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Fugitive Iraqi VP al-Hashemi accuses al-Maliki of torture | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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London, Asharq Al-Awsat – Fugitive Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi revealed that he has sent numerous messages to Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and Iraqi Parliamentary Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi “to discuss the issue of human rights in Iraq, as well as my own case and the case of the members of my protection detail and office staff.”

This came after al-Hashemi revealed, in an open letter to the Iraqi President and Parliamentary Speaker that “a second member of my protection detail was killed by torture at the hands of the Iraqi security apparatus.”

Speaking exclusively to Asharq Al-Awsat via telephone from Doha, al-Hashemi revealed that “this request is just one of the many requests that I have sent to the President and Parliamentary Speaker calling on them to intervene and implement the constitution and laws regarding human rights and Iraqi prisoners, however I have not received any response to this. As a result, I took the decision to issue an open letter so that the Iraqi people would be aware of this.”

He added “I do not want to play down the suffering of the Iraqi people with my own case and the case of my protection detail, but I am talking about concrete evidence of the government transgressing Iraqi human rights.”

In his open letter to Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, al-Hashemi wrote “I have been trying over the past months to inform you of the tragic conditions and frantic prosecutions being pursued by the prime minister against members of my protection team and office staff” stressing this included “displacement, deportation, prosecution and execution.” He said “I ask myself where wills this end, Mr. President, particularly as these people are staff of the presidency and you are responsible for them.”

He added “I must inform you that another member of my protection team, Ahmed Ali Najem, died recently under torture and his body was handed over to his family and the signs of torture were clear to see. He is another martyr to have died by torture after the martyr Amir al-Batawi who died of the same cause a few months ago. Despite the fact that I informed you of this at the time you have failed to lift a finger.”

The fugitive Iraqi Vice President asserted that “I have great respect and appreciation for the president and I worked with him for 6 years as vice president, but I never expected that he would abandon me in this manner and allow Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to exceed the presidency in front of the eyes of the world whilst the president does nothing regarding the 5 death sentences against me, the arrest of my protection detail and the death sentences against them, not to mention the death of 2 members of this protection detail.”

Al-Hashemi stressed that “the president knows me well and knows that I am innocent” adding “Arab and international officials and leaders are always asking my why the president is remaining silent against these practices, and the answer is that I simply don’t know.”

As for Iraqi Parliamentary Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi, he said “this is something that also applies to him, he also knows me will, particularly as we are both leaders in the Iraqiya bloc.” He stressed that “I am not asking him for anything outside of his powers, rather this is at the heart of his work in parliament which is to monitor human rights cases and they [parliament] are well aware of the extent of the abuses, arbitrary arrests, executions and violation of Iraqi female detainees that are taking place.”

He revealed that “there has been no contact or correspondence between myself and the President or Speaker in a long time”.

Al-Hashemi also asked “why, Mr. President, do we find you active in defending the constitution in all cases with the exception of mine?”

The fugitive Iraqi VP accused Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki of being involved in the torture, claiming that “the remaining members of my protection detail are being subject to torture at the hands of officers who are directly reporting to al-Maliki.”

He added “on the tenth of this month al-Maliki said that there are no human rights violation in Iraqi prisoners, and then just one day later he acknowledged that there were human rights violations taking place in Iraqi prisons and accused officers possessing the mentality of the former regime of being responsible for this, when in reality these officers are affiliated to his own office.”