MEP Metin Kazak: The EU should pay special attention to the deteriorating human rights situation of the Turkmens in Iraq

February 28, 2014 at 2:07 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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MEP Metin Kazak: The EU should pay special attention to the deteriorating human rights situation of the Turkmens in Iraq

Un grand merci à Monsieur Metin Kazak, le député qui a le plus oeuvré au sein du

parlement européen pour faire connaître la cause des Turkmènes irakiens.

La Représentation du Front Turkmène irakien auprès de l’Union européenne

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For the the original version in BULGARIAN, please see:
 
 MEP Metin Kazak mentioned the bloody incidents and explosions which took place recently in the cities of Kirkuk and Tuz Khurmatu, which killed a total of 20 and injured over 163 Turkmens.
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Translated by Bing: 
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Metin Kazak, ALDE Coordinator and Vice-Chairman of the Subcommittee on Human Rights made a statement on the situation in Iraq during the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg (24 to 27 February, 2014). The Bulgarian MEP noted that past 2013 will be remembered as “the bloodiest year” after the war on Iraq and the Iraqi people. He stressed that European liberals are extremely concerned about the deterioration of the security situation of the population, especially the Iraqi Turkmen.
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The MEP stressed that adopted by the EP on March 14, 2013 “Resolution on Iraq: the plight of minority groups, including Iraqi Turkmen” is seen as a positive step forward, but not a sufficient measure taken by the EU, given the current situation. He argued that cultural, religious and economic damage on the Turkmen population are highly visible and can not be ignored by the Union.
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This illustrates the existing open deep tensions between ethnic groups in Iraq, which increases the risk of civil war that will involve the Iraqi people in bloody clashes”.
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According to MEP Metin Kazak, the EU should pay special attention to the deteriorating human rights situation of the Turkmen community in Iraq. He said that with the signing of the Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation between the EU and Iraq in May 2012 for the first time establish contractual relations between the two countries and create a legal framework for relations covering political dialogue, trade relations, legal cooperation , human rights, development aid and others. Mr. Kazak pointed out that the purpose of the agreement is to significantly expand cooperation with Iraq on key foreign policy issues such as human rights, the rule of law, non-proliferation of weapons, the International Criminal Court, migration and others. Because the situation in the country is directly linked to overall stability in the Middle East region.
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Finally Mr Metin Kazak called on the European Commission and the European External Action Service to exert additional pressure on the Iraqi government to achieve a peaceful resolution on the situation of the Turkmen in Iraq to avoid irreversible consequences in the region.
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A MUST READ : The Curious Case of the Baroness of Winterbourne and Iraq

February 28, 2014 at 1:48 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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nicholson and tony blair

PHOTO: Baroness Emma Nicholson of Winterbourne and Tony Blair

FEBRUARY 26, 2014

 On the “Noble” Shift From Human Rights to Mega Contracts

The Curious Case of the Baroness of Winterbourne and Iraq

On the “Noble” Shift From Human Rights to Mega Contracts

by HAIFA ZANGANA

PM David Cameron has recently appointed Baroness Emma Nicholson of Winterbourne as his Trade Envoy to Iraq. The Baroness described Iraqi economy as “vibrant and booming “, urging the UK to make “the best of the enormous opportunities Iraq offers us”. The pre invasion high profile of Nicholson on Iraq was related to human rights, so what does this switch to being the Prime Minister’s trade envoy mean?  And is there a link between the old and new roles?

As to be expected, Nicholson made no mention of the massive human rights abuses in Iraq, documented by international bodies, or in its sectarian policy and bombardment of cities. No mention also, even in terms of regret or remediation, of the human cost , long passed hundreds of thousands,  caused by the US –UK invasion and occupation.  And on trade, no mention, even as hope for improvement, of the institutionalised corruption of the regime which made Iraq ranks 171st among 177 nations on the list of corruption index.

