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TLX 24/91 - Iraq: fear of torture or execution: Sayyid Mohammad Reza Mousavi al-Khalkhali, Sayyid Ja'far Bahrul Uloom, Sayyid 'Izzaddin Bahrul Uloom, Sayyid Muhammad Taghi al-Kho'i and: Sayyid Muhyeddin al-Ghuraif, Sayyid Muhammed Ridha al-Kharsan, Sayyid

, Índice: MDE 14/001/1991

To: Sections
The following information was telexed/faxed/e-mailed to UA Coordinators and
was not printed for general distribution to the UA network, as only a few appeals
were required. This printed version is being sent to sections in the weekly
mailing for information only and therefore has an AI Index number.
EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: MDE 14/01/91
Distr: UA/SC
TLX 24/91 Fear of Torture or Execution 28 March 1991
IRAQ: Sayyid Mohammad Reza Mousavi al-Khalkhali, aged 63
Sayyid Ja'far Bahrul Uloom, aged 56
Sayyid 'Izzaddin Bahrul Uloom, aged about 55
Sayyid Muhammad Taghi al-Kho'i, aged 32
Sayyid Muhyeddin al-Ghuraif
Sayyid Muhammad Ridha al-Kharsan
Sayyid Muhammad al-Sabzwari
Sayyid Muhammad Ridha al-Sa'idi
Sayyid Muhammad Saleh 'Abd al-Rasul al-Kharsan
The first four people named above, all aides to Grand Ayatollah Abul Qassem
al-Kho'i, and 10 relatives of the Grand Ayatollah, were all taken into custody
by Iraqi government forces on 20 March when they carried out an armed raid
on the Grand Ayatollah's residence in the southern city of Najaf. A number
of people attempting to guard the residence are said to have been killed by
the troops. Grand Ayatollah Abul Qassem al-Kho'i, Shi'a Islam's most senior
cleric, was flown by helicopter to Baghdad where he appeared on television
with President Saddam Hussein. During the televised meeting, the Grand
Ayatollah appeared to criticise the Shi'a uprising against President Hussein's
government which began in southern Iraq a few weeks ago. However, it appears
that the 95-year-old cleric, who is known to be in poor health, may have been
forced to appear on Iraqi television only under considerable duress.
The Grand Ayatollah was reportedly returned to Najaf on 23 March. He
again appeared on Iraqi television on that day and on 24 March, when he was
shown apparently being interviewed by Iraqi journalists. Some reports suggest
that he is under restriction or house arrest in Najaf.
The four aides and 10 of the Grand Ayatollah's relatives who were detained
on 20 March are still being held. They are said to be imprisoned at an unknown
place in Baghdad. The relatives include the Grand Ayatollah's daughter, son,
his daughter-in-law, and seven of his grandchildren, aged between three and
11 years.
Five other aides of the Grand Ayatollah (also named above) are reported
to be missing and may be in the custody of Iraqi government forces. Their
whereabouts have been unknown since the morning of 21 March. Unconfirmed reports
suggest that one, Sayyid al-Kharsan, may have been killed by Iraqi government
There have been
numerous reports of torture and killings of rebels and suspected opponents
by troops loyal to President Saddam Hussein in recent weeks, and Amnesty
International is greatly concerned for the safety of all persons detained by
President Saddam Hussein's forces.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Telexes/faxes/letters:
- expressing concern about the reported detention of the first four individuals
named above and 10 relatives of the Grand Ayatollah;
- seeking urgent clarification of their fate and whereabouts, and assurances
that they are not subject to torture, ill-treatment or threatened with
- urging their immediate, unconditional release if they are held solely because
of their association with the Grand Ayatollah;
- seeking clarification also of reports that the other five named aides may
have been detained and regarding their current whereabouts;
- seeking clarification of reports that the Grand Ayatollah is being held
under house arrest or other restrictions and assurances that he is not subject
to any form of ill-treatment.
APPEALS TO: Note: As it is not possible to communicate directly with Baghdad
please organize appeals of no more than 20 appeals per section to diplomatic
representatives of Iraq in your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or with your section office, if sending appeals after 9 May 1991.

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