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Torture and Murder of POWs at Bagram Airbase

Torture and Murder of Prisoners of War at Bagram Airbase

Global Peace and Justice Auckland has written to the Prime Minister tonight asking if New Zealand Defence Force personnel are implicated in the torture and murder of 2 prisoners of war during interrogations at the Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan.

A spokesman for the air base has confirmed that the official cause of death of the two men was "homicide", contradicting earlier accounts that one had died of a heart attack and the other from a pulmonary embolism.

It is reported that the men's death certificates showed that one captive, known only as Dilawar aged 22, died from "blunt force injuries to lower extremities complicating coronary artery disease" while another captive, Mullah Habibullah aged 30, suffered from blood clot in the lung that was exacerbated by a "blunt force injury".

New Zealand has Defence Force staff officers at Bagram airbase as part of the so-called "war on terror" with the Minister of Defence last week informing us that staff at the base in Bagram were "involved in the command and control of all coalition operations in Afghanistan".

We have asked Helen Clark for answers to the following questions.

Are the New Zealand staff officers at Bagram implicated in the torture and murder of these 2 prisoners? Has the New Zealand government protested to the United Nations at the torture and killing of these 2 men? Have you asked for a criminal investigation into the killing of these 2 men? What is the New Zealand government's attitude to the use of torture and extrajudicial killings as practiced at Bagram? Are you happy for New Zealand defence force personnel to remain at Bagram as part of this culture of brutal atrocity against prisoners of war?

Global Peace and Justice Auckland believes all New Zealand military personnel should be withdrawn from the Gulf and from Afghanistan. Torture and extra-judicial killings are a recipe for increasing terror attacks around the world rather than the opposite.

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