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military prison near Iskenderun, in which there were over three-hundred prisoners, although the prison was only built for a capacity of eighty political prisoners. Upon arrival, the newcomers were systematically treated as follows:
-all prisoners had to stretch-out their hands.
In the room into which I was brought, which resembled all of the
there were 46 prisoners, half on beds; in order to sleep, it was necessary for them to lie criss-cross on two beds. There were torture sessions every day, all day long. Every day there were lectures on military drills, entailing the following: marching in unison, singing to these marches with strong nationalistic wording, recitations of political slogans, learning by heart of the Military's mistakenly interpreted principles of Ataturk, indoctrination, and military sports.
The charges were pressed through the military authorities in Afana, with the contention that I was a member of the arxist/ eninist, illegal organization "TKP/ML-partisan", which had the goal of overthrowing the state's existing economic and social order, in other words, the political and legal foundation of the state altogether.
Three proceedings took place, I was only allowed to be present for one of them. Two German delegations observed my trial.
March 29, 1983 I was aquitted.
1 M. Ataturk, founder (1923) of Turkey.
After my aquittal, I was constantly threatened.
me to tea in order to find
in my hometown, would invite out if I recognized them and how I was presently disposed.
Without any basis, I was definitively denied permission to leave the country.
Mr. YATRON. Thank you very much, Mr. Buz. Our next witness is Prof. Thomas Gouttierre.
STATEMENT OF THOMAS GOUTTIERRE, PROFESSOR, CENTER FOR AFGHANISTAN STUDIES, UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA AT OMAHA
Mr. GOUTTIERRE. I'm speaking today about Afghanistan. I think most people in the United States are familiar with what's going on in Afghanistan in terms of a war of resistance there.
We hear little in the United States about what is going on in Afghanistan, either from a political perspective or in terms of violations of human rights. Indeed, what's going on inside Afghanistan today is a systematic practice of torture for the purpose of intimidating the Afghan people to cease their heroic resistance against Soviet occupation.
This kind of practice is something we call migratory genocide. I think that we are well aware of the fact that the refugee problem involving Afghanistan is the largest in the world today. People are leaving Afghanistan because they are being intimidated by the Soviet occupation forces there.
They are being intimidated in a number of ways. I think it's interesting to point out that when some people write about the U.S. experience in Southeast Asia in the 1960's and 1970's, they write about how the United States sought to win the hearts and minds of the Vietnamese people, so there would not be prolongation of the
But I don't think there's any such obstacle to the Soviet policy in Afghanistan today. It is not difficult to obtain examples of torture in Afghanistan. There are many people available today in camps throughout Pakistan, there are people in the United States who are here as refugees who have experienced these violations of human rights.
All Americans who have served in Afghanistan have friends who have been tortured or killed in prison. I myself am able to recall two individuals, in particular. One individual, who worked in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and who, because he was thought to
have information, was tied to a chair. His limbs were chopped off one by one until he eventually died sitting in a chair limbless, not having confessed to anything.
Another individual, a close friend of mine from Kabul University, was a member of a human rights group at Kabul University. He was imprisoned and when he came to appear before a court, he was found to be both blind and deaf. He was asked to give testimony against a fellow member of the faculty at Kabul University. He said that he had nothing to say against this individual and that he was innocent. And this is the last anybody has heard of my friend, Habib Hallah.
There is, in addition to individual torture being practiced in Afghanistan, a kind of group torture which I think the Soviets are using primarily as a reprisal for individuals expressing their opposition to the Soviet occupation of their country.
One just occurred in the last 10 days in an area of Kabul called Taimani Wat. A group of Soviet soldiers came into that area, which is a very highly populated area of Kabul, at a bus stop began spraying gunfire into an area. It was said this was in reprisal for the fact that the previous evening the resistance in Afghanistan had killed seven Soviet soldiers in that region.
There were three young Afghan women less than 15 years of age and even an Afghan military person who was with the current Afghan regime, and 11 other Afghans who were killed in that violation of their human rights.
