We call on those states responsible for the invasion and occupation of Iraq to terminate their illegal and immoral war, and express our solidarity with the Iraqi people in their struggle for peace, justice and self-determination.

In particular, we demand:

  1. An immediate end to the US and UK-led occupation of Iraq;
  2. Urgent action to fully address the current humanitarian crises facing Iraq’s people, including help for the more than three million refugees and displaced persons;
  3. An end to all foreign interference in Iraq's affairs, including its oil industry, so that Iraqis can exercise their right to self-determination;
  4. Compensation and reparations from those countries responsible for war and sanctions on Iraq;
  5. Prosecution of all those responsible for war crimes, human rights abuses, and the theft of Iraq's resources.

We demand justice for Iraq.

This statement was adopted by the Justice for Iraq conference in London on 19th July 2008. We plan to publish this more widely in future. If you would like to add your name to the list of supporters please contact us.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Robert Fisk: It's not the brutality that is 'systematic'. It's the lying about it

It was Baha Mousa's dad I will always remember. On an oppressively scorching day in Basra, Daoud Mousa first spoke of his son's death, telling me how the boy's wife had died of cancer just six months earlier, how Baha's children were now orphans, how – not long after the British Army had arrested Baha Mousa and beaten him to death, for that is what happened – a British officer had come to his home and stared at the floor and offered cash by way of saying sorry.
"What do you think I should do?" Daoud asked me. Get a lawyer, I said. Tell Amnesty and Human Rights Watch. Let me write about it. When I called at the British base at Basra airport, one officer laughed at me. "Call the Ministry of Defence," he said dismissively. He didn't care.

I had spent years in Belfast, listening to the same kind of arrogant, vicious, indifferent reaction to the Army's brutality. It was always the same. Terrorists. Terrorist propaganda. The extraordinary discipline of British squaddies under enormous pressure, etc, etc, etc. Then – when the game was up and the evidence too fresh and too overwhelming – I used to get what we would today call the "Abu Ghraib response". A "few bad apples". Always a "few bad apples".

See also:

Army suspends Baha Mousa soldiers as more prosecutions are considered

The Guardian reports (September 9th): The army has suspended a number of soldiers after the publication of a damning report into the "violent and cowardly abuse" by servicemen that led to the death of an Iraqi detainee in British military custody.
There have been widespread calls for further prosecutions and the defence secretary, Liam Fox, disclosed that Ministry of Defence inquiries "are revealing evidence of some concern" in other Iraqi abuse cases.

Baha Mousa inquiry criticises the British troops' 'lack of moral courage'

The Guardian reports (September 8th): British soldiers indulged in an "appalling episode of serious, gratuitous violence" on a number of Iraqi civilian detainees leading to the death of the 26-year-old Basra hotel worker, Baha Mousa, and the abuse of nine others.
Mousa, the father of two children, was "subjected to violent and cowardly abuse and assaults by British servicemen whose job it was to guard him and treat him humanely".
Sir William Gage, a retired appeal court judge who presided over the two-year inquiry, paints a devastating picture of military culture in general and in particular a group of soldiers of 1st Battalion Queen's Lancashire Regiment.

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