Friday, June 08, 2007

Detaining children

Spot read about this Human Rights Watch report at Balkinization today:

In some cases family members—including children—of detainees who have been held in the U.S. Secret Detention Program, have been apprehended, detained and/or subjected to coercive treatment. Family members may be apprehended separately or at the same time as the individual sought. One apparent object of such treatment has been to obtain information about the detainee. Some of these family members have been subsequently released, but in other cases their fate and whereabouts remain unknown.

In September 2002, Yusuf al-Khalid (then nine years old) and Abed al-Khalid (then
seven years old) were reportedly apprehended by Pakistani security forces during an attempted capture of their father, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Khalid Sheikh
Mohammed was successfully apprehended several months later, and the U.S.
government has acknowledged that he was in the U.S. Secret Detention Program. He is presently held at Guantánamo Bay.

In an April 16, 2007 statement, Ali Khan (father of Majid Khan, a detainee who the U.S. government has acknowledged was in the U.S. Secret Detention Program and is
presently held at Guantánamo Bay) indicated that Yusef and Abed al-Khalid had been held in the same location in which Majid Khan and Majid’s brother Mohammed were detained in March/April 2003. Mohammed was detained by Pakistani officials for approximately one month after his apprehension on March 5, 2003 (see below). Ali Khan’s statement indicates that:

Also according to Mohammed, he and Majid were detained in the same place where two of Khalid Sheik Mohammed’s young children, ages about 6 and 8, were held. The Pakistani guards told my son that the boys were kept in a separate area upstairs, and were denied food and water by other guards. They were also mentally tortured by having ants or other creatures put on their legs to scare them and get them to say where their father was hiding.

After Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s arrest in March 2003, Yusuf and Abed Al Khalid were reportedly transferred out of Pakistan in U.S. custody. The children were allegedly being sent for questioning about their father’s activities and to be used by the United States as leverage to force their father to co-operate with the United States. A press report on March 10, 2003 confirmed that CIA interrogators had detained the children and that one official explained that:

“We are handling them with kid gloves. After all, they are only little children...but we need to know as much about their father's recent activities as possible. We have child psychologists on hand at all times and they are given the best of care.”

In the transcript of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s Combatant Status Review Tribunal, he indicates knowledge that his children were apprehended and abused: “They arrested my kids intentionally. They are kids. They [had] been arrested for four months they had been abused.”

The report was about some of the people who have disappeared into the black hole of secret detention by the U.S. and its allies in the War on Terror," many of whom have never surfaced anywhere since.

Gee, Spotty, I feel kind of sick.

So does Spot, grasshopper.

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