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.

Thursday 28 July 2011

New from Azzaman

Encroachments of ancient sites continues in Iraq

Azzaman reports (July 19th): Areas designated as archaeologically significant in Iraq are no longer immune from encroachments in a country where the role of law and order is diminishing.

More and more ancient mounds are being lost to builders and private entrepreneurs, said Abdulzahra al-Talaqani the department’s spokesman.

More than 42,000 Iraqi detainees await trial
Azzaman reports (July 18th): There were 42,223 detainees in Iraq at the end of June, a judicial source said.
He did not say how long does it take on average for an Iraqi detainee to stay in jail before trail.
Iraqi security forces have massive powers to detain suspects for long periods even in the absence of conclusive evidence.

More than 6 million Iraqis cannot read and write
Azzaman reports (July 21st): There are more than six million illiterate people in Iraq, most of them women, according to the parliamentary committee on education.

Iraq possess an army of illiterates of more than six million people, and the majority them are women,” said Moona al-Maamouri, member of the committee.

On the military front

Antiwar.com reports (July 20th): The latest indication yet that the Obama Administration’s much vaunted “end” to the war in Iraq last year was entirely illusory, reports are pouring in from southern Iraq’s Maysan Province that US warplanes launched a number of live ammunition attacks just north of Amara.
Iraqi security forces confirmed the attacks, and it appears that there was no coordination with the local authorities as to exactly what was being attacked or why. Though no casualties were reported, strikes just outside of a major city has the locals scared, and more than a little puzzled.

U.S. warplanes attack areas in Amara with live weapons

Aswat al-Iraq reports (July 20th): U.S. warplanes have attacked areas in southern Iraq’s city of Amara, the center of Missan Province, with live weapons, a Missan Province’s security source reported.

Sunday 24 July 2011

Compensation paid; liability not admitted; soldiers not charged; Iraqi teenager dead

Ministry of Defence pays £100,000 to family of drowned Iraqi teenager

The Guardian reports (July 21st): The Ministry of Defence has agreed to pay £100,000 compensation to the family of an Iraqi teenager who drowned near Basra after being detained by British troops. In an out-of-court settlement with his relatives' British lawyers, the MoD did not admit liability for the death of 18-year-old Saeed Shabram in May 2003.
His cousin, Menem Akaili, who claims he was forced into the Shatt al-Arab river by soldiers at the same time, will also receive an official payment.

Sunday 17 July 2011

Abuse in Iraq catches up with perpetrators

Feds Eye CIA Officer in Prisoner Death

AP report (July 13th): A CIA officer who oversaw the agency's interrogation program at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and pushed for approval to use increasingly harsh tactics has come under scrutiny in a federal war crimes investigation involving the death of a prisoner, witnesses told The Associated Press.
Steve Stormoen, who is now retired from the CIA, supervised an unofficial program in which the CIA imprisoned and interrogated men without entering their names in the Army's books.

Elite units under an office of Maliki's linked to secret jail 

LA Times reports (July 14th): Elite units controlled by Prime Minister Nouri Maliki's military office are ignoring members of parliament and the government's own directive by operating a clandestine jail inBaghdad's Green Zone where prisoners routinely face torture to extract confessions, Iraqi officials say.

Iraqi legislators and security officials have been joined by the International Committee of the Red Cross in expressing concern about the facility, called Camp Honor. 
Iraq's Justice Ministry ordered Camp Honor shut down in March after parliament's human rights committee toured the center and said it had uncovered evidence of torture. The Human Rights Ministry denied that it was still in operation. But several Iraqi officials familiar with the site said that anywhere from 60 to 120 people have been held there since it was ordered closed.

Children of War

UTNE reports (July 2011): According to studies and eyewitness accounts over the past few years, Fallujah—an Iraqi city that was practically obliterated by U.S. heavy artillery in two major offensives in 2004—is experiencing a staggering rate of birth defects. The situation echoes similar reports from Basra that began to circulate after the first Gulf War in 1991.
The litany of horrors is gut-wrenching: babies born with one eye in the middle of the face, missing limbs, too many limbs, brain damage, cardiac defects, and missing genitalia.
Upon touring a clinic in Fallujah in March 2010, the BBC’s John Simpson said, “We were given details of dozens upon dozens of cases of children with serious birth defects. . . . One photograph I saw showed a newborn baby with three heads.” Later, at the main U.S.-funded hospital in the city, a stream of parents arrived with children who had limb defects, spinal conditions, and other problems. Authorities in Fallujah reportedly warned women to hold off on having babies at all.
Ayman Qais, director of Fallujah’s general hospital, told the Guardian that he was seeing two affected babies a day, compared to four a month in 2003.
Obama urged to probe Bush torture allegations
AFP reports (July 13th): Human Rights Watch called on US President Barack Obama to order a criminal investigation into alleged detainee abuse by predecessor George W. Bush and senior figures in his administration.

