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 21 December 2008

No reason to stay

Justice for Iraq will never of course concede that there ever was a good reason for British or any other foreign troops to be occupying Iraq. But if Iraq is now an "emergent democracy" then the wishes of the Iraqi Parliament should be taken as final marching orders to get out now!

Then there will not be any problems with the legal status of any troops. From then on any help and advice offered to the Iraqi people could be on their terms and not on the terms of the occupiers.

Sunday 14 December 2008

The latest Iraq Occupation Focus newsletter makes interesting reading. As the formal military occupation starts to be wound down the prospects for Iraq in terms of human rights and access to basic services such a decent water supply are extremely bleak.

Tuesday 9 December 2008

Human rights and Iraq now: the results of Liberal intervention

When pressed about Iraq these days the warmongers (Jack Straw on a recent Any Questions springs to mind) usually fall back on the argument that a dictator was overthrown and that Iraq is now a fledgling democracy. You get the feeling that the neo-cons and associated new labour henchmen can actually feel quietly satisfied.

This is all nonsense. Anmesty International reports that the legal system is a travesty. This is perphaps not unexpected as the country is ruled by death squads and the instutional forms have been nurtured under the watchful eyes of the US Republican establishment.

That is if you manage to get in front of a court when the occupiers arrest you. More likely you will be held without trail as legal processes are not seen as neither here nor there by the occupiers.More likely you would be held as a "risk" in other words regardless of your innocence and the lack of evidence resulting from your innocence.Indeed your only crime might be working for Reuters.

Just the sort of situation that a home secretary near you can deport people back to face continuing serious human rights abuses.

Wednesday 26 November 2008

The Justice for Iraq campaign is based on five demands. This article addresses the first: an immediate end to the occupation.

Exit strategy: what exit strategy?
The Status of Forces Agreement stipulates the withdrawal of US combat troops after three years. Justice for Iraq asks Sami Ramadani if this could be the beginning of the end.

In the film “W” Oliver Stone has Dick Cheney reply to a question about an exit strategy: “There is no exit strategy – we’re staying”.

The Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), due to be ratified by the Iraqi parliament on 27 November, suggests that the withdrawal of US troops by 31 December 2011 signals an end to the occupation and a return to Iraqi sovereignty. But Iraqi exile and dissident Sami Ramadani says this is yet another deception in the long war on Iraq.

“The Iraqi government and institutions are all located in the US-controlled Green Zone – it’s as if Iraqi soldiers were occupying Capitol Hill with Maliki dictating to Bush. To think that SOFA restores Iraqi sovereignty is ludicrous.”

The purpose of the agreement, he says, is to replace the UN Security Council mandate that runs out at the end of this year. “At the moment the UN has some say. What the US wants is an agreement that legitimises its presence and gets the UN out of the way.”

In fact, Ramadani explains, SOFA is part of a larger treaty that has no fixed timetable – the Strategic Framework Agreement (SFA).

SOFA, it turns out, is all about staying.

  • First, while SOFA talks of full withdrawal by December 2011, the SFA implicitly suggests that the US will demand a military presence. The SFA implies this by stating that the US would not ask for permanent bases: “How long is permanent or non-permanent?” Ramadani asks. Anything less than forever, it seems, could qualify.
  • Second, US military personnel will remain unaccountable to the Iraqi authorities: “If on duty, Iraqi law cannot touch them, and if off-duty soldiers or civilians are arrested by Iraqi security forces they must be handed over to the US authorities within 24 hours. Furthermore, off-duty US soldiers and civilians usually stay within their immune bases and facilities.”
  • Third, apparent concessions like the willingness of the US to relinquish Iraqi air space are worthless: “The US has completely destroyed Iraq’s air force so this is meaningless.”

SOFA then, merely adds a few details on security to the SFA. Signed by Maliki and Bush in March 2008, this all-encompassing treaty covers not only the political and military but also the economic and cultural future of the country. Iraq is facing a long-term relationship with the US that will penetrate every aspect of life.

To add to the sense of undiminished pressure on Iraq, the SFA provides for the negotiation of further treaties and, when the SOFA three year period for troop withdrawal has expired, the Iraqi government can ask the US military to stay longer. “And I daresay (they will ask, and) the US will oblige,” Ramadani adds.

Pronouncements by president-elect Obama do nothing to allay fears that the US occupation will continue, albeit in a modified form. “The SOFA and SFA treaties do not contradict anything Obama has said. Forget about interpretations – he (has gone no further than saying that he) is opposed to permanent military bases. And he has insisted on having ‘residual forces’ in Iraq.”

