Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Why I Fight Against Torture: The Tipton Three

This is a series of diaries written about torture written from the perspective of the one enduring it, with as many first hand accounts as I can find.

This is the first diary, in which I talk about my husband, Dan, who was a Vietnam Vet who survived torture:…

The second diary, giving the first part of the experiences of Murat Kurnaz, who spent five years, as an innocent man, in captivity.…

The third diary, giving the second part of the experiences of Murat Kurnaz.…

The fourth diary, explaining the experiences of Binyam Mohammed…

Today, I will tell the first part of the story of three British citizens, Rhuhel Ahmed, Asif Iqbal, and Shafiq Rasul.

Tipton Three photo ShafiqRasulAsifIqbalRhuhelAhmed.jpg

Rhuhel and Asif Iqbal, friends from high school, and Shafiq Rasul, a slightly older friend, are from Tipton, England. They were taken into custody on November 28th, 2001.

These are excerpts from their combined affidavit:

They were loaded into a container with a bunch of other detainees and transported in the container, to Sherbegan Prison.

According to information they were given later, there were US forces present at the point they were packed into the containers together with almost 200 other prisoners. Asif became unconscious and awoke to find that in an attempt to allow air into the containers Dostum’s forces had fired machine guns into the sides of the containers. Asif was struck in the arm by a bullet as a result. The journey to Sherbegan took nearly 18 hours and the containers were not opened until they reached the prison. All three men remained in the containers amongst the dead and the dying throughout this time. Asif reports that to get water he had to lick the side of the container or wipe a cloth on the top of the container where the condensation had collected and squeeze the drips of water into his mouth. On arrival in Sherbegan of the 200 originally in the container only 20 were alive, some seriously injured.

Conditions at Sherbegan were appalling, Asif says;

“in the first week the only food we got was a tiny portion of bread per day and a very small amount of water. This was to last us the whole day.”

Arrival in Kandahar

Shafiq says:

“The cargo plane had no heating and given the flimsy clothes we were wearing I believe I was close to hypothermia.”

This time Shafiq says:

“I had to run as fast as I could with my legs shackled and I was bent over with a sack over my head. We were taken to another tent. There they cut off all of my clothes and forcefully shaved our beards and heads. I was taken outside. I was completely naked with a sack on my head and I could hear dogs barking nearby and soldiers shouting ‘get’um boy’. Although I couldn’t see I had a sense that there were a lot of soldiers around. I was taken still naked with a sack on my head for a so called cavity search. I was told to bend over and then I felt something shoved up my anus. I don’t know what it was, but it was very painful.”

Tonight, I will leave it there, because I want it to sink into your heart, into your being, what was done to those in that container. 70 years ago my grandpere parachutted behind the lines to organize the French Resistance. He earned a Croix de Guerre. After World War II, we, as a world community, said, “Never Again !” And yet we turn a blind eye.

Can you continue to turn a blind eye ?

Without holding those at the top who authorized and ordered torture inflicted by the US since 9/11 to legal account there will be more and worse torture, with more impunity.

Please stand up and tell your President, tell your Senators, tell your Congessional Representives: “NOT IN MY NAME!” Demand JUSTICE and ACCOUNTABILITY !”

                  In abundant tears,

      Standing for justice and accountability,

                       For Dan,



  1. Chacounne

    and tonight for Rhuhel, Asif and Shafiq.

             Standing for justice and accountability,

                        For Dan,


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