Free Dr. Huda Ammash
June 1, 2004
A renowned Iraqi woman scientist Dr. Huda Ammash has been in US custody since she was detained by US authorities on May 5, 2003. One of 40 Iraqi scientists imprisoned at the Baghdad Airport, Huda is reported to be in poor health. Despite the failure to find evidence of WMDs, the scientists are still being held. No charges have been filed against them.
Dr. Huda Ammash is a former dean of Baghdad University, from where she acquired her bachelor’s degree, Dr. Huda holds a masters degree in microbiology from Texas Women's University in Denton, Texas, and a doctorate from the University of Missouri at Columbia. She was head of several organizations, including Iraq's Microbiology Society.
On March 5, 2004, her family members were permitted to visit her in Baghdad airport, where she is detained along with some 40 Iraqi scientists and former officials. According to her sister Nada Ammash, Dr. Huda Ammash’s health has deteriorated in US custody and she lost much of her weight.
The following members of Dr. Huda’s family were guests on a the live dialogue on the scientists' plight hosted by Islam Online:
• Dr. Ahmed Mekky Mohammed Saed, Dr. Ammash’s husband. He was detained and tortured, then released, by US forces in February, 2004.
• Nada Ammash, Dr. Huda’s sister. She is director of a tourism company in Baghdad
• Ittihad Ammash, Dr. Huda’s sister. A pediatrician, she is former head of the department of international health in the Iraqi ministry of health. She was vice-president of Baghdad’s endocrinology hospital, but she was sacked under the accusation of being Baathist.
Among the questions addressed: Does the US have the lefal right to continue holding Dr Huda when no WMD has been found? Can't the Red Cross and other humanity agencies step in to free her since she was not a soldier?
Ms. Ammash's lawyer insists that her imprisonment is against the international law. The Red Cross has no power over her case.
There is no spcefic allegation against her. The only reason for her detention was that she was a biological scientist, but the truth is that all of her research was published publicly -- including here critically important research into the damaging health impacts of depleted uranium weapons used by coalition troops in the 1990 war.
Dr. Huda Ammash's family believes "the media ignored the issue because of the violence and lack of security that have prevailed after the occupation, serving to divert attention from Dr. Huda Ammash's detention."