One might argue, why should she?  The Baroness, after all, is a politician cashing on behalf of her political party and government.  Well, this could have been acceptable have the politician we’re talking about is not Emma Nicholson who for many decades presented herself to the world as the mother Teresa of human rights, defending in particular, Iraqis’ human rights under Saddam’s rule.   Until 2003, Nicholson was known as one of the most outspoken British politicians against Saddam Hussain (even Tony Blair was not a competition) defending  relentlessly the Human Rights of the Sukan Al-ahwar (Marsh Arabs of Iraq)  and the Kurds in  Halabja.

Nicholson spared no action to defend Iraqis’ “human rights”, from calling in 1988 for the establishment of an International Criminal Tribunal to try Saddam and his key officials for genocide to establishing a charity named after an Iraqi boy who she adopted, from writing books and articles to speaking tours in UK and US. Nicholson was a fierce advocate of the war and occupation not for oil and business contracts but, we were told, to; “free the Iraqi people from terrible tyranny” and British people “should be proud of the important part that we played in freeing the Iraqi people from their decades-long misery.”

Who would argue with such noble mission? However, what followed in the aftermath of the invasion left many Iraqis flabbergasted.  Nicholson has shifted her role from an outspoken champion of human rights to an Executive Chairman of the Iraq Britain Business Council outspoken  on how to“ fight for lucrative contracts “ and  how to compete  for  mega defence contracts with a brutal sectarian corrupt regime while tongue-tied on the human rights of the same people she claimed to defend before the invasion. Is The Baroness’s deafening silence on the well documented crimes and human rights violations in the last ten years,  eight years of them under Nouri Al Malik’s regime related to her appointment as an Honorary Adviser to Nouri Al Maliki, in the field of Health?

Iraqi Journalist Ali Abdul Amir Ajam, a long opponent of Saddam and an admirer of Nicholson’s work, questioned in an article titled “what a low price for a baroness” her silence at a time when Iraqi doctors are  targeted or forced to leave the country. “Today, nothing worries the Baroness about Iraq, but the promotion of its leaders and their achievements in reconstruction, and the security and stability for the major oil companies. Today, the Baroness who used to be obsessed by Freedom for Iraq has nothing to do with the suffering of Iraqis and the violations of their basic human rights”, he wrote.

Over the last eight weeks, the siege and bombardment of Falluja and Ramadi , in Anbar province west of Iraq,  up to 300,000 Iraqis have been displaced. According to UNHCR the new IDPs are on top of Iraq’s population of more than 1.1 million displaced persons, “They are residing in schools, mosques and other public buildings and urgently need various humanitarian items. Pregnant women and children need medical care while all families are in need of drinking water, milk and other food aid, diapers, beds and cooking items.” a consignment of World Health Organization (WHO) medical supplies has reportedly been detained at an Iraqi Army checkpoint since 30 January.

The indiscriminate use of violence on civilians by the Iraqi regime’s forces under the pretext of fighting terrorism has reached unprecedented level. Fallujah hospital was bombarded. Patients and doctors have to be evacuated  Which brings back to memory the “shake and bake” US forces policy in 2004. Hundreds of civilians have been killed or wounded.

In Falluja and more than 1,000 people were killed and another 2,024 people were wounded in Iraq in January.

In a recent interview she was asked: “you know the PM well, this is a man many people say his policies have prompted this violence,  what do you say to him.   It is “the Sunni Shia violence stemming from Syria in the last year”, no mention of Al Maliki what so ever though assuring businessmen “that all big companies are doing wonderful work”.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been demonstrating in various  provinces facing intimidation, detention and targeting.

“Iraqi authorities are detaining thousands of Iraqi women illegally and subjecting many to torture and ill-treatment, including the threat of sexual abuse,” says HRW. Not a word from the Baroness, but her happy photos with Al Maiki speaks louder than words; the embodiment of double standards where Democracy and human rights instead of being applicable to all equally according to law, have become an open text subjected to a multi level “interpretations”. Impunity became the norm to be enjoyed by some governments and their allies no matter how brutal they are against their own people when acting by proxy. This lethal combination of double standards with the silence or impotence of international community in some cases, have legitimise the rise to extremism.

