Group of Americans found running private jail in Afghanistan

The Associated Press

Updated: 8:50 a.m. ET July 14, 2004

KABUL, Afghanistan - A group of Americans arrested on a freelance counterterror operation and found to be running a private jail in Afghanistan duped international peacekeepers three times into assisting their illegal raids, the NATO-led force said Wednesday.

The three have been charged with hostage-taking and assault, officials said. If found guilty, they could be confined to Afghanistan’s rudimentary jails for up to 20 years, Attorney General Abdul Fatah told The Associated Press.

Afghan security forces arrested the three, led by a former U.S. soldier named Jonathan K. Idema, on July 5 after finding eight Afghans in a makeshift holding facility in the capital, Kabul.

Cdr. Chris Henderson, a spokesman for the International Security Assistance Force, said Idema called in ISAF bomb-disposal teams complete with a sniffer dog to check buildings three times in June.

He said ISAF troops were deceived by the men’s “American-style” uniforms, complete with U.S. flags, and their apparently professional approach.

ISAF troops “believed they were providing legitimate support to a legitimate security agency,” Henderson said.

The teams found traces of explosives in two of the buildings, and suspicious electronic components in another, Henderson said. He wouldn’t say whether they could have been used to make bombs.

No connection to military
The U.S. military has said the three have no connection to either the American military or government. The U.S. Embassy has checked that the men are being treated properly, but there is no sign of an attempt to remove them from the country.

Fatah said the charges raised against the Americans, as well as four Afghans arrested with them, carry jail terms of 16-20 years.

Abdul Baset Bakhtyari, a senior judge at Kabul’s lower court, said it received the case Wednesday, but that it would be several days before a trial could begin.

“It will be a public trial,” Bakhtyari told AP. “They can bring lawyers from whichever country they want,”

He said Idema would remain in Afghan custody.

Afghan officials say they freed all eight illegal prisoners, though residents from an area of Kabul where one of the raids occurred say five men have not returned.

An Afghan security official has told the AP that prisoners were found hanging from their feet in the private jail and showed signs of being beaten.

Henderson insisted that none of the peacekeepers had witnessed any abuse of detainees seen at the three buildings searched for explosives.
American Voice
I say its a matter of priorities. see below.

Foreigners Face Slavery-Like Life in Saudi -- Report

Jul 14, 7:10 PM (ET)

LONDON (Reuters) - Many of the millions of foreign laborers in Saudi Arabia suffer from extreme exploitation and work under conditions that resemble slavery, an international human rights watchdog said on Thursday.
Saudi Arabia said the report exaggerated the experiences of a few of the more than six million foreigners working in the kingdom, and noted that millions of families around the world were dependent on remittances from such workers.

The New York-based Human Rights Watch, in its first comprehensive report on foreign laborers in the oil-rich kingdom, slammed Saudi authorities, the legal system and private employers for a range of abuses that sometimes led to death.

The hard-hitting report called on de facto Saudi ruler Crown Prince Abdullah to set up an independent commission to investigate the abuses and publicize its findings.

"Migrant workers in the purportedly modern society that the kingdom has become continue to suffer extreme forms of labor exploitation that sometimes rise to slavery-like conditions," it said.

"This report is an indictment of unscrupulous private employers and sponsors as well as Saudi authorities, including Interior Ministry interrogators and sharia court judges, who operate without respect for the rule of law and the inherent dignity of all men and women," it added.

Around six million foreigners, mostly from the Indian subcontinent, sweep the streets, build homes or run offices in Saudi Arabia, the world's largest crude oil exporter.

Lured by promises of hefty pay, many workers often ended up at the mercy of de facto employers imposing 12-hour work days or more, the report said.


The Saudi embassy in Washington said the kingdom had effective labor laws to protect all workers, including foreigners, and there was legal recourse for victims of abuse.

