Across the Bay

Thursday, July 01, 2004


I was asked by a reader to translate the pieces on Kuwaiti involvement in abusing Iraqi prisoners that I had linked to in my "Thanks, but No Thanks!" post. I just realized that I had mistakenly written Abu Ghraib, but the report mentions other prisons, and not the infamous Abu Ghraib (see the article below). I apologize for the error, and it has been rectified.

The pieces are from az-Zamān newspaper, issue 1837, 6/16/2004. I will translate only the first piece, which is a follow up on the report, and not Jassem Mourad's op-ed, due to time constraints. Although, Mourad's piece shows the deep disappointment and resentment felt by the author, which really echoes a broader sentiment among Iraqis vis à vis their Arab "brothers."

"Iraqi military officer confirms his earlier testimony to az-Zamān: elements of the (Kuwaiti) intelligence services abused Iraqi prisoners, and not members of the Kuwaiti Ministry of the Interior."

"Former prisoner of the US forces, officer Akram Abdel Razzaq al-Mashhadāni, has confirmed in a new testimony (exclusive to az-Zamān) yesterday that Kuwaitis from the intelligence services (istikhbārāt) and the army have participated in the questioning of Iraqi officers in the coalition prisons, and insulted them. They were however not officers and individuals from the Ministry of the Interior, replied the manager of Public Relations at the Ministry of the Interior, officer Adel al-Hashāsh, who denied al-Mashhadāni's testimony which was published in issue 1835 of az-Zamān's international edition last Tuesday, on the participation of Kuwaitis in the maltreatment of Iraqi prisoners and captives in the prisons of Umm Qasr and Ur in Nasiriya, and the prison at Baghdad Airport.

Officer al-Mashhadāni said to az-Zamān that it was stunning that the denial came from the office of Public Relations at the Ministry of the Interior in defense of the Ministry and the Kuwaiti police, and that it didn't come from the Ministry of Defense and Kuwaiti military intelligence, because 'nothing at all in my testimony, which was published by az-Zamān suggested that elements from the Kuwaiti Ministry of the Interior or the Kuwaiti police were participating in the abuse of Iraqi prisoners in US prisons. Rather, all my talk was about a role for the Kuwaiti intelligence services and armed Kuwaiti elements, perhaps secret service (mukhābarāt) or Kuwaiti military volunteers.'"