Afghanistan: The Story of Dilawar.

“This crusade, this war on terrorism is going to take a while” remarked George W Bushย in his infamous speech at the South Lawn of the White House a week after 9/11.

This “While” has taken more than a decade in Afghanistan, with bloodshed in the land of the Afghans. The stories of losing homes through aerial bombardment or the stories of one losing a father, a brother, a mother, sometimes a whole family and sometimes an entire clan are too many for a heart to bear. This war by the west supported by the governments in Pakistan and India has not been a war on terrorism but it has brought terror in Afghanistan.

I was looking up for the stories of Torture meted out by the American troops on the soil of Afghanistan against its own people. And as I had thought, there were too many, some reported and some rumoured. But there are so many unreported cases of torture and custodial deaths at the hands of the American or the Allied army that one starts supporting the fight against the US led invasion in Afghanistan. You will read the story of Dilawar (surname unreported) which I found in the classified documents. Remember this is just one story in the sea of destruction laid upon by America and its allies.

“The next victim arrived at Bagram on Dec. 5, 2002, only two days after
Habibullah”s death. The Afghani, named Dilawar, had been detained on suspicion
of firing rockets at a U.S. military site in Afghanistan. He was a taxi driver
by profession.

In keeping with Capt. Wood”s rules, both MI and MP escorts would render him a
similar fate to that of Habibullah. Prison guards soon declared him
“noncompliant,” and his handling and incarceration were almost identical to that
of the now deceased detainee

Shackled in his cell, just prior to a scheduled interrogation, Dilawar
reportedly spat on MP Spc. Corey E. Jones when the soldier brought him some
water. Jones later asserted that as a result he began a series of knee and
peroneal strikes to the detainee”s leg.

In response to beating, Dilawar reportedly screamed out, “Allah, Allah, Allah.”
Other MP soldiers heard Dilawar screaming, and according to Jones” own
admission, “They thought it was funny.”

Other MPs in the platoon showed up to give Dilawar repeated and sustained
peroneal strikes over a 24-hour period. This was done just to hear Dilawar
scream, “Allah,” said Jones to CID Investigators. In a subsequent statement to
CID, Spcialist Jones was vague about which M.P.’s had delivered the blows. His
estimate was never confirmed, but other guards eventually admitted striking Mr.
Dilawar repeatedly.

On Dec. 8, 2002, the same day as Habibullah”s autopsy, Dilawar was subjected to
his fourth interrogation with 21-year-old Spc. Glendale C. Walls II as the
interrogator. Walls declared the detainee hostile because he would not admit to
allegations that he had launched rockets at the American base.

Dilawar was physically unable to hold his hand-cuffed hands above his head as
instructed, which prompted another interrogator, Sgt. Selena Salcido, to
forcibly slap Dilawar”s hands back up when they fell. Both interrogators then
termed Dilawar evasive because he was unable to sit in a chair due to the
injuries he had sustained at the hands of the guards during the past 24 hours.
Dilawar was then repeatedly shoved against the wall by Walls and Salcido because
he could no longer stand.

According to an interpreter who was present, later identified as Ahmad Ahmadzai,
Dilawar received a beating for about ten to fifteen minutes at the hands of
Walls and Salcido. The thrashing was highlighted by the violent kicking of
Dilawar in the groin, private areas, and one good drop kick, in which Salcido
stepped back and advanced rapidly, kicking Dilawar. In published classified
investigative reports, Salcido also stepped on Dilawar”s bare foot and pulled
him about, physically, by his beard.

Following this sustained attack and beating on Dilawar, which Ahmadzai described
as no interrogation at all, Dilawar was returned to his cell and shackled to the
ceiling until the next interrogation shift came on. Salcido instructed the MP
escorts to shackle Dilawar to the ceiling in his cell.

The next morning, Dec. 9, 2002, Dilawar was subjected to his final interrogation
at which he was unable to kneel when ordered or physically comply with anything.
This caused the interrogation session to erode to more physical abuse. An
interrogator identified as Spc. Joshua Claus took over from Walls, who remained
present. Dilawar”s last interrogation eroded into more abuse and assault and he
was returned to his cell and re-shackled.

Dilawar was found dead the next morning.”

________________________

And for every one Afghan they kill,
Ten more would take up the resistance.
The Occupiers forget,
Their feets lie in the graveyard of the empires.

Footnotes

Human Rights First, BEHIND THE WIRE (March 2005)

Human Rights First, GETTING TO GROUND TRUTH (Sept. 2004)ย 

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One thought on “Afghanistan: The Story of Dilawar.

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