Proposal to send Iraqis to Guantanamo causes rift in occupation forces

  • From: "muslim-news.net" <muslim_affairs@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <news@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 2 Apr 2003 14:34:34 +0100

UK OPPOSES US PLAN TO SEND IRAQIS TO X-RAY 

AMERICA plans to send captured Iraqi fighters to Camp X-Ray in
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, it emerged yesterday.

US generals have decreed that the Iraqi paramilitaries they are fighting
are "terroristic death squads" and want them treated the same as the
"unlawful combatants" taken prisoner in Afghanistan.

But furious British military chiefs are fighting the plan. They fear it
will shatter any attempt to convince the Iraqi people that the coalition
is a liberating army.

They also fear Iraqis, faced with a choice between "winning, death or
Guantanamo Bay", will fight harder against coalition forces.

There was outrage when more than 600 men from Afghanistan - suspected by
the US of being al-Qaeda terrorists and held without charge - were taken
to the prison in hoods, manacles and blindfolds.

A senior UK source said they did not want a repeat of the pictures of
the men in orange overalls which shocked the world.

Britain wants the "terrorist hardcore" dealt with by the new
International Criminal Court set up to deal with war crimes. But the US
has not signed up to the court and want the fedayeen paramilitaries, the
Ba'ath Party militia and the Secret Security Organisation sent to Cuba.

A senior UK source added: "That is the nub of the difficulty. But in the
end it is going to be a question for the politicians, not the military."

American General Vince Brooks refused to deny they are planning to send
prisoners of war to Cuba.

He said: "At this point we are treating all these as enemy prisoners of
war. Any additional decisions will be policy decisions not made by this
command. It will be a question for Washington."

But he added: "Our government has been clear they will be accountable
for their violations of the Geneva Convention."

Source:  The Mirror

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