Tracking Number:  177731

Title:  "Witnesses Document Atrocities During Iraqi Occupation." The Kuwaiti Association to Defend War Victims reported that Iraqi troops used a variety of household implements to torture men, women, and children during their seven month occupation of Kuwait. (910327)

Translated Title:  "Des Dossiers sur les Atrocites Commises par l`Irak." (910327)
Date:  19910327


03/27/91 1Ne Re WITNESSES DOCUMENT ATROCITIES DURING IRAQI OCCUPATION (U.N., Kuwaiti groups studying charges) (990) By Jacquelyn S. Porth USIA Security Affairs Correspondent

Kuwait City -- Iraqi troops used a variety of methods and ordinary household instruments to torture men, women and children during their seven-month occupation of Kuwait, says the Kuwaiti Association to Defend War Victims (KADWV).

Kuwaiti Air Force Colonel Ali al-Fodari told reporters at an association press conference March 26 that some of the instruments included an electric stun gun, cattle prods, a soldering iron, an electrical drill, wrenches, a hot plate, hammers, screw drivers, plastic pipes and hoses, chains and a blood stained saw. A variety of household items were applied in hideous ways to scrape away layers of skin and remove finger nails, according to the accounts of victims. Some Iraqis put salt or gasoline on open wounds.

Al-Fodari said the torture implements were collected from a police station in the Surra district of the capital where he has been working since liberation.

Members of KADWV are helping rehabilitate victims and are preparing documents to be used against war criminals "within the Saddam (Hussein) regime," according to Mobarak al-Adwani.

Adwani could not specify how many people were tortured by the Iraqis, pointing out that the number depends on one's definition of torture. But he believes hundreds, if not thousands, were exposed "to different methods of torture" during the Iraqi occupation.

Since Kuwait's liberation the stories of mistreatment and torture have flown freely in the capital, and a variety of public and private groups, including a United Nations damage assessment team led by former Under Secretary General Abdul Raheem Farah, is trying to verify and document individual cases of deaths, torture, arbitrary detentions and arrests, as well as the disappearance of civilians.

After Iraq's August 2 invasion, said former Kuwaiti member of Parliament Khalid al-Sultan, "atrocity and savagery" were experienced daily by the people. Mothers watched as their young sons were severely tortured, mutilated and killed; wives and daughters were raped and kidnapped to

GE 2 POL302 Baghdad; and property was stolen or destroyed at gunpoint, he said.

Aziz Gulou Mohamed said the torture system used by the Iraqis was "real high tech." There was evidence of that at KADWV headquarters. One device on display was designed to damage eardrums by feeding increasingly louder noise through its earphones. Another item was a military helmet which had been rigged to provide an electric shock. Another device, which appeared to be a laser range-finder, was used to blind victims.

The Iraqis "love to take eyes" from their victims, according to Mohamed. He said he saw a body at Kuwait's Mubarak Hospital in which a hook had been inserted into each of the victim's eye sockets. He said the body then had been raised by the hooks and left to hang.

The KADWV also introduced to reporters a number of torture victims who would allow only their first names to be used.

Hala was captured on her way to work at the Ministry of Justice on the first day of the invasion. The 22 year-old woman said an Iraqi paratrooper who stopped her became agitated when he learned where she worked. He put a gun to her head and began hitting her. Then he started to burn her feet with a cigarette lighter until a Kuwaiti intervened. The Kuwaiti was shot dead in front of her, she said, adding that she managed to escape later during a firefight between Iraqi forces and some Kuwaitis.

Kawakeb arrived at the press conference with an envelope from the Ministry of Health and a stack of records. The 26-year-old woman works at the al-Razi Hospital in Kuwait as a records supervisor. She said she was nearly killed when the Iraqis detained her at work; she knows the name of the Iraqi officer who "stabbed me in different places" and has reported it to authorities. He accused her of being part of the resistance, slapped her, tried to get information from her, but eventually let her go.

On another occasion the Iraqis took Kawakeb to "some kind of a ranch" because she could hear farm animals nearby. She said she also heard the cries of people being tortured. An Iraqi beat her, burned and stabbed her feet, and punched her in the face. Before her release she was warned to quit her job and leave her home.

Majd al-Ansari said one night Kuwaitis all over the country went up to their rooftops at midnight to shout, "God is great," in hopes of sending a message to coalition reconnaissance aircraft flying overhead. One family doing so lived near a school used as an Iraqi command post, he said. The Iraqis rushed out and took their young son away in handcuffs. Later, they shot him twice and dropped his body in front of his house. They warned the family not to

GE 3 POL302 touch their son for six hours. Ansari said he was "just like a slaughtered animal."

Medad Yusef tried to hide his identity after Iraq's invasion because he had served in the Kuwaiti Air Force, but he was unsuccessful. Iraqi soldiers caught him and detained him for 43 days. Under torture, he admitted his military background. Yusef said there were women imprisoned whose only crime had been to write graffiti which said, "We don't want Iraq here (in Kuwait)." He recalled that another young woman was killed by an axe and her body thrown on her doorstep; her father, brother and uncle were ultimately released.

Adwani, a journalist, said the association's objective is not to punish the Iraqi people but to locate Iraqi war criminals and "bring those people to justice." The KADWV has called on "all regional and international organizations concerned with human rights" to bring to justice those responsible for severe violations.

The United Nations hopes to present its findings to the secretary general by the end of March. NNNN

File Identification:  03/27/91, PO-302; 03/27/91, AE-307; 03/27/91, AR-316; 03/27/91, EP-313; 03/27/91, EU-306; 03/27/91, NE-305; 03/28/91, NA-411; 03/28/91, AF-404; 03/29/91, AS-510
Product Name:  Wireless File
Product Code:  WF
Languages:  Arabic; French; Spanish
Thematic Codes:  1NE; 2HA
Target Areas:  AF; AR; EA; EU; NE
PDQ Text Link:  177731; 177924; 177993