In addition, in the small town of Istalif, which is northwest of Kabul, and which has been accused by the Soviet occupying forces of being a center of the resistance in Afghanistan, after 2 weeks of sustained carpet bombing in that particular town, Soviet soldiers went into that town and slit the throats of 230 women and children and left them dying in the snow. This occurred last winter in this town of Istalif, which is a town famous for its pottery for hundreds of years.
This kind of torture that I've mentioned, is very common. I've mentioned individual and group torture, but I think it should be understood that in Afghanistan, whatever is going on, is at the direction of the Soviet occupying forces.
They utilize an organization called Khad which stands for Khidaamati Ittila'aatyl Dowlati. This particular organization is made up of Afghans who are employed by the regime and who are trained in the Soviet Union and who are in charge of the Secret Service of Afghanistan.
They have eight detention and torture centers around the capital city of Kabul alone. These are usually in homes that were confiscated from previous members of the Afghan Government, individuals who may have fled Afghanistan. In these centers, individuals are brought and held and subjected to torture.
I think it would be interesting to point out to this group that Afghans are signators to the article V of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and also to article VII of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Moreover, torture is forbidden by articles 29 and 30 of the Fundamental Principles of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. These principles are meant to act
ad interim as the country's constitution until an assembly is convened.
I think that these particular statutes and the practice of these laws are used more to the advantage of the Government than of course to any potential victims of torture in Afghanistan. Law in this particular regard is a sham. I'd like to just speak about one particular individual, a young woman who came to our Center for Afghanistan Studies in Nebraska last year, who was subjected to torture. For other such examples, my friend here will make a presentation, and also there are such things provided in my written testimony.
The person I speak about is a young woman by the name of Farida Ahmadi, who's 22 years old and a former medical student of Kabul University who was accused in 1981 of distributing resistance literature. She was detained for 6 months and systematically tortured.
Upon her arrest, she was taken to the Khad headquarters in the prime ministry. There she was intimidated and told by the wardens to admit to belonging to a resistance organization. She was kept sleepless for a week and then brought to a terror room. She was led through several rooms where she could see bits of bodies, as she describes them, hands and fingers.
Seeing that this particular thing did not diminish her resolve, Khad operatives brought in a prisoner, a male still alive, but with his body swollen by blows. One of the Khad operatives, a fellow by the name of Latif Sharifi-whose name ironically means the gentle son of the noble-who was in charge of torture in this particular center, pulled out the eyes of this particular prisoner in front of Miss Ahmadi. Finding Ms. Ahmadi still defiant, they subjected her to electric shock. She was then forced to stand motionless for 2 weeks. Her legs became swollen and some of the veins in her legs burst.
She was also subjected to sexual abuse. In her cell, there were 40 other women. She describes one particular situation concerning her youngest cell companion, a woman by the name of Karima, who had been arrested and taken into custody with her month-old baby. Mother and child were immediately separated.
In a nearby cell, Karima could hear the shreiks and cries of her child. As if this were not painful enough, the baby was ultimately brought in front of the mother, undressed and tortured by strangulation. The baby's body was allowed to turn blue before its mother. Narrating these harrowing experiences before a human rights class at the University of Nebraska at Omaha last Spring, Farida repeatedly lost her train of thought. She complained of insomnia and lapsed memory. She had great difficulty walking and appeared physically shaky, lacking in energy and considerably aged beyond her years.
She was quite a brave and unique woman and her testimony in Omaha I think had a tremendous impact on the citizens of Nebras
There are many, many stories like this relating to Afghanistan and I hope that Congress continues to be attentive. I think that the Reagan administration has been very attentive to the situation in Afghanistan. I think Congress has as well. It is probably unique in
that it enjoys a unique degree of bipartisan support in terms of foreign policy.
I think we never should forget the kind of torture and systematic kinds of torture, both group and individual, that the Afghan people are going through. Not only are they waging a courageous war of resistance against Soviet occupying forces, the Soviets are subjecting individuals inside Afghanistan, and those few areas which they do control, to a systematic kind of torture which is designed to terminate the resistance against their occupying forces.
[The prepared statement of Professor Gouttierre follows:]