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Report details torture of man held by troops

/ 10:17 PM August 02, 2011

DAVAO CITY—He was stripped naked and gasoline was poured on his body, including in his ears. His interrogators rubbed red chillies on his anus, after which a bottle full of gasoline was also forced into it. Then his captors set him on fire.

This was how Abdul Khan Ajid, the suspected member of the Abu Sayyaf arrested by members of Task Force Basilan, said his interrogators treated him while under military custody after his arrest at home in Sumisip, Basilan last July 23.

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This account was in a fact sheet obtained by Inquirer, that detailed the torture of Ajid while in the custody of Scout Rangers under the command of Col. Alexander Macario, the Task Force Basilan commander. The documentation was done by the Mindanao People’s Caucus (MPC) and the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines through interviews with the sister and wife of Ajid.

Photos of Ajid also clearly showed his injuries—his face badly beaten and burned. They also showed that the victim suffered severe burns on the chest and stomach.

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The photos were taken when Ajid’s family finally found him at the Basilan Provincial Jail on July 27 or four days after he was arrested.

Before this, Ajid was reported missing. A petition for a writ of habeas corpus was filed by lawyer Rey Bongabong which was granted by Judge Leo Prinsipe of the Regional Trial Court of Basilan.

An hour after receipt of the writ, the family was informed that Ajid was delivered by soldiers to the provincial jail in Isabela as he was facing charges of kidnapping being an alleged member of the Abu Sayyaf.

Ajid was suspected of being an Abu Sayyaf member and among those responsible in the Lamitan siege of 2001.

On the morning he was taken, his wife recalled that Ajid was preparing dough.

Ajid was pinned on the floor while soldiers searched the house for guns. Ajid’s children, a 15-year-old boy and a 10-year-old girl, saw what was being done to their father.

Four soldiers have been placed under technical arrest.

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MPC, in a statement, said Ajid’s case shows only that the military continues to practice torture.

The group also cited the case of Lamitan resident Asrap Musa, a 17-year old Bachelor of Education student, who was arrested and tortured by the military last June. Jeffrey M. Tupas, Inquirer Mindanao

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TAGS: abu sayyaf, Military, news, Regions, torture
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