Committee to Protect Journalists – 2006-10-16 08:57:09
Please contact the UN High Commission for Human Rights re detained Iraqi woman journalist
Dear Friends and Journalists:
I received this alert from a US Human Shield I was with in Baghdad. It is to be forwarded to the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention of the UN High Commission on Human Rights. Their intervention may be able to protect this Iraqi woman journalist. My friend wrote:
“It is most imperative that this group (the UN High Commission) be contacted regarding the arrest and detention of Iraqi journalist Gulshan (Khashan) al-Bayati. I hope you’ll take a moment to write a plea for this group to intervene in this matter.”
— Judith Karpova / Middle East Crisis Watch
Background on the Alert
Help Iraqi Journalist Tortured in Jail
Eman Ahmed Khammas / Occupation Watch
(October 8, 2006) — About three weeks ago I sent some of you a letter about a young Iraqi woman journalist, Gulshan , who was arrested, then released three days later.
Gulshan Al-Bayati is arrested again about two weeks ago by the Iraqi security forces.
News from inside the prison says that she was cruelly tortured, and now no one knows her whereabouts
Please call upon your women, journalists, human rights or any organizations in your countries, do whatever you can do to help release Gulshan from prison, to stop torturing her immediately, to let her family see her, and to tell where she is now.
I attach Gulshan ‘s photo and a letter from a friend of hers who knows her and worked with her. Please do whatever you can very quickly; Gulshan is just a young Iraqi journalist. She is not a criminal to be treated like this.
Journalist Held without Charge for Three Weeks by Iraqi Forces
Committee to Protect Journalists
NEW YORK (October 11, 2006) —The Committee to Protect Journalists today demanded that Iraqi authorities release Al-Hayat correspondent Kalshan al-Bayati, who was detained in Tikrit three weeks ago.
Al-Bayati has been held without charge since she went to the security forces headquarters in Tikrit on September 18 to retrieve a personal computer confiscated during a raid on her home, according to CPJ sources.
“It is outrageous that Iraqi forces feel free to lock up a journalist without explanation or due process for three weeks,” CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. “The authorities in Tikrit must release Kalshan al-Bayati immediately and cease harassing her.”
Al-Bayati, an Iraqi correspondent for the London-based, Arabic-language daily Al-Hayat, is being held in a women’s prison in Tikrit, 112 miles (180 kilometers) north of Baghdad.
A sister said Al-Bayati was working on an article for the Saudi-owned newspaper about insurgents in Saleheddin province. Al-Bayati’s prior reporting had been critical of security forces in Tikrit, hometown of ousted President Saddam Hussein.
Al-Bayati was jailed for three days in early September before being released by local authorities and ordered to stay at home, according to news reports and CPJ sources.
Iraqi forces raided al-Bayati’s house in the al-Zuhour neighborhood of Tikrit early on September 11, arresting her and seizing her car, personal computer, notes, and articles, those sources said. Her brother Najad was also arrested and released the following day.
Al-Hayat quoted al-Bayati at the time as saying that security forces had investigated her for possible ties to insurgents but found no link.
CPJ is a New York–based, independent, nonprofit organization that works to safeguard press freedom worldwide. For more information, visit www.cpj.org.
CPJ. 330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001 USA. (212) 465-1004. Fax: (212) 465-9568. www.cpj.org. firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact: Abi Wright (212) 465-1004 x-105
The Alert to be Sent to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention
The email address of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention of the UN High Commission for Human Rights is:
• email@example.com . Please cut and paste the text below and send to this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Release Iraqi Woman Journalist and Writer Kelshan Al Bayati
Who is Kelshan? (also spelled, “Gulshan” or “Khashan”)
1 — Gulshan Al-Bayati, Iraqi, born in 1971.
2 — BA in English, College of Education , Tikrit University.
3 — Short story writer, published two books of stories, and has novel to be published soon talking on the occupation.
4 — Journalist, currently a correspondent of Al-Hayat newspaper.
5 — Anti-occupation activist, published many articles in her name, openly criticizing the occupation, published on www.albasrah.net
6 — When she was warned that she was being too open criticizing the occupation, she said I do not need to hide my loyalty to my homeland (country).
7 — Member of Iraqi Journalists Union, Arab Journalists Union, and Iraqi Writers Union .
8 — Gulshan does not have anything else to resist the occupation other than her pen. That is what we know about her for sure, as a close friend.
Gulshan was arrested for the first time on Sept, 11, her computer and car was confiscated, and her brother was arrested with her too. She was slapped on her face by the Iraqi police the first moment they raided her house. She was released two days later.
From what she said then, we understood that she was accused of having a contact with some of Saddam’s relatives. She said that they asked her what you are doing with those terrorists. She was asked if she had contacts with some of the resistance groups. She replied that as she lives in Tikrit, she knows those relatives of Saddam before the war and she respects them.
As for her contact with the resistance, she said that she is a journalist, and a correspondent of Al-Hayat, a London-based Arabic newspaper, and as such she interviews different kinds of people, whether they were in the Iraqi police and army, or whether they were supporting the resistance.
She was ordered to stay at home, not move, and not to give any statement. She asked for a meeting with the general Commander of the Iraqi security forces in Tikrit to explain to him what she went through in the prison and what she had seen there.
It seems that her self-confidence as a journalist, led her to talk , not to keep silent, not to be prudent enough for the coming days. She insisted on seeing the Iraqi Commander to tell him what she had to tell him.
This is the background of Gulshan’s first arrest. Five days after her release, she was arrested again.
Now we would like to explain the following:
• 1 — The first time she was arrested with her brother, as it is usual in Tikrit, families do not want their women to be arrested alone.
• 2 — In the second time she was called by telephone, by the forces who arrested her in the first time, the told her to come to the forces headquarters to collect her confiscated computer in what was called Saddam’s Palace, which was evacuated by the Americans and now is used as headquarters of the Iraqi security forces, police and the many apparatus, from the first brigade to the commandos, these forces are responsible of the security in particular e.g. the arrests and the investigations with detainees. It is in this place that Gulshan went, and never came out again.
• 3 — A trusted source of information said that she was investigated by what is called the coordination committee, which represent all the security forces that work in Tikrit, this committee decides whether to keep a detainee or to release him or her.
• 4 — The same source said that Gulshan was cruelly tortured. He said: “Oh if you just know what kind of torture she was exposed to”. Obviously he was too ashamed to talk about what he tried to inform and what he saw of torture to a woman of his community.
• 5 — The first moment she was arrested again, Gulshan called somebody and told him to tell the commander that she was arrested again.
• 6 — We do not have any other information if Gulshan is still in Tikrit prisons or if she was moved to other ones, we do not know about what she is going through at this moment.