Thursday, April 12, 2007

Kidnapped diplomat Jalal Sharafi shows wounds at news conference, says American present for torture

Left: Iranian diplomat Jalal Sharafi at today's press conference. Above: the wounds on his feet. He also showed other wounds on his legs and back. The U.S. denies any involvement in his capture, imprisonment or interrogation.

An Iranian diplomat kidnapped in Iraq has appeared before journalists in Tehran, saying that a US official was present while his captors tortured him.
Jalal Sharafi was brought to the news conference in a wheelchair flanked by nurses, a week after his release.

The second secretary at Iran's Baghdad embassy gave a detailed account of beatings and interrogations, including being whipped on his feet with cables...

Looking thin and weak at the press conference, Mr Sharafi said his captors had shown him identity cards from the Iraq Ministry of Defence.

He said an American official had been present when he was tortured on his feet with what felt like an electric drill.

"When I regained consciousness, the person who came to me clearly introduced himself as an American and he could speak (English)," Mr Sharafi told the BBC.

"But since I didn't speak English, I was using an Arabic translator," he said.

"At different stages, he told me this man had connections to the US embassy and was directly responsible for me."

Read the rest at the BBC

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