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[casi] The first release of detainees!

Translated from Arabic from:

AZZAMAN NEWSPAPER --- Issue 1680 --- Date 9/12/2003

Reliable sources have assured (Az-Zaman) that the
coalition forces have released a number of the
officials of the former regime from their detention
centers in the outskirts of Baghdad. The sources added
that Dr. Sa’doun Hammadi, the former head of the
National Assembly, was the most prominent person to be
released after having been cleared from charges of
committing crimes against Iraqis or the Coalition

Dr. Hammadi was not listed among the 55 wanted, but he
was arrested several months ago. The same sources
revealed that the release order included General Sa’di
Tou’ma, former Minister of Labor and Social Affairs,
Samir Abdul-Wahab al-Sheikhly, former Minister of the
Interior, Colonel Rashid al-Tikriti, one of Saddam’s
adjutants and a number of the advanced cadre of the
dissolved Ba’th party at the district and local level.
>From a total number of 150 persons released, mostly
former army personnel who have shown good behavior
during their detention and who have not been convicted
of crimes, were also relatives of Saddam against whom
there were no charges or convictions or any record of

The sources added that the coalition authorities in
charge of Abu Ghuraib prison where the detainees were,
took the decision to release those after riots broke
out and a strike was carried out by the detainees with
the participation of those detained on criminal
charges. The sources stated that the strike began with
the first day of Eid al-Fitr, covering 11 camps which
form the main large camp known as Abu Ghuraib Camp.
Each camp is made up of 22 tents, with the total
number of detainees being 9000, including officials of
the former regime, prisoners of the US operations in
Diyala and Tikrit as well as ordinary criminals and

Az-Zaman has received information that at least one
person was killed from among those detainees wounded
by the shooting carried out by guards of the Coalition
forces after refusing to comply with several calls to
end their strike broadcast from loudspeakers while
helicopters were circling over the camp during the

The same sources give the reasons behind the strike,
as told by released detainees, as the feeling among
those detainees of their full and intentional
isolation, not having been visited by the Red Cross or
media outlets for which they had asked the Camp
authorities to arrange. Other sources have attributed
the reason for the strike to the protest by political
and military detainees against being detained with
ordinary criminals and thieves.

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