’

A judge makes a call of order asking for the 
‘point’ to  be reached. Clearly defining the 
parameters of the court as different from those 
of the US soldiers and their agenda.

The defence lawyer for Bush and his cohorts 
questions the ages of Mr Abbas children, how much 
they actually saw, how he spoke to the soldiers. He is asked many times –

‘Were you scared, you were scared weren’t you? 
You were scared for your brother’s children.’

‘No’ replies Abbas ‘not scared’,

When asked if he lost his position in Saddam’s government he says

Is that relevant to the case?

He is asked then how he supported the large 
family during the occupation as a man who had lost his position.

‘As a Muslim I believe that my wealth is managed 
by Allah and I still had a job until the detention in 2005’.

He is pushed on the question of whether the 
Saddam government had torturers and prisons.

‘Is this a trial of the previous government?’

The prosecution attorney Francis Boyle 
intervenes. Calling for questions of the 
‘victim’s credibility to be dismissed and 
avoided’ as well as questions about the Saddam 
government which is not on trial in this court or this case.

The Bush defence asks if the witness had owned a 
gun and how he recognised the AK47 sound as 
mentioned. Witness clarifies that serving in the 
army was compulsory for at least two years.

‘Its very easy to differentiate between the Iraqi 
army and US forces by their uniforms, accents, voices and language.’

The defence looks very weak. Interestingly all 
the mechanics of its questioning have been played 
out in the mainstream press many times. They can 
be read in papers from the Telegraph to  Ynetnews 
in Israel and Fox in the US. The tired strategies 
of the oppressive regimes; first attempt to 
destroy the credibility of those with a message, 
a truth, you do not wish to hear or see shared. 
If that fails. compare the crime committed by 
yourself (your ally/paymaster) to  alleged crimes 
of the regime the victim lived under – or if not 
relevant then to any other oppressive regime,  not your own.

Finally try to make the victim into the aggressor 
via his views or his knowledge. Thus;

1.     Were you angry with the occupation

2.     Did you own a gun or serve in the military?

3.     Do you hold a grudge against the US?

Overall the Bush/Cheney defence team are doing a 
good job at being as obnoxious and intellectually 
limited as a US team – if that team were lead by 
Fox newsreaders rather than attorneys

Did the Americans intervene at any time to stop the torture on you?

No. On the contrary in the first three weeks they 
would collaborate with the guards and beat him up.

Testimony from Mozzam Begg. Former Guantanamo Bay 
detainee, director of human rights organisation 
Cage Prisoner. British citizen of 41 years old.

Moazzam Begg wants to put on record his torture 
in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay.

In 2001 he went to build a school for girls in 
Afghanistan. When the region became dangerous due 
to the American invasion, he was evacuated, with 
his family, to Islamabad, Pakistan. On 31 January 
2002, he was  arrested in this house in 
Islamabad. He was questioned about his presence 
in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He was held for 
three weeks then handed over to the Americans. 
The minute he was handed over he was shackled and 
thrown to the ground. He was reverse shackled and 
carried into a plane. Punched and kicked 
throughout. A knife was put to his throat. Photos 
were taken of him in his hood.

On arrival he was punched and kicked. Cold steel 
ripped off his clothes. Photos were taken of him 
without clothes. Dogs were brought in and he was 
racially and religiously mocked and abused.

He was flown to Kadahar in Afghanistan where he 
asked when was the last time he saw Mullah Omar 
or Osama Bin Laden. He was taken to a tent. On 
the way to interrogations barking dogs were brought to ‘bark in my face.’

Once I was asked to write my entire life story 
and then the entire thing was torn up.

He was moved to Bagram. No one held there was allowed to walk, talk or move.

He used to see the taxi driver ‘Dilawar’ from his 
cell. The man was shackled to the sides of his 
cell. He saw him slumped at one time and instead 
of the soldiers administering medical aid they 
came in and kicked and punched him. He later 
found out that the man had died. The award 
winning documentary ‘Taxi to the dark side’ 
focuses on this murder of an Afghani civilian detainee held by the US troops.

Moazzem was threatened with being sent to Egypt 
on several occasions. In Egypt he learnt later a 
man was waterboarded who then gave testimony that 
he worked with Saddam Hussein – Ibn Sheikh 
Halibi. And more testimony about WMD’s. This 
testimony was then used to make the case for war by Colin Powell and others.

An American soldier who told him he could be sent 
to Egypt or ‘Syria’. This says Begg proves ‘an 
intelligence link between the US and Syrian leaderships.’

Did British intelligence play a part?

Yes – an immense role. I was intensely 
interrogated for a month in solitary confinement 
by the CIA, FBI, US military intelligence and 
also by British intelligence.  For the first time 
the British police are examining the British 
government for complicity in torture
have been ordered by the British PM into cases of torture.

During his incarceration Moazzem Begg wrote 
letters via the Red Cross to his wife and never 
got replies. At one point photos were brought in 
of his wife and children. A woman was heard 
screaming terribly nearby and profanities were 
being yelled at her. He believed his wife was 
being tortured as a result of this.  It was a ruse.

Conditions in Bagram

No tea no fruits no fresh food. Each cell was 
communal with ten prisoners with a bucket for a 
toilet. The stench was disgusting. Showers were 
communal and humiliating. Women prisoners were 
present during the showers and ‘trophy’ photos 
were taken. He was shackled in ‘3 piece shackles’ 
connecting arms and legs to neck and waist

Ear muffs over his ears and goggles on his eyes 
which were so tight as to be agony. He begged for 
a sedative and was given one. He arrived in Guantanamo Bay groggy as a result.

