BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - The U.S.
military has shut down Camp Cropper,
an increasingly notorious makeshift
prison where hundreds of Iraqis were
crowded into tents through Baghdad's
scorching summer, a U.S. official
reported yesterday. The detainees were
scattered to other facilities.
The Iraqi Lawyers League, pressing
a rights campaign under an ex-political
prisoner of the Baath regime, has won
another concession from the Ameri-
cans as well: accelerated hearings, with
lawyers, for some of at least 5,500
That newly elected league president,
Malik Dohan al-Hassan, met with U.S.
occupation chief L. Paul Bremer a
month ago to register complaints about
the internment of thousands of Iraqis
without charge since a U.S.-British
invasion force toppled Saddam Hus-
sein's Baath government in April.
"I told Bremer the Americans and
the Iraqi people ought to have
become friends since then, but the
way they have handled these things
has produced just the opposite
effect," Malik said.
Journalists were barred from Camp
Cropper, but released detainees this
summer told of overcrowded and
unsanitary conditions, and they
alleged physical abuse by guards. The
human rights group Amnesty Interna-
tional protested it "may amount to
cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment
or punishment, banned by internation-
The camp population included both
Iraqis picked up for allegedly commit-
ting common crimes, and so-called
"security detainees," mainly Baathists
deemed to be a threat to the security of
the occupation force.
"They are living in tents in the
desert, in a very hot climate. Some
detainees are sick," said Malik, inter-
viewed yesterday before the closing of
the camp was disclosed.
The former law professor and Iraqi
information minister, who was himself
imprisoned for 1 1/2 years by the
Baathists after they seized power in
1968, also complained that lawyers
were not allowed into the heavily
"That was another reason why we
closed the airport (camp)," said U.S.
Army Col. Ralph Sabatino, who spe-
cializes in detainee issues and is a chief
liaison with the interim Iraqi Justice
Sabatino said Cropper was shut
down last Wednesday, on Bremer's
orders, and its several hundred inmates
were transferred to at least three Bagh-
Cropper held as many,as 1,200
detainees this summer, Sabatino said.
"It wasn't supposed to be a detention
center" but a temporary holding facili-
ty, he said. "It was designed for 250
people. When it grew to 500 to 700, it
got very crowded. It had a very bad
The Army Reserve officer, in civil-
ian life an assistant corporation coun-
sel for the City of New York, said he
met with Lawyers League representa-
tives two weeks ago. "Since that time
we've coordinated to facilitate their
representation of people in custody,"
Ignacio Rubio, a Spanish judge
assigned to Bremer's Coalition Provi-
sional Authority, is developing a pro-
gram to assign court-appointed
attorneys to represent detainees who
will be charged at a kind of prelimi-
nary hearing under Iraqi law.
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NEWS IN BRIEF.
HEADLINES FROM AROUND THE WORLD tr. .
WASHINGTON . .
Leads suggest weapons presence in Iraq
Weapons hunters in Iraq are following leads that point to the presence of
anthrax and Scud missiles still hidden in the country, the chief searcher said
David Kay told Congress last week that his survey team had not found nuclear,
biological or chemical weapons so far. But he argued against drawing conclu-
sions, saying he expects to provide a full picture on Iraq's weapons programs in
six months to nine months.
Critics, including many in Congress, say Kay's findings do not support most of
the Bush administration's prewar assertions that the United States faced an immi-
nent, serious threat from Iraq's then-president, Saddam Hussein, because of wide-
spread and advanced Iraqi weapons programs.
President Bush has said the U.S.-led war on Iraq was justified despite the fail-
ure to find weapons.
Kay reported that searchers found a vial of live botulinum bacteria that had
been stored in an Iraqi scientist's refrigerator since 1993. The bacteria make botu-
linum toxin, which can be used as a biological weapon, but Kay has offered no
evidence that the bacteria had been used in a weapons program.
The live bacteria was among a collection of "reference strains" of biological
organisms that could not be used to produce biological warfare agents.
Chechens head to polls amid chaos of war
Battered by a decade of war and chaos, residents of Chechnya voted for a presi-
dent yesterday in an election that the Kremlin bills as a significant step toward sta-
bility but that even the likely winner says won't bring peace for years.
The voting comes four years after Russian forces returned to Chechnya in a
massive air and ground assault that brought the northern flatlands under control
quickly, but then stalled in the southern mountains. For most of the last four years,
the conflict has been a bloody stalemate in which the Russians pound Chechen
rebels with heavy weaponry and the insurgents draw blood daily with bombs,
ambushes and hit-and-run attacks.
Election officials were the first to vote as 426 polling stations across the
region opened yesterday morning, NTV television reported. At least 30 per-
cent of the region's 561,000 registered voters must cast ballots for the elec-
tion to be valid.
Chechen Prime Minister Anatoly Popov said the situation had been calm
the night before the election and expressed confidence that residents would
Arnold Schwarzenegger went on the
attack Saturday, denouncing the latest
sexual harassment allegations made
against him and charging that all the
1 1th-hour accusations were intended to
wreck his campaign for governor.
"The last accusations that I read today
are absolutely untrue," Schwarzenegger
said during a stop near Clovis. "They're
trying to torpedo my campaign. They're
trying to make me look bad out there so
that people vote no."
But Schwarzenegger, who admitted
Thursday that he had treated some
women badly in the past, also referred to
past behavior Saturday, saying he will
work to convince voters that "this is a
different Arnold." The action star also'
said that "the environment in today's pol-
itics is totally different on the subject of
women, it is much more sensitive today."
He added that he will be "extra careful...
even if there is any move from a female
on my part."
DAA NOOR, Afghanistan
Afghan drug trade
deters aid workers
Afghanistan's $1.2 billion drug trade is
blooming, bringing violence that is driv-
ing away aid groups even as Islamic
extremists and warlords allegedly profit.
The agencies that monitor the pulse of
conflict zones point to a rise in ambushes
and execution-style slayings that coincide
with the southeast's autumn harvest of
the opium-producing flora, the source of
"The revenue from the poppy trade in
Afghanistan is more than all the humani-
tarian aid combined," said Paul Barker,
country director for the charity CARE.
Nations have committed roughly
$500 million to rebuild this central
Asian nation of dusty, gasp-inducing
deserts and monolithic mountains.
Test will determine
rollover risk of cars
After years of using a dry, mathemati-
cal formula to predict rollover risk, the
government is adding a wh-ellc-iie9Iig
road test intended to give consumers
more information about a vehicle's han-
Axtomakers say the road' test-will
reward the best-handling vehicles in
each class by highlighting perform-
ance measures the formula could not
assess. One example is stability con-
trol, a system that applies brakes to
specific tires and decelerates if it
senses a driver is veering off course:
The government's auto safety
agency is considering two different
road tests and will announce its
decision tomorrow at its test facility
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