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IraqSide:Developments
Doomed to Die, ex-VP Says US Abused Him
Ramadan Claims Torture in Interrogation about Saddam
02/19/2007 8:26 PM ET
A top-level ex-Ba`thist official recently sentenced to death has claimed that he was tortured in US custody in a statement newly released by his attorney.

Former Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan’s legal counsel released a handwritten statement dated March 22, 2006, in which Ramadan claims he was tortured for three weeks following his August 2003 arrest. Alleged methods of torture included beatings with an aluminum rod, water deprivation, and techniques of humiliation, according to the text of the statement.

The statement was reportedly sent to his lawyer, Giovanni Di Stefano, by an unidentified US official on February 6, 2007, and Di Stefano made the statement public after the death sentence last week. In an English translation of the statement obtained by the online legal publication Jurist, Ramadan claims he was tortured in connection with interrogation over the whereabouts of Saddam Hussein and information on the Iraqi resistance.

Thus far there has been no US response to the torture allegations. Pentagon spokesman Col. Gary Keck, said in Washington that he couldn't comment on the former VP’s allegations because of the possibility that they were the subject of an investigation by US personnel, according to Bloomberg.

Ramadan was condemned to death last week in connection with crimes against humanity committed in Dujail in 1982. The UN and human rights groups have protested the sentence. Last week, Philip Alston, a UN expert on extrajudicial executions, released a statement arguing that Ramadan’s execution would violate international law because the trial had been unfair.

According to the Jurist, Di Stefano says that he will ask the US federal courts to prevent the American government from handing Ramadan over to Iraqi officials for execution.

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