He spent 20 months in Guantanamo Bay. He was 
designated a ‘high risk detainee’. A document; a 
confession was produced for him to sign. Moazzem 
Begg was warned that failure to sign could lead 
to execution. Or he would spend decades in in 
Gitmo. He was in a state of constant anxiety. He 
continues; ‘The  female psychiatrist ( I was sent 
to)  told me a way to commit suicide using my 
trousers’. Drugs were given to aid sleep after 
which her would suffer hallucinations.

I never knew what my crime was to this day. The 
absence of due process became worse than the actual detention’.

He adds.

I never imagined the United States to be a 
country that would behave in this manner’.

When he heard US accents after being held by the 
Pakistanis at first he felt relief – ‘at last the 
good guys are here. That quickly changed.’

His testimony continues.

Nine people have died in Guantanamo.

Children are in Gauntanamo who have grown into adults there.

The US, Bush and his cohorts have not accepted 
responsibility for anything
it was said of us we 
were the ‘worst of the worst’ if so then why have some 600 of us been released?

There is no rule of law in the US. We still carry 
the stigma of being a Guantanamo Bay inmates to 
this day
until someone is charged and prosecuted 
for this it is very hard to remove this from over our heads.

The court is told that ‘Guantanamo is the tip of 
the iceberg. You go through secret prisons that 
makes Guantanamo look relatively tame’.

Under examination Mozzem Begg describes having 
some conversations and relationships with US soldiers at Gitmo..

Would he visit the US now?

He was invited recently. He was asked to visit 
the family of a 14 year old boy who is now 24 and 
remains in Gitmo. When the boy arrived at Gitmo 
he had a bullet wound. When Moazzem Begg arrived 
in Canada to meet the boys family, he was taken 
off the plane by police for being a ‘former Guantanamo Bay inmate.’

The defence asks  – are you a member of Al Quaeda?

Moazzem answers he has never been a member nor 
never will be and that the fact the British 
government has made an out of court settlement 
with him should be enough proof of this.

What of the school that Moazzem had gone to Afghanistan to help build?

It was ‘also hit by a cruise missile -  it was lucky no child was killed.’.

Defence asks about Moazzam’s book stall in the UK 
in the years before his detention. Was it a religious book stall?

In 2001 there was a raid on this shop and items 
were taken away under the uk terrorism act. The 
items were returned. He believes this was the 
process that was begun by Uk intelliegence and 
allowed us to keep him imprisoned.

Moazzem says

I have never been to America but America has been 
to me
I have never hurt an American but America has hurt me.’

He didn’t meet his son until he was three years 
old. There are says MB ‘ways of asking, 
processes’ what you can’t or shouldn’t’ do is 
take them to a place where the law doesn’t apply 
like GBay. Even iguanas are protected on the base 
but no one in orange jumpsuits has any rights there.

He is asked if he was raped in Guantanamo Bay.

Uncomfortably MB says ‘things were placed where they shouldn’t be.’

Asked if the thought the conditions had ‘improved 
over time. Moazzem Begg quotes Malcom X;

‘You don’t take a knife and put it in a man’s 
back nine inches deep – withdraw it two inches and say things are better.’

The US propaganda – outlined so well in James 
Yee’s book – that ‘some prisoners put on weight’ 
in Gitmo was brought up. As was the laughable sop 
that religious freedoms were respected. In Gitmo 
Begg did not know when Ramadan was, when Eid was, 
when the prayer times were at first.

Books and TV?

‘No TV there were some books usually English classics – Charles Dickens.’

Under examination, Moazzem Begg admits to reading 
Harry Potter in Guantanamo Bay – which? – the 
first five. To laughter and with a slight smile, he says;

‘These are some of the worst admissions I have had to make’.

‘Am I angry? If anyone wasn’t angry there would be something wrong with them’.

Recently he met with part of the Task force for 
detainee rights. He used his time to talk to 
them. He has invited Americans who served at Gitmo to his home.

‘These Americans some of whom kept me from my 
children are now in my home playing with them. My 
thoughts are that I am ready to forgive any 
American who asks for forgiveness. I am not at 
liberty to forgive for anyone else who is still suffering at their hands’.

He is asked if he can ‘understand’ the thought 
process that could have brought someone to close an eye to torture. The fear?

‘I have met many people I would consider 
torturers in my life. One was called the King of 
Torture and the Monster. He was responsible for 
the interrogation of many prisoners. One of whom 
(prisoners) said he (the torturer) tried to rape him’.

In Abu Ghraib he was present at abuse of females.

‘ In 2008 or 7 I received a call from my lawyers 
on whether I would be a character witness to him 
in the case regarding female prisoners’.

Begg said that Damien Corsetti, the US soldier called the Monster, said to him

“please forgive me -what I had become in 
Guantanamo Bay was as a result of the propaganda 
I had been fed by my country and my leaders.”

Corsetti realised what he had done and suffered a 
series of nervous breakdowns as a result.

Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

415 863-9977

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://freedomarchives.org/pipermail/news_freedomarchives.org/attachments/20120509/e6eba23d/attachment.html>

More information about the News mailing list