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Citizens for Fair Legislation
For Immediate Release
August 3, 2005
CFL ALERT: TELL YOUR REPRESENTATIVES TO SPEAK OUT AGAINST THE TREATMENT AND ILLEGAL DETENTION OF CHILD PRISONERS IN PALESTINE AND IRAQ.
*Please take a moment to write to your representatives and ask them to speak out against the illegal detention of children in Iraq and Palestine. Reports on the abuse at Abu Ghraib indicate that the Pentagon has proof (photographs and video) that detained Iraqi children are being sodomized and raped by American soldiers. In Israel, Palestinian children are also being held indiscriminately and illegally in violation of international law and human rights law. Reports by Israeli human rights organizations indicate that like Iraqi children, Palestinian child detainees are regularly tortured and not allowed visits by either the Red Cross or their parents.
* In a report written last year called, ‘Stolen Youth: The Politics of Israel’s Detention of Palestinian Children’ the authors interviewed a teenager who gave the following description of his treatment by the Israeli military: “Three more people in masks came into the room. They blindfolded me, put a hood over my head… they kicked and slapped me. They beat me with a plastic pipe and whatever they could get their hands on. I couldn’t see anything because I was blindfolded. I just felt the blows. That lasted ten to fifteen minutes… Later they stood me on a chair and told me to grab a pipe that was fixed to the wall. They removed the chair from under me and left me hanging in the air, with my handcuffed hands holding onto the pipe and the weight of my body, hanging in the air, drawing my hands downwards. They left the room.” – Ismail Sabatin, 17 years old. Palestinian children being held by the Israeli military range between the ages of 9-17 years old, many of these children are being held without charges, others have been held for months for merely throwing stones at Israeli tanks. Tell your representatives that because we give $12 billion dollars in American welfare to Israel a year that we have a moral obligation to demand that the Israelis end this despicable treatment of Palestinian children.
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*Treatment of Iraqi children under the U.S. occupation forces is no better. Last week the Pentagon blocked the release of pictures of Iraqi children being raped and sodomized by American soldiers as publication of those pictures would have been a public relations disaster of the U.S. In an expose done by the Sunday Herald late last year a child witness of the abuse at Abu Ghraib gave a statement to investigators saying that he witnessed the rape of a boy who was 15 years old: “The kid was hurting very bad and they covered all the doors with sheets. Then, when I heard the screaming I climbed the door ï¿½ and I saw [the soldier's name is deleted] who was wearing a military uniform.” The witness then described in graphic details how he witnessed that soldier rape “the little kid”.
*The abuse of children by the United States and by the U.S.’s staunchest ally in the Middle East is unacceptable; it’s time that we held our government accountable for the blatant violations of human rights occurring in Iraq and Palestine. Tell your representatives that you feel that the illegal detention of Palestinian and Iraqi children is deplorable and that as your elected officials you expect them to speak out against the cruel treatment of children. Remind your elected officials that none of these actions in Iraq or Palestine could occur without the tacit approval of the U.S. government.
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Citizens for Fair Legislation is a grassroots organization committed
to encouraging a fair domestic and foreign policy with an emphasis on
the US/Arab world.