Plea to PM for husband in Iraqi jail

A resident appealed to the Prime Minister to help her husband who is being tortured and illegally imprisoned in Iraq.

A resident appealed to the Prime Minister to help her husband who is being tortured and illegally imprisoned in Iraq.

Kilburn pensioner Rahiba al-Qassab was appealing to the government and Amnesty International to help her illegally detained husband who is suffering extreme torture at the hands of the Iraqi government.

Husband Ramze Shihab Ahmed was detained without trial under suspicion of terrorist involvement as witch hunt style accusations go around Iraq.

Mrs al-Qassab, 63-year-old retired teaching assistant, Kilburn, said: “Why do they keep a sick, old man, without clothes, without food?”


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“If they think he is a terrorist, give him a trial! Our life is terrible now, my heart is broken.”

When the British Embassy visited Mr Ahmed, 68, was no longer able to walk and claimed he was tortured many times a day to give a ‘confession,’ including with electric shocks to his genitals.

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Mr Ahmed was illegally detained in a secret Iraqi prison last December 7 with thousands of other illegal prisoners, when he went to visit his son.

The Iraqi government denied his imprisonment until late March when he was able to make a short call to his wife in London begging for her help from the UK authorities.

Mrs al-Qassab said: “I know that Ramze is far from being the only person unfairly imprisoned in Iraq, but because he’s British at least the UK can try to do something about them.”

Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International Middle East and north Africa director, said: “Hundreds of prisoners are reportedly sentenced to death on the basis of ‘confessions’ which they said were false and were signed under torture or other duress.”

The couple have a dual Iraqi-British citizenship and escaped to England as refugees in 1999.

Mr Ahmed was part of a failed 1992 plot to try to get rid of Saddam Hussain.

Mrs al-Qassab was briefly imprisoned but managed to escape.

They both had a quiet life in Kilburn. Mrs al-Qassab said: “I did everything with Ramze, walking to the shops, feeding the duck, we had a good life. My life is very sad now.”

Mrs al-Qassab fears the whole case is political as Mr Ahmed is a Sunni, once an army general and part of a rebellion against Saddam Hussain.

Amnesty International supporters are appealing to William Hague for more help. Amnesty asks you to write to him or email him at www.amnesty.org.uk/ramze.

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