Latest Channel 4 News:
Row over Malaysian state's coins
'Four shot at abandoned mine shaft'
Rain fails to stop Moscow wildfires
Cancer blow for identical twins
Need for Afghan progress 'signs'

Amnesty: 'thousands' detained in Iraq without trial

By Channel 4 News

Updated on 13 September 2010

As Amnesty International claims tens of thousands of prisoners are being held in Iraq without trial, the wife of one detainee tells Channel 4 News her husband is being tortured.

Ramze Shihab Ahmed has been detained since December

Ramze Shihab Ahmed, who has dual British-Iraqi nationality, has been held in Iraq since December.

He is is a former high ranking official in the Iraqi army and was forced to flee the country after becoming involved in a plot to overthrow Saddam Hussein.

In November last year the 68-year old was told that one of his sons had been arrested in the northern city of Mosul. Mr Shihab Ahmed flew to Iraq but was later arrested on suspicion of terrorism.

His wife, Rabiha al-Qassab, says that he has suffered torture including electric shocks to his genitals and suffocation by plastic bags. 

He was first held in a secret prison at the old Muthanna airport in Baghdad before being relocated to Baghdad's al-Rusafa Prison where he is still held without charge or trial. He has been interrogated about alleged links to al-Qaida and reportedly forced to make a false confession following torture.

Mrs al-Qassab told Channel 4 News she is desperate with worry: "When they torture him he loses his feeling so they bring to him the electric things to let him wake up and torture him again.

"I hope to see him tomorrow or tonight. I'm very worried for him becasue he is sick, he is disabled and the torture is very hard torture....when the consul met him they told me they brought him on a wheelchair. I feel my heart is broken because he doesn't use that. He is disabled but he doesn't use the wheelchair he uses the stick."

Mrs al-Qassab is urging the British government to provide more help: "I'd like to see the UK government stepping up efforts to get Ramze released or at least given a fair trial if there's anything that could reasonably be held against him.

"The Iraqi authorities should either try or release him - not go through this disgusting charade of torture and false confessions."

In its latest report - New Order, Same Abuses: Unlawful Detentions and Torture in Iraq – Amnesty International estimates that 30,000 detainees are currently held without trial although the Iraqi authorities have failed to provide precise figures.

Ten thousand of these were recently transferred from US custody when the USA's combat operations in Iraq ended, though no guarantees against torture or ill-treatment were included in the handovers.

Amnesty International Middle East and North Africa Director Malcolm Smart said: "Iraq's security forces have been responsible for systematically violating detainees' rights and they have been permitted to do so with impunity.

"Yet, the US authorities, whose own record on detainees' rights has been so poor, have now handed over thousands of people detained by US forces to face this catalogue of illegality, violence and abuse, abdicating any responsibility for their human rights."

Send this article by email

More on this story

Channel 4 is not responsible for the content of external websites.

Watch the Latest Channel 4 News

Watch Channel 4 News when you want

Latest International politics news

More News blogs

View RSS feed

Living with the Taliban

Taliban on the Afghan frontline

A rare film of Taliban fighters on the Afghan frontline.

Pakistan appeal


Actor Art Malik on why he is fronting the DEC's flood appeal.

Tackling Taliban IEDs


Bomb disposal soldiers on lonely walk to defuse bombs.


Channel 4 © 2010. Channel 4 is not responsible for the content of external websites.