"We disagree with the report by Human Rights Watch and do not believe it is a fair or accurate reflection of Saudi Arabia and grossly exaggerates the few instances which in no way reflect the positive experiences of the millions of foreign workers in the Kingdom," the embassy said in a statement.

Human Rights Watch said despite its two-week visit to Saudi Arabia in early last year, the kingdom remained closed to foreign investigators, forcing it to interview workers mainly from Bangladesh, India and the Philippines at home.

The report noted that the kingdom's highest religious authority, Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul-Aziz al-Sheikh, had already spoken out against the abuses in remarks published in a Saudi newspaper in 2002, asserting that Islam does not permit abuse of workers regardless of their religion.

It acknowledged that many foreigners reported no complaints about their experience in Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi embassy said an independent human rights commission had been established. "The kingdom ... takes the issue of human rights very seriously and we continue to make progress in this regard," it said.

The report said mistreatment of women was among the most disturbing findings. "Some women workers that we interviewed were still traumatized from rape and sexual abuse at the hands of Saudi male employers," the report said.

Human Rights Watch also slammed interrogation methods in Saudi prisons and the country's legal system, saying confessions were often obtained through torture and workers complained of being forced to sign confessions they could not read under the threat of more torture.

None of the workers interviewed had had access to legal assistance before their trials or to their embassies, and no lawyers accompanied them during trials, even in cases that resulted in the death penalty, the report said.
It is a nice piece of opinion. Give me facts.
Human Rights Watch is problematic?

In any case, theyre the ones who wrote the report.

My point was, its all a matter of triage.
I agree with human watch. But you are only pointing at what the Arabs are doing. How about their observation in the Occupied Land?

If you want I can cite few of their concerns but I think you are fully aware of them.
If you want some pics:
Albert Einstein Condemns Israeli Nazis
“Neither Jewish morality nor Jewish tradition can be used to disallow terror as a means of war... We are very far from any moral hesitations when concerned with the national struggle. First and foremost, terror is for us a part of the political war appropriate for the circumstances of today...”

Yitzhak Shamir
Israeli Prime Minister, Zionist terrorist
in an August 1943 article titled “Terror”, written for Hazit
the journal of Lehi, the terrorist organization he belonged to
That HRW has ben critical of Israel is no secret.

The issue was the critique of Saudi Arabia, in this case.

HRW has a job to do-- they do it.

Again, the issues of Algeria, Sudan, Mauritania, Yemen, Nigeria, Syria, Iran, the former Iraq, Somalia, etc, make Israel look like kindergartners in the arena of human rights abuse.

By changing the topic to Israel, you invite comparison.

Do you REALLY want to play the comparison game?

In addition, using quotes is a dangerous game.

For example, there are a plethora of quotes from leaders in the regin that are far more infalammatory.
Israel tops those countries 100 folds. I think i would like to play the comparison game so we can prove to the world who is more lethal.

HRW has more human right abuse reports than any other country. Look at their website and you can see for yourself.

Now I have to get to work. When I come back we can continue this.
How so?

I'm familiar with HRW.

Are you comapring the atrocities in Sudan-- over a million and a hald dead and counting?

Mauritania, where the slave trade still goes own, where tens of thousands are traded and killed every year?

Algeria, where for decades, the GIA used rape of children and dismemberment as POLICY?

Iraq, where under Saddam the rape rooms, human shredders etc were used for decades?

Yemen, where hundreds of thousands ha ebeen slaughtered?

China too, in its occupation of Tibet has been ruthless to ocal populations.

The kurds, who suffered under Saddam, in Syria and to a lesser extent, Turkey?

There is no moral equivalence or measurement.
How about the United States. Since 1860 kiilled more people then all put together. Later I will give you a report of such thing. Now I have to rush to work. But it is definitley enjoyable to stay home and argue. It is healthy.
By whose measure?

Are you referring to ww1 and ww2?

what is included, and why?

And yes, civil debate is always good.

Similar Threads