SOFA is likely to be ratified by the Iraqi parliament despite opposition from many quarters. Ramadani says that as far as he can judge, the population is overwhelmingly against it. “However, their wishes are not reflected in the government – there is a huge gap.

“In terms of the forces in parliament, the Sadrist block – about 30 members – is calling for immediate withdrawal, and the 15 members of the Al Fadhila party said they would vote against the agreement unless it is was amended to their satisfaction. Others are also contemplating rejection – quite brave when you consider that the guards and tanks outside parliament are all American.” he adds.

On the eve of the vote, Ramadani speculates: “The US might get its pact agreed if the Iraqi government succeeds in its manoeuvre to pass it through a simple majority rather than the two-thirds required by the constitution to ratify treaties.”

Some members of parliament plan to be absent when the vote is taken. “Those who agree to SOFA are seen as traitors, so they’re reluctant to support it. If you can imagine – it’s like trying to appease Hitler after WWII has started.”

Ramadani thinks that Britain too, could favour a SOFA to legitimise its presence in Iraq: “A document to show the British public that they are no longer in occupation, but are there because the Iraqi government has asked them to stay.”

If Oliver Stone is right that the US launched the occupation without an exit strategy, then the Iraqi people can only despair of a return to normality. Ramadani concludes: “To have even a semblance of normality, the troops must withdraw. The occupation is divisive – it commits and attracts violence; it is a poisonous presence.”

Sami Ramadani lectures in sociology at the London Metropolitan University.

Monday 18 August 2008

JFI conference - Hans Von Sponeck Speech

See list on the right hand side, for the links for all other speeches made at the conference

Wednesday 16 July 2008

Justice for Iraq conference
Saturday 19 July 2008

10.30am-11am: Registration

11am-1pm: Why we need justice for Iraq

  • Sami Ramadani, Iraqi Democrats Against the Occupation
  • Hans von Sponeck, former UN Humanitarian Co-ordinator for Iraq
  • Haifa Zangana, Iraqi writer and columnist
  • Liz Davies, Iraq Occupation Focus

1pm-1.45pm: Lunch

1.45pm-3.15pm: Workshops

Workshop 1: Stopping the corporate carve-up

  • Greg Muttitt, Platform
  • Kamil Mahdi, University of Exeter

Workshop 2:The humanitarian crisis

  • Milan Rai, Justice Not Vengeance/Peace News
  • Marion Birch, Medact
  • Sarah Parker, Coalition to Stop Deportations to Iraq

Workshop 3: War crimes: ending impunity

  • Jehangir Jilani, Public Interest Lawyers
  • John Hilary, War on Want
  • Mazin Younis, Iraqi League

3.15pm-3.30pm: Break

3.30pm-5pm: The way forward: Iraq solidarity for the long-term

  • John McDonnell MP
  • John Hilary, War on Want
  • Kamil Mahdi, University of Exeter
  • Carole Turner, Stop the War Coalition
5pm: Ends

11.00-17.00, Saturday 19 July 2008
United Reformed Church
Buck Street, Camden (close to Camden Town tube)
London NW1 8NJ

Entry by donation (suggested amount: £7/£5 unwaged)

For more information download the event leaflet or visit the Justice for Iraq blog at: www.justiceforiraq.net.

Justice for Iraq Facebook group >>
Event page on Facebook >>

Organised by Iraq Occupation Focus
Contact: iraqfocus@riseup.net

Thursday 26 June 2008

Justice for Iraq conference: London, 19th July

Justice For Iraq (leaflet)

Justice for Iraq

A day conference
Saturday 19 July, London

Go to event page on Facebook >>

Justice for Iraq is a call to action – a campaign that demands a complete policy reversal of those countries who have invaded and occupied Iraq since 2003. Ending the military occupation remains the most urgent priority. But Iraq will remain a broken nation without urgent measures aimed at delivering lasting peace and justice for its people and healing some of the wounds caused by this disastrous war.

Justice for Iraq will pressure Iraq's occupiers to:

  • withdraw their troops and privatised security forces;
  • restore Iraq's full economic, legal and political sovereignty;
  • dismantle the Green Zone and the other occupation walls;
  • clean up toxic and unexploded weapons of war;
  • release and compensate detainees;
  • assist refugees and displaced persons;
  • help Iraq to relieve dire shortages in food, water, energy and medical supplies;
  • agree to pay reparations for waging a war of aggression;
  • ensure that war criminals face justice.

