IRAQ UPDATE: August 11-14, 2004


August 18, 2004

IRAQ UPDATE: August 11-14, 2004

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

The team heard intermittent explosions from 6:20-10:00 a.m. and later at
5:40 p.m..

Maxine Nash and Greg Rollins went to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA)
pursuing visas for team members Mabel Brunk and David Milne, who were still
waiting in Amman.

Sheila Provencher and Peggy Gish accompanied an Iraqi man to the Forensic
Institute in Baghdad, to try to get pictures of his relative's body. He
believes the relative died from abuse while in U.S. custody. The director
agreed to release pictures to the man the next day, so he can apply for
compensation. CPTers then went with the man to the Aadamiyha U.S. Military
Base to inquire about a car soldiers took at the time of his relative's
arrest. Soldiers at the base told them that any such property would be at
the Taji Base.

After 10 p.m., a reporter from Pacifica Radio interviewed Gish for their
"Flashpoint" show.

Thursday, August 12

An Iraqi woman, referred to CPT by a neighbor, inquired about possibilities
for getting compensation for her husband's death during crossfire on April
8, 2003. CPTers explained that the U.S. does not grant compensation for
deaths occurring before May 2003, but gave her contact information for the
Iraqi Assistance Center (IAC.)

 Three Iraqi men came to the CPT apartment to report that U.S. soldiers
attacked the house of a relative after an unknown person attacked a humvee
near their house. Soldiers then detained the man and his three sons. These
relatives wanted to know why U.S. forces released the three sons, but not
the 72-year-old father who is in poor health. CPT agreed to assist the men
in inquiring at the IAC.

A man from Al Dora returned to say that Multinational Forces in Iraq (MNF-I)
continued to use the Al Dora Iraqi Police Station to detain his uncle
without a charge. He wanted CPT to accompany him a second time to Scania
U.S. Military Base to pursue a resolution of his case. (See "IRAQ UPDATE:
July 29-August 1, 2004," posted on August 10, 2003. )

At the MOFA, Nash learned that the office had authorized the new team
members' visas.

 At 10:30 p.m., a member of the Iraqi Human Rights Watch in Karbala (IHRW-K)
called to tell the team that his organization and representatives from the
offices of Grand Ayatollah Sistani and Muqtada al-Sadr were traveling to
Najaf from Karbala the following day. They planned a vigil calling for a
peaceful resolution of the conflict in Najaf. At the man's request, the
team sent out a press release. (See August 13, 2004 CPTnet release, "Iraqis
conduct vigil for peace in Najef." )

At 10:55 pm, the team heard a mortar explode.

Friday, August 13
At the advice of a team translator, the team decided to limit its movement
outside the apartment and to postpone a scheduled meeting. The translator
warned that because of the escalation of the fighting between the Mehdi Army
and the MNF-I in Najaf there existed greater potential for outbreaks of
violence in Baghdad.

The member of IHRW-K reported that over 2,000 people participated in their
vigil at the edge of Najaf that afternoon. The team sent out a follow-up
media release. (See August 14 release, "Soldiers prevent Iraqi peacemakers
from entering Najef.")

Throughout the day, the team heard intermittent explosions.

Saturday August 14

At the Human Rights Organization in Iraq, Baghdad (HROI-B), Nash, Rollins,
and Gish recorded the testimony of a Chaldean Christian man who had been
detained in Abu Ghraib and Bucca Camp for nine months (Oct. 1, 2003 April
27, 2004.) He had worked at one of Saddam Hussein's palaces as a manager of
hospitality and said U.S. intelligence detained him to get information about
the whereabouts of the former leader.

At 9:00 pm, the team heard an explosion.