IRAQ UPDATE: July 24-28, 2004


August 5, 2004

IRAQ UPDATE: July 24-28, 2004

Saturday, July 24, 2004
Maxine Nash, Doug Pritchard and Greg Rollins visited an Iraqi organization
called the Society for Human Rights. A member of the society made plans for
a meeting between CPT and an Iraqi family. The family had six members
detained by Multinational Forces Iraq (MNF-I), formerly known as Coalition
Forces. A few of the family members have been released, but three of them
are still in prison. The family is concerned about one of them in Camp Bucca
because the man has health problems. The family also wants one of their cars
returned. They said MNF-I confiscated it when they detained one of
the family members. The CPTers decided to meet further with the family on
Tuesday, July 27.

An Iraqi man came to ask CPT to escort him to a MNF-I base called Scania.
The man wanted to know why MNF-I held his brother in an Iraqi police
station. MNF-I arrested the brother in November 2003
because they believed he was involved in making two roadside bombs that
killed a U.S. soldier. In April 2004, officials at the airport prison
decided that evidence against the man was insufficient, so
they said he was to be released. Instead of being released, a U.S. Colonel
from Scania had the man transferred to a jail in an Iraqi police station.
CPT decided they would accompany the man's nephew to the station on July 29.

Sunday, July 25, 2004
At 9:45 am, the team heard a loud explosion.

Sheila Provencher and Pritchard sat in traffic on the Al Jumburiya Bridge
for almost an hour. MNF-I blocked off most of the bridge, and let only one
lane of traffic through at a time. When the CPTers
asked a soldier who was directing traffic, and what the MNF-I was doing, the
soldier replied, "Traffic control." When the CPTers pursued the question, he
said, "We got to do this."

Monday, July 26, 2004
At 8:00 am, the team heard a loud explosion.

At 8:25 am, the team heard three more explosions.

Rollins and Pritchard met with the Iraqi Ministry of Human Rights (IMHR) to
enquire about CPT's request to visit Abu Ghraib prison. Members of the IMHR
said the answer had not come yet and asked the CPTers to return on
Wednesday, July 28.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004
Provencher and Nash met with one of the six detained Iraqi family members
CPT had heard about on Saturday July 24. The CPTers arranged a day to
accompany the father of the family to the Iraqi Assistance Center (IAC) in
the Green Zone, the area used as headquarters by the Iraqi government and
MNF-I. They planned to pursue compensation for the
car taken from the family in one of the arrests. One ex-detainee then gave
a testimony about time in detention. Because the story was so long, the
CPTers made plans to take the second half another day.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004
Rollins and Pritchard returned to the IMHR to find out if CPT would be able
to have access to Abu Ghraib prison. The manager of the legal department
told them the decision was a joint one between the
IMHR and MNF-I, and that MNF-I had not replied to the request yet.

Nash went to the airport to pick up CPTer Peggy Gish. While she waited for
Gish at the airport checkpoint, she heard mortars explode
in the airport grounds.