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Kidnapped by U.S. occupiers

By Alan Maass | December 2, 2005 | Page 2

AN IRAQI woman who testified at the World Tribunal on Iraq, organized by international antiwar organizations in Istanbul last June, has been arrested by U.S. occupation forces.

According to a report on antiwar journalist Dahr Jamail's Web site, Amal Kadhum Swadi, along with her youngest son Safa, were detained on September 29 outside their Baghdad home. They are accused of planting an improvised explosive device.

U.S. soldiers, with weapons drawn and backed up by armored vehicles, descended on the family, and hauled mother and son away from the others. The two were blindfolded and handcuffed "with the plastic zap straps and hoods that have become potent symbols of the dehumanization of Iraqis under occupation," as Andrew Stromotich wrote on dahrjamailiraq.org.

Amal and Safa were made to squat on a dirt embankment until being packed into Humvees for the trip to the Airport Detention Facility.

Amal's arrest wasn't an accident. She is well known in Iraq as a lawyer who has spoken out in defense of the victims of the occupation. In particular, she helped to expose the brutal conditions at Abu Ghraib prison under U.S. rule, especially for women detainees. Her participation in investigations led to the revelation of gross abuses inflicted on these women, including charges of rape and sexual abuse.

"As an advocate for those held without charge or trial by an occupation rooted in illegality, and under the increasing scrutiny of a world skeptical of U.S. intentions in Iraq," in Stromotich's words, it's no wonder that Amal Swadi became at U.S. target.

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