Haifa Zangana is an Iraqi novelist, artist and activist. Her recent books are “Dreaming of Baghdad” and “City of Widows: An Iraqi Woman’s Account of War and Resistance” and co authored “The Torturer in the Mirror” with Ramsey Clark and Thomas Ehrlich Reifer. She has also published three novels and four collections of short stories and many chapters in books on Iraq and the ME. As a painter and writer she participated in the Eighties in various European and American publications and group exhibitions, with one-woman shows in London and Iceland. She is also a contributor to European and Arabic publications such as The Guardian, Red Pepper, Al Ahram weekly and Al Quds (weekly comment). She contributes to academic conferences on women, gender, resistance and war. Haifa is co-founder of Tadhamun: Iraqi Women  Solidarity, founding member of the International Association of Contemporary Iraqi Studies (IACIS) and advisor for UNDP on “Towards the Rise of women in the Arab world”. Currently she is a consultant at ESCWA.

A Critical Look At Iraqi Nationalism and Sectarianism, An Interview With Author Harith Hasan

February 24, 2014 at 3:14 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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A Critical Look At Iraqi Nationalism and Sectarianism, An Interview With Author Harith Hasan

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Harith Hasan is a writer for Al-Monitor and the author of Imagining The Nation, Nationalism, Sectarianism and Socio-Political Conflict in Iraq. He is part of a new generation of Iraqi writers that are exploring the meaning of nationalism and sectarianism. In his book he made a historical analysis from the Ottoman times to the present of how Iraq as a country was formed by colonial powers, the ruling elite, and their interaction with the public. Rather than seeing nationalism and sectarianism as static ideas, he has argued that they are both concepts that have changed over time based upon the socio-political situation within Iraq. Here now is an interview with Harith Hasan. Hasan can be followed on Twitter @harith_hasan.
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1. People like to say that Iraq is a made up country created by European powers after World War I as if this is exceptional. In fact, most countries in the world experienced the same thing. This caused a dilemma for the British and the monarchy that it installed when it came to building this new state. What kind of nation building policies did the first generation of Iraqi elite follow and how was that shaped by British interests?
*harith 1
World War I led to the creation of new countries like Iraq in the Middle East by the European Powers (World-ology)
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No question that the post-colonial state in Iraq and the Middle East Region, especially the Levant was largely shaped by external decisions, more than indigenous processes.  However, all “nations” have elements of artificiality and their collective cultures are to different extents constructed through state-led integration and the “invention of traditions”.  I think that rather than distinguishing between artificial and “natural” nations, it is better to draw the line between successful and unsuccessful “nation-building” experiences, and certainly Iraq falls in the second category.
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The collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the distribution of the spheres of influence between Britain and France led to the creation of the modern states in Iraq, Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon within their current territories. The interest and policies of colonial powers, thus, were the most effective causes for the ‘invention’ of these states. However, the need to legitimize these new entities- in a time when the discourse of self-determination was progressing – required converting them into nations.
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This is how the ‘nation-building’ process was initiated to ‘invent’ cultural symbols and origins for the new states. Sometimes this process was paradoxical, for it sought to consolidate a power center controlled by an elite that was selected and backed by a foreign power, simultaneously with the invention of an indigenous origin for the new state in order to legitimize its existence.
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The colonial empowering of these elites aimed to assure that the new state would be functional within the scheme of interests of the colonial center. This meant that the power structure had to be shaped accordingly, by excluding those social forces that either resisted integration to the colonial sphere, or delegitimized the new entity. In Iraq, this has taken place through marginalizing those forces that led the 1920 revolt against the British occupation. These movements were heterogeneous socially and culturally, but their struggle seemed to have developed a sort of indigenous nationalism which has been defined against the colonial ‘other’. This process was interrupted by the colonial making of the Iraqi state; in fact, the latter, was originally founded to curb this indigenous nationalism. This laid the foundation for the conflict between the official Arab-nationalism, which was embraced by Sunni Arab elites that ruled Iraq in most of its modern history, and a vague territorial nationalism that tried to be inclusive for disenfranchised segments and marginalized identities.
