DAP calls for the holding of a second all-party conference in the nation’s history – to condemn American torture, abuse and humiliation of Iraqi prisoners and to demand an independent international inquiry
by Lim Kit Siang
DAP fully supports the Deputy
Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak when he said yesterday that it is not
enough for United States President George W. Bush to apologise without
taking stern action to address the issue of torture and humiliation of Iraqi
prisoners by US soldiers – especially as they were not isolated incidents.
The apology by Bush and US Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld totally lack credibility, especially as only the previous Saturday, the latter, together with his deputy, Paul Wolfowitz were “swanning around in a black tie at the White House Correspondents’ dinner…..unburdened by the spreading storm kicked up by the torture pictures shown on ’60 Minutes’ and about to appear in The New Yorker – the latest example of a dysfunctional and twisted occupation warped by arrogance over experience, ideology over common sense”.
These harsh judgments were by New York Times columnist, Maureen Dowd in her column “Shocking and Awful” on May 6, 2004, which made a blistering attack on Rumsfeld as he “has had two months to read the (Taguba) report” on the “horrific abuses” at Abu Ghraib prison.
Rumsfeld’s apology was no heart-felt contrition or clear assumption of moral responsibility, but purely a cynical and political expedient to pre-empt a new shockwave of international revulsion, as it is now reported that photographs showing US soldiers beating an Iraqi prisoner nearly to death and having sex with a female PoW were about to be released!
US military officials have told the US television network NBS that other images showed soldiers “acting inappropriately with a dead body” while a videotape, apparently made by US personnel, is said to show Iraqi guards raping young boys.
DAP calls for the holding of a second all-party conference in the nation’s history – to condemn American torture, abuse and humiliation of Iraqi prisoners and to demand an independent international inquiry into the crimes against humanity by US forces in Iraq.
As Chair of the Non-Aligned Movement and the Organisation of Islamic Conference, Malaysia should be in the international forefront to speak up against gross human rights violations and breaches of the international law.
The first time an all-party conference was held in Malaysia was some nine years ago on 26th October 1995 when 25 political parties from the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition and the opposition stood united on behalf of humanity against the French resumption of nuclear testing in the South Pacific and to demand all countries to end nuclear testing and to destroy all nuclear weapons.
All political parties in Malaysia should now reconvene in an united voice on behalf of humanity to denounce the torture, abuse and humiliation of Iraqi prisoners by US personnel and to demand an United Nations-sanctioned inquiry into the violations of international law arising from these cruel, degrading and inhumane treatment of Iraqi prisoners.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman & Member of Parliament for Ipoh Timor