Iraq

IRAQ UPDATE: April 1-8, 2004

in:

Thursday, April 1
At the vigil, a man read the team's information flier and shouted at Le Anne
Clausen, "You are just like Saddam!" and stormed away.  Clausen called him
back and asked what he meant.  The man was angry because U.S. forces had
taken two of his brothers, and he felt that the U.S. administration was just
as bad as the previous regime.

Clausen explained that the vigil was to support the rights of Iraqi
detainees, and invited him to return with photos of his brothers and
participate in the vigil.  The man also said his other two brothers
are living in Sweden now and he is mostly angry because, "Now I am all
alone."

Also at the vigil, Jane MacKay Wright and a translator spoke at length with
the mother of a high school student who is part of CPT's detainee
letter-writing campaign.  She burst into tears when she saw the poster-sized
photograph of her son.  "My son, my son!  I haven't seen him for one full
year!" she cried.  Several passersby stopped to listen

AMMAN: Letter from Greg Rollins to his supporters about evacuating from Baghdad

in:
When I was a child, I remember watching the news and seeing expatriates in various hot spots, desperately being evacuated from the danger that had culminated wherever they were. I recall trying to figure out how those people could have allowed themselves to remain those situations until it was so late. They could have left ages ago. Shouldn't people take better care of themselves?

IRAQ UPDATE: March 22-31, 2004

in:

Monday, March 22
Le Anne Clausen and several representatives of Iraqi and international
human rights organizations accompanied an Iranian-born U.S. colleague to the
Iraqi Assistance Center.  Military officials there had summoned the
colleague for an interrogation and personal search two weeks after an
incident in which the soldiers searched the colleague in a culturally
inappropriate manner. (See March 16 release, "CPTer Forcefully Removed from
IAC.")  Upon the group's arrival, two U.S. counterintelligence agents
ushered the group into a small side building.  The officer who attempted an
inappropriate search of the female colleague was present and ran an
explosives test on the colleague's hands.  The officer reported that the
test came up "positive," and suggested all the human rights workers be
required to take the test. The counterintelligence agents consulted a legal
affairs officer to see if they could require the human rights workers to
divulge everyone whom they had been in contact with over the past several
days.