Egyptian columnist says Rumsfeld treats prisoners the same way Saddam did

Published May 20th, 2003 - 02:00 GMT

US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is as "brutal" and "unfair" as ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein for the way Arab prisoners are treated in Guantanamo Bay, the Egyptian government daily Al Ahram wrote Tuesday. 

 

"It has become difficult to differentiate between Rumsfeld and Saddam as well as between Tony Blair and Tareq Aziz," columnist Salama Ahmed Salama wrote, also comparing the British prime minister and Iraq's ex-deputy premier. 

 

"Those who speak today of the atrocities committed by Saddam Hussein's regime and the absence of justice under the Baath authority will realize that what the Bush administration is committing through Rumsfeld is not less brutal nor less unfair than what Saddam Hussein did," Salama wrote. 

 

US practices are "stirring up feelings of injustice and rage, which encourages hatred of the United States" among Arabs and Muslims, Salama said. 

 

The editorialist criticized the refusal by the "jailer Rumsfeld" to communicate information about the identity, the number or the age of those held in Guantanamo, "some of whom are 13 year-old or 16-year-old children." 

 

He also said that Rumsfeld refused to "disclose the accusations brought against them, or to forbid all contact between them and the outside world." 

 

Salama denounced the fact that these prisoners "are chained and placed in cages like animals that people look at in a zoo."  

 

"The American authorities claim not to physically torture these detainees, but they hand over the most criminal among them to cooperative Arab countries which authorize torture in their jails," he charged.  

 

"This means that the United States does with the prisoners of Guantanamo the same things that Saddam Hussein had done with Kuwaiti prisoners, and about whom he had refused to communicate details," Salama wrote. (Albawaba.com)

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