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 The failure to ‘invent’ a national narrative which could make the ‘cultural’ sphere congruent with the ‘political’ entity, was a cause and a consequence for the governing elite’s failure to negotiate with indigenous social forces in order to create an inclusive sphere of legitimacy, accommodating the multiple cultural identities within the territorial state. Consequently, a chronic problem was produced: the state seemed to have been established ‘over’ rather than ‘from’ society. It was not representative, at least proportionally, of the social forces and interests, as much as it was an organizer for their oppression.
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2. Internally there were problems with nation building between the well off urban elite and the poor rural majority. What issues developed between these two groups as Iraq tried to modernize?
*harith 2
Modernization and capitalism led to a huge migration from the countryside to the cities where many lived in make shift houses like these seen in Baghdad in the 1950s (Magnum Pictures)
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The history of large segments of Iraqi society during the Twentieth century is largely the history of a post-tribal society. Modern Iraq as a national community did not exist before 1921. Its territory was inhabited by diverse communities, most of them were tribal. The tribe is a primordial community based on kinship solidarities and collectivist economic relations. There was no power hierarchy within the tribe, but customary leadership in which the tribal chieftain (Sheikh) had a moral authority.
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With the penetration of tribal structures by modernization and capitalist economy, they had to enter a long process of dissolution and breaking down. This process started almost one century before the foundation of Iraqi modern state, but its consequences are still shaping social relations and conflicts in Iraq. This was when the majority of Southern tribes converted to Shi’ism, giving this sectarian identity a numerical majority in the territory which would be called ‘the modern Iraq’. The next process of tribal dissolution was reinforced by two dynamics: the Ottoman reformations and the capitalist penetration.
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The two dynamics met at emphasizing the organization of agricultural properties through modern means that did not recognize the tribal collective ownership. This was when the Sheikhs took over the ‘tribal property’ and became landlords, while tribesmen were degraded from their egalitarian status into the status of paid workforce. Capitalism in Iraq led to the emergence of a type of feudalism, enhancing thereby the largest migration from countryside to the cities in the last centuries.
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The migration was intensified by the unjust relations between the landlords and the peasants, and the inefficient exploitation of lands which decreased their production. As Iraq entered the ‘Oil Age’ and the government accumulated most of its resources from oil exportation, agriculture was further neglected and the cities attracted more migration by rural families that were looking for better conditions of living and job opportunities. This process was largely random and neither the state nor the urban societies were capable of absorbing its consequences. As much as it led to further dissolution in the old tribal relations, it changed the nature of the city, creating large social spaces in which the distinction between tribal and urban cultures is difficult to be made. These large spaces represent what can be described as the post-tribal society, a society which is neither tribal (in the traditional sense) nor urban, but a mixture or, more correctly, a unique misrepresentation of the two. The post-tribal society is characterized by an intense cultural perplexity due to its transformational, mobile, uncertain, and changing nature. This is a context where ideologies like Islamism can thrive.
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HIGH-LEVEL BRUSSELS CONFERENCE EXPOSES HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSE IN IRAQ

February 21, 2014 at 1:40 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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iraq human rights confer brussels

 19th February 2014


HIGH-LEVEL BRUSSELS CONFERENCE EXPOSES HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSE IN IRAQ

A high-level conference involving some of the most prominent political and religious leaders in Iraq, was held in the European Parliament, Brussels, on Wednesday 19th February. Organised and chaired by Struan Stevenson, MEP, President of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iraq, the conference focused on human rights in Iraq and featured speeches from Sheik Dr Rafe Al Refaei – Grand Mufti of Iraq, Saleem Abdullah Al-Jabori – Chair of the HR Committee in the Council of Representatives, Haidar Mulla – Member of the Iraqi Council of Representatives, Minister Falah Mustafa Bakir – KRG Head of Department of Foreign Relations, Yonadam Kanna – Chair of the Labour and Social Affairs Committee in the Iraqi Council of Representatives, Kamel Zozo – Syriac Assyrian Chaldean Movement, Elisabetta Zamparutti – ‘Hands Off Cain’ NGO, Btrus Sliwa – Head of the KRG’s Independent Human Rights Board, Dr Abdul- Razzaq Rahim al- Shemmeri- Spokesman for the Herak Delegation from Al Anbar Governorate, Dr Sabah Al-Mukhtar – President of the Arab Lawyers Union, UK, Dr Mohammad Taha Hamdoon, Spokesman of the Popular Movement in Iraq, Dr Moneir Hashm Al-Aobyde, Spokesman for the Movement of Baghdad and many others. The eminent speakers were welcomed by Dr. Charles Tannock MEP, Foreign Affairs Spokesman for the ECR Group.

