Amnesty International, in a report released Wednesday, condemned Iraq for executing and torturing civilians opposed to its invasion of Kuwait and for human-rights abuses against Western detainees.
The international human-rights watchdog organization said Iraqi troops were "summarily executing" Kuwaitis for possession of the Kuwaiti flag or pictures of the deposed emir of Kuwait, or even for failing to follow orders to post photographs of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.Iraq overran its tiny neighbor Aug. 2 after a period of building tension over a border and oil dispute. Despite international condemnation and U.N. sanctions, it has since annexed the oil-rich emirate.
The Iraqi military has routinely used torture against detainees, Amnesty International said, detailing cases of beatings and electric shocks administered to Kuwaitis rounded up since the invasion.
Kuwaitis' limbs have been broken, their hair plucked out with pincers, and their fingernails and toenails pulled out and have been threatened with rape and murder, Amnesty said.
"We cannot even publish more details on former torture victims in case they or their families are identified and suffer reprisals," the organization said.
It said the group had interviewed civilians who had fled Kuwait to gather evidence.
This testimony, along with a report from Amnesty representatives in Bahrain,"builds up a horrifying picture of widespread arrests, torture under interrogation, summary executions and mass extrajudicial killings," Amnesty said.
Iraqi troops have hanged mass groups of people on the grounds of Kuwait University for alleged opposition to Saddam. Boys as young as 15 have been shot through the head in street executions. Doctors were forced to sign false death certificates alleging murder victims died natural deaths in hospitals, Amnesty said.