Sophia's Peace Work

Thursday, June 16, 2005

The latest from the Christian Peacemaker Team in Iraq

Tales from Falcon Camp
by Tom Fox

CPT Iraq has visited U.S. base Falcon Camp three times during the last five weeks to conduct exit interviews of relatives of detainees being held there. Falcon Camp is the holding center for the Dora district in Baghdad. Anyone detained by multinational Forces (MNF)in Dora is held there first before being either released or sent to a prison. Also civilians who have suffered property damage or been injured or had a family member killed as a result of MNF actions in Dora come there as well.

On the Wrong Side of the Street: A man was driving home before the beginning of curfew (11pm) in April. Suddenly a MNF convey appeared-on his side of the street. The man didn't know what to do and kept driving towards the convoy. The front hummer opened fire on him and he was killed. The family was informed of his death by MNF
soldiers and was told verbally "We are very sorry we opened fire and killed him. We thought he was a suicide bomber going to attack us." Without any paperwork or any indication of what unit and what person fired on the man they have been told at Falcon Camp that nothing can be done to compensate them for the loss of the head of
the household.

Looking for a Renter: A young man said that his father was detained three days ago. The family had just moved back into a house that they had been renting. The MNF raided the house looking for the previous tenant. They detained the father who has a serious medical problem that requires daily medication. As the MNF was taking him
away the son approached them with his father's medicine asking them to take it for him. "Go back inside or we will shoot you!" was the reply of the MNF soldiers. The family was told that he would be released when either he or the family gives the MNF
information about the tenant. They say they don't know anything about him.

After the Fact House Raid: Relatives are at the base looking for information about a father and son who have been detained for almost one month. The remaining son is caring for the mother who suffers from a mental disorder. The relatives said that four days before the MNF had raided the family house looking for the son and father
even though they were still at Falcon camp. The relatives said this is their fourth visit to the base and at their previous visit they were told that the father had been released and that the son had been transferred to a prison facility. On this visit they were told that they both were still at Falcon camp. "We have been treated
very poorly," they said.

A New Meaning for the Word "Released": A father has been coming to Falcon camp regularly seeking news on this two sons who were detained three and a half weeks ago. The last time the father came to the camp he was told that one son had been released and the other son was still being held at Falcon. "If he has been released where is he?" the father asked us on the way into the camp. When he went into check on his detained son he was told that the detained son and the "released" son are now in prison at Abu Ghraib.


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