Many Iraqi guests had travelled to Brussels to participate in the conference, which follows the publication of a highly critical report on Iraq by the European Parliament’s Directorate-General for External Policies – entitled “Iraq’s deadly spiral towards a civil war”. A resolution condemning the on-going violence and abuse of human rights in Iraq is also under preparation in the European Parliament and will be debated in Strasbourg next Wednesday, 26th February. The draft resolution refers repeatedly to the damning report on the abuse of women in Iraq published recently by Human Rights Watch.

Speaking after the Conference, Struan Stevenson MEP said:

“Last November, I was in Iraq. I met with many leading politicians, religious leaders and with courageous men and women who had led popular uprisings and protests in Al Anbar and 6 provinces of Iraq and in many Iraqi cities. The message from all of them was identical. They told me that lawlessness, terrorism, corruption and the systematic abuse of human rights are each a daily feature of life in Iraq. They told me that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is rapidly becoming another Saddam Hussein and that modern Iraq is a dust bowl of violence and bloodshed. More than 9,500 people died last year in bomb attacks and assassinations in an increasingly ugly insurgency that threatens to take the country back to the civil war that erupted from 2006-2008. Over 1000 have died already this year.

“It was these same people, people from different ethnic backgrounds, from different faiths and creeds, but who share a desire to see freedom, democracy, justice and peace restored to their country, who urged me to organise today’s conference, so that they could come to the European Parliament and reveal the truth about Iraq to the West. I am deeply grateful to them and thank them for the expense, effort and courage they have expended to come here today.

“They told us in graphic detail how Maliki is using the Iraqi military in a genocidal campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Sunni population of Ramadi and Fallujah, aided and abetted by a generous supply of missiles, rockets, drones and other weaponry from the US, which he uses to slaughter his own people, on the pretext that they are terrorists. The US has even decided to sell and rent Maliki Apache helicopters which he will use to massacre men, women and children in Al Anbar. It is an outrage.

“I am also appalled at the treatment of the 3000 refugees in Camp Liberty who are incarcerated in prison-like conditions and where the Iraqis are even restricting supplies of food and preventing emptying of sewage tanks, causing the camp to flood with polluted sewerage water and risking health. These defenceless people have been repeatedly attacked by Maliki’s forces, including the horrific massacre of 52 of their colleagues in Camp Ashraf last September, when 7 hostages were seized, 6 of whom are women and nothing has been heard from them since. The limp-wristed response from the west has simply encouraged further atrocities of this kind.

“It is time the West woke up to the tragedy of Iraq. It was the US and the UK – George W. Bush and Tony Blair – who invaded Iraq and overthrew Saddam, declaring: “Mission accomplished”. They boasted that they had left behind “a functioning democracy”, when in fact they left behind a basket case. It was the US who colluded with Iran to return Maliki to power after the last election, even although he had lost that election by 2 seats. Now, in breach of the Erbil Agreement, Maliki has retained control over the Defence, Intelligence and Interior Ministries in his own office and he has even created new, independent security 6 intelligence organisation that is answerable only to him, giving him despotic powers.

“There is still time for the West to reassert its authority and make amends for its disastrous intervention in Iraq. The UN, US and EU must tell Maliki that his whirlwind of bloodshed, violence, corruption and abuse will no longer be tolerated. Unless there are free and fair elections on 30th April that can restore a semblance of democracy to Iraq and provide the beleaguered people of that country with a non-sectarian, secular government, committed to the restoration of the rule of law and respect for human rights, then the economic umbilical cord to the West must be severed.”