These demands do not represent a complete or final list. This campaign is in the process of emerging and we are reaching out to build a network of organisations and individuals who share a similar goal. Join us on 19th July to be a part of debating, building and launching this campaign.

Speakers confirmed so far:

  • Hans von Sponeck, Former UN humanitarian coordinator for Iraq
  • Haifa Zangana, Iraqi writer and activist
  • Sami Ramadani, Iraqi Democrats Against the Occupation
  • Kamil Mahdi, Senior lecturer in Middle East economics at University of Exeter
  • Mazin Younis, Iraqi League
  • John McDonnell MP
  • Greg Muttitt, PLATFORM
  • John Hilary, War on Want
  • Jehangir Jilani, Public Interest Lawyers
  • Liz Davies, Iraq Occupation Focus
  • Marion Birch, Medact
  • Milan Rai, Justice Not Vengeance / Peace News
  • Sarah Parker, Coalition to Stop Deportations to Iraq

11.00-17.00, Saturday 19 July 2008
United Reformed Church
Buck Street, Camden (close to Camden Town tube)
London NW1 8NJ

Entry by donation (suggested amount: £7/£5 unwaged)

For more information download the event leaflet or visit the Justice for Iraq blog at: http://www.justiceforiraq.net/.

Organised by Iraq Occupation Focus
Contact: mailto:iraqfocus@riseup,net

Tuesday 25 March 2008

Attack on Basra

What is behind the today's attack on Basra by the Iraq government? Assuming that the OK has been given by the US government and with the British longing for resistance in the south to be finally crushed (by someone other that British troops) this is likely to be linked directly to the moves to privatise the oil fields of Iraq. Sami Ramadani provides some early analysis of what is going on in his piece on the Guardian website. BTW most of the comments seem to be analysis-free. What does seem to be the pattern now is for the occuppiers to use one bunch of thugs against another before those thugs are in turn attacked by another. The US/UK spin machines have yet to explain how this method will build either peace or democracy.

Monday 24 March 2008

Judging for Justice

Find out more about Tony Blair getting his collar felt...it may happen for real one day!

Sunday 2 March 2008

More Pictures of Hands Off Iraq Oil Protest

Thanks to Heather for sending in some more pictures from the London Hands Off Iraq Oil event. There are more pictures on the Hands Off Iraq Oil website.

Monday 25 February 2008

Pirates plundering Iraqi Oil

Hands Off Iraqi Oil ran a number of actions up and down Britain on Saturday 23rd Feb. The London action saw 100 pirate protesters marching through London round various of the lairs used by the pirate companies currently involved in the plundering of Iraqi Oil through production sharing agreements.

First off was a visit to Erinys International: a nasty bunch of mercenaries. Currently pitching to provide "security" to the oil companies i.e. using violence to steal the oil that belongs to the Iraqi people.

Next to the BP offices in St James's Square where the high command of this company plan their next move after polluting their way across the north American continent: the theft of Iraq's oil.

The National Portrait Gallery takes money from BP. This is a trade of cultural respectability in exchange for cash. Not exactly a first in the history of Art. The pirates preferred the artistic impulse behind the banner.

The International Tax and Investment Centre lurks behind an utterly anomymous doorway in Duncannon Street just opposite St Martins church. This bunch of nobodies co-ordinates government action to help corner the Iraqi oil industry to deliver it into the maws of the corporate pirates.

Finally on what must have been a starboard reach across the Thames to the Shell Building. Shell has been taking the lead to make sure that British oil corporations get their piece of loot from the oilfields of Iraq.

Monday 28 January 2008

What now for Iraq?

As Gordon Brown prepares to pull the troops out of Basra, Liz Davies warns that withdrawal is not enough

Liz Davies

Morning Star
Thursday 24 January, 2008

Half the population of Iraq is aged 16 or under. These children have lived their lives experiencing aggressive assaults on their country by the US and Britain.

First, economic sanctions and then military invasion and occupation. Their parents grew up during the Iran-Iraq war when the West funded Saddam Hussein's chemical weapons, which he used on the battlefield against Iran and against the Kurds, and lived through the aborted invasion of Iraq following Saddam's invasion of Kuwait. Saddam's dictatorship was the product of the US-backed Ba'athist coup in 1968.

If ever a country were entitled to reparations, Iraq is it.

Read full article