Sunday 10 July 2011

Recent stories

Activists: Protesters beaten in Baghdad


CNN reports (July 8th): At least seven anti-government protesters were arrested and beaten by Iraqi security forces as hundreds of angry demonstrators gathered in al-Tahrir Square in central Baghdad, human rights activists told CNN.

Hundreds of protesters gathered in the square, carrying their banners like every Friday, Some were heard shouting "Friday after Friday until we get rid of al-Maliki" referring to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

Others protesters shouted, "We haven't seen oil, but only poverty" and "They're all thieves," referring to the government. Activists said the protest was peaceful. But after an hour al-Maliki thugs started to "sexually harass some of us," said Yannar Mohammed, an activist and founder of the Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq.
The protesters began to leave the square and move toward a minibus, but men in civilian clothing started beating a male activist, Mohammed said.

Deal to sell Iraqi land to Kuwaiti oil company - Parliament Sources

Aswat al-Iraq reports (july 8th): A "deal" is expected to sell 280 thousand donums of land in Seeba, Basra province, to a Kuwaiti company, a Parliamentary Oil and Gas Commission member disclosed today.

Udai Awad added that "we discovered a deal to sell Iraqi land, within an investment contract in  Seeba area with Kuwaiti Energy company".

Shell, Iraq to sign initial $12 bn gas deal


Market Watch reports (July 8th): Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Iraq have settled pending legal issues that have delayed a $12 billion gas deal for more than two years and an initial pact could be signed in the middle of next week, a senior Iraqi oil official said.

Iraq oil minister says no need for national oil co

Lebanon Daily Star reports (July 3rd): The creation of a new Iraqi National Oil Company to run the OPEC member's energy sector is not essential and might confuse the work of the oil ministry, Iraq's oil minister said.       

Iraq's cabinet approved a draft law setting up a new national oil company in 2009, but the legislation has languished amid political turmoil and a change of government in the war-battered nation.   

Friday 8 July 2011

Important legal ruling

Iraq abuse ruling by European court says UK failed human rights role

The Guardian reports (July 7th): Britain was an occupying power after the invasion of Iraq and failed to carry out effective investigations into the killing of civilians, the European court of human rights has ruled.
The decision by the Strasbourg court could open the Ministry of Defence to a deluge of claims and add to the pressure for further public inquiries into the behaviour of troops in and around Basra after the 2003 invasion.

Friday 1 July 2011

Justice denied

Most CIA interrogation cases won't be pursued

LA Times reports (June 30th): The Justice Department has decided not to file criminal charges in the vast majority of cases involving the CIA's former interrogation, detention and kidnapping program.

In a statement to CIA employees, Leon E. Panetta said that after an examination of more than 100 instances in which the agency allegedly had contact with terrorism detainees, Assistant U.S. Atty. John Durham decided that further investigation was warranted in just two cases. Each of those cases resulted in a death.
Panetta did not disclose specifics about those cases, but it has been widely reported that one involves Manadel Jamadi, who died in 2003 at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq after he was beaten while being questioned in a shower by a CIA interrogator.

US Supreme Court Refuses to Allow Abu Ghraib Torture Victims to Sue Military Contractors

Andy Worthington reports (June 28th): With what can only come across as cynical timing, the US Supreme Court the day after the UN International Day in Support of the Victims of Torture, declined without comment to take up a lawsuit filed on behalf of 250 Iraqis — formerly prisoners at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad, home of the most significant scandal in the Bush administration’s “War on Terror,” which surfaced in April 2004 with the publication of photos showing the torture and abuse of Iraqi prisoners in US custody at the prison. The prisoners were seeking to hold Titan Corporation, which provided Arabic translation services, and CACI International, which provided interrogators, accountable  for their role in the torture and abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib in 2003 and 2004.
Although a handful of serving US military personnel — eleven in total, referred to by President Bush as “a few bad apples” — were prosecuted for the abuse at Abu Ghraib, they were, in fact, scapegoated for implementing a policy that came from the highest levels of government.