In his address to the conference Dr Rafe Al Refaei – the Grand Mufti of Iraq, said: “Maliki is following a heinous policy of indiscriminate bombings of innocent people. The people of Al-Anbar did not start the war. We did everything to reach a peaceful settlement. Maliki forces attacked the peaceful rallies. They have bombarded the houses of innocent people. My own brother was killed last week in the bombardment and was not from al Qaeda or from Daesh. When Maliki launched his so-called war against terrorists in the desert in Anbar province not a single combatant of al Qaeda was killed. The only people killed were innocent shepherds. What is happening in Fallujah is genocide. 1000 civilians have been injured. Events in Iraq have taken a very dangerous turn. It could lead to a civil war in which all Iraqi people will lose. The European Parliament should deal with this matter. We’ve been handed on a golden platter to the Iranian govt.”

Saleem Abdullah Al-Jabori – Chair of the HR Committee in the Council of Representatives said: “We called on the international community to come to our rescue, but we were faced with just talk and no action. Now Iraqi women’s tears have dried up. We’re sick of unfulfilled promises. But all of this has not put an end to bloodshed in Iraq. All of the violations are serious, all are important. They are issues of international governance and international law. We Iraqis are the ones who suffer. Investigators use torture to obtain confessions. We need to adopt legislation that will put a stop to violations of prisoners. A person can be detained for years on false accusations. But HR violations will not lead to the eradication of terrorism. Our committee has managed to get many women released from prison. Iraq is rich in diversity, but the killing still goes on. There are around 10 car bombs every day. The Iraqi media should be given more freedom to report the truth. Tens of thousands of civilians have been displaced in al Anbar Province. A generation has lost all of its rights.”

Haidar Mulla – Member of the Iraqi Council of Representatives said: “Mr Stevenson has increased the influence of the EU in Iraq and in particular, he has increased the importance of HR. We had hoped that Iraq would become a democracy after the fall of the previous regime. But our HR record is not something we should be proud of. Our task is difficult and complex. We have to pave the way for a culture that respects HR. Until now GoI did not implement article 19 on HR. This is not a gift to the people. It is their right. Currently there is a ratio of one military personnel to 27 civilians and even so we cannot live peacefully. We have a political crisis and we have to deal with it politically.”

Btrus Sliwa – Head of the Independent KRG Human Rights Board said: “The Ministry of HR was abolished in 2009 because it was being politically influenced. The government set up an independent board not linked to any political body. There is a high rate of domestic violence against women in parts of Kurdistan which we have legislated to stop. There are also now an estimated 200,000 IDPs in Kurdistan as well as over 200,000 refugees from Syria.”

Dr Abdul-Razzaq Rahim Al Shemmeri – speaker for the Herak Delegation from the al-Anbar Governorate said: “This is my first time in the EU and I have come to bring the true voice of Anbar to the European Parliament. Why do you turn a blind eye to the Shia militias who slaughter our people? The Sunni movement entered the conflict through the demonstrations and sit-ins which started in 2012. But it was clear from the start that there was no political will to deal with the demonstrators in a peaceful way. Maliki’s army invaded the places where the demonstrators were gathering. The crimes being committed there are similar to Bosnia, Herzegovina. Anti-terrorist forces were sent by the GoI in 2013 to arrest leaders of the so-called terrorist movement in Anbar under the pretext of fighting terrorism. Maliki resorted to threatening us, stating it was a rebellion under influence of foreign forces. He told his forces to finish us off before we finished him off!”

Dr Sabah al-Mukhtar – UN Permanent Representative, Arab lawyers Union, said: “Sending foreign troops to spread democracy turns the concept upside down. HR abuses occur in every country, but Iraq has a unique situation. Maliki abuses all of the human rights of all of the people, all of the time. Iraq is also bottom of the transparency international list of corrupt states, behind even Somalia and Sudan. Why did the Americans liberate Iraq and then hand it over to the mullahs in Iran?

