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Iraq: Detained and missing protesters at risk of torture in Iraq

, Index number: MDE 14/022/2011

Firas Ali, an Iraqi political activist, was detained at the office of the Federation of Workers’ Councils and Unions in Iraq, Baghdad, at about 2pm on 13 April. A protester, Haidar Shihab Ahmad Abdel Latif, is believed to have been detained on 1 April on Tahrir Square, Baghdad. Their whereabouts are unknown. Amnesty International fears that they and other detained activists are at high risk of torture.

UA: 113/11 Index: MDE 14/022/2011 Iraq Date: 14 April 2011
URGENT ACTION
DETAINED AND MISSING PROTESTERS AT RISK OF
TORTURE IN IRAQ
Firas Ali, an Iraqi political activist, was detained at the office of the Federation of Workers’
Councils and Unions in Iraq, Baghdad, at about 2pm on 13 April. A protester, Haidar Shihab
Ahmad Abdel Latif, is believed to have been detained on 1 April on Tahrir Square, Baghdad.
Their whereabouts are unknown. Amnesty International fears that they and other detained
activists are at high risk of torture.
Political activist Firas Ali, 30 years old, is reported to have been detained by members of the armed forces early in
the afternoon of 13 April, at the Baghdad office of the Federation of Workers’ Councils and Unions in Iraq. An eye
witness told Amnesty International: “Two men in plain clothes and three soldiers asked about Firas ‘Ali. They did not
show an arrest warrant. Later I could see Firas ‘Ali blindfolded and handcuffed being forced by soldiers into a
vehicle and taken away.” Friends of Firas Ali have not been able to contact him via his mobile phone since his
detention and his whereabouts remain unknown. Amnesty International fears that Firas ‘Ali is at high risk of torture.
Haidar Shihab Ahmad Abdel Latif, a 24 year old casual worker, attended protests at Tahrir Square on 1 April for the
first time. He was with two friends who briefly left him at about 11.30, but when they returned about 10 minutes
later he was no longer there. There were no witnesses to his detention. However, Iraqi activists have told Amnesty
International that on previous occasions protesters have been “discretely” led away from the protests and detained.
A member of his family who is a political activist told Amnesty International he fears that Haidar Shihab Ahmad
Abdel Latif was taken instead of him. His family has searched at hospitals and made inquiries with the authorities
but has still no information of his whereabouts.
PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in English or Arabic:
Call on the authorities to reveal the whereabouts of Firas ‘Ali;
Call on the authorities to investigate the whereabouts of Haidar Shihab Ahmad Abdel Latif or to immediately
reveal his whereabouts if they are holding him;
Call for the immediate release of Firas ‘Ali and other protesters, unless they are to be promptly charged with
a recognizable criminal offence and brought to trial in full conformity with international fair trial standards;
Urge the authorities to ensure that Firas ‘Ali and other protesters and detainees are not subjected to torture
or other ill-treatment and that all allegations of torture and other abuses are thoroughly investigated and
perpetrators brought to justice;
Call on the government to respect the rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression in Iraq.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 26 MAY 2011 TO THE IRAQI EMBASSY IN YOUR COUNTRY AND ADDRESSED
TO:
Prime Minister and Acting Minister of
Defence and Interior
His Excellency Nuri Kamil al-Maliki
Prime Minister
Convention Centre (Qasr al-Ma’aridh)
Baghdad, Iraq
Salutation: Your Excellency
And copies to:
Minister of Human Rights
His Excellency Mohammad Shayaa
al-Sudani
Email: shakawa@humanrights.gov.iq
Salutation: Your Excellency
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.
Date: 14 April 2011
URGENT ACTION
DETAINED AND MISSING PROTESTERS AT RISK OF
TORTURE IN IRAQ
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Other protesters who were detained in recent weeks say they were severely tortured. For example, Abdel-Jabbar
Shaloub Hammadi told Amnesty International that he was detained for 12 days after being arrested on 24 February,
beaten and tortured, including by being tied up and suspended from the ceiling. Icy cold water was also thrown over
him. Another protester, journalist and writer Hadi al-Mehdi, is reported to have been beaten, tortured with electric
shocks to his feet and threatened with rape during the hours he was in detention from 25 to 26 February.
Amnesty International calls on the Iraqi government to order an independent investigation into all allegations of
torture and other ill-treatment of detained protesters, to make the results public, prosecute those found responsible
for torture and other abuses, and to ensure that victims of torture and other abuses receive full reparation.
UA: 113/11 Index: MDE 14/022/2011 Issue Date: 14 April 2011

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