Minister Falah Mustafa Bakir – KRG Head of Department of Foreign Relations, said: “HR is not a privilege. It is a basic right. We care about HR because as Kurds we have a long experience of suffering. Our democracy is in its infancy. No-one can claim they are perfect. Respect for HR is what we care about in Kurdistan. We have a culture of tolerance and peaceful coexistence. This has led to prosperity for the people and an economic boom. Diversity is the source of our strength. We have also provided shelter for IDPs and refugees. The KRG also focused on women and children to address issues that empower and protect them. Women must be part of society and properly protected in all walks of life. Unlike the federal government in Baghdad, we have always welcomed UN HR reports. As Kurds we will not accept the status of 2nd class citizens. We’d like to see all of Iraq become like Kurdistan.”

Kamel Zozo, representing the Syriac Assyrian Chaldean Movement said: “Iraq is a country for all of us. As Christians we’ve been there since the creation of Iraq. Now we are filled with bitterness and sadness when we see what has happened to the ethnic minorities. The system of government in Iraq is now a despotic one. Christians are doomed to extinction. This is the land of our fathers and forefathers and yet we are being driven from it. We must enact necessary laws to give us protection. Plans to change the demography of Nineveh and other regions are directly targeting the Christian community. We are being pushed into an unknown future. Can I request that EP pays attention to the minorities in Iraq.”

Elisabetta Zamparutti – Italian politician in the Radical Movement and Treasurer of “Hands off Cain” NGO, said: “Executions began again after a suspension in August 2005. Over 600 people have been executed since then, 117 last year alone. Iraq is now 3rd behind China and Iran for the number of executions it carries out. There are wooden gallows working overtime in the old intelligence HQ building in Baghdad, where Saddam was hanged. No records of these executions are kept. The justice system in Iraq is broken. Those executed are not represented properly. Evidence taken from secret informants cannot be challenged in court. We need to reflect on the situation in Iraq today.”

A Critical Look At Iraqi Nationalism and Sectarianism, An Interview With Author Harith Hasan

February 18, 2014 at 4:36 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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A Critical Look At Iraqi Nationalism and Sectarianism, An Interview With Author Harith Hasan

*
Harith Hasan is a writer for Al-Monitor and the author of Imagining The Nation, Nationalism, Sectarianism and Socio-Political Conflict in Iraq. He is part of a new generation of Iraqi writers that are exploring the meaning of nationalism and sectarianism. In his book he made a historical analysis from the Ottoman times to the present of how Iraq as a country was formed by colonial powers, the ruling elite, and their interaction with the public. Rather than seeing nationalism and sectarianism as static ideas, he has argued that they are both concepts that have changed over time based upon the socio-political situation within Iraq. Here now is an interview with Harith Hasan. Hasan can be followed on Twitter @harith_hasan.
*
1. People like to say that Iraq is a made up country created by European powers after World War I as if this is exceptional. In fact, most countries in the world experienced the same thing. This caused a dilemma for the British and the monarchy that it installed when it came to building this new state. What kind of nation building policies did the first generation of Iraqi elite follow and how was that shaped by British interests?
*
post_war_iraq
World War I led to the creation of new countries like Iraq in the Middle East by the European Powers (World-ology)
*
No question that the post-colonial state in Iraq and the Middle East Region, especially the Levant was largely shaped by external decisions, more than indigenous processes.  However, all “nations” have elements of artificiality and their collective cultures are to different extents constructed through state-led integration and the “invention of traditions”.  I think that rather than distinguishing between artificial and “natural” nations, it is better to draw the line between successful and unsuccessful “nation-building” experiences, and certainly Iraq falls in the second category.
*
The collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the distribution of the spheres of influence between Britain and France led to the creation of the modern states in Iraq, Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon within their current territories. The interest and policies of colonial powers, thus, were the most effective causes for the ‘invention’ of these states. However, the need to legitimize these new entities- in a time when the discourse of self-determination was progressing – required converting them into nations.

More hardship, displacement as fighting continues in Iraq’s Anbar province – UN

February 16, 2014 at 10:06 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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United Nations News Centre

More hardship, displacement as fighting continues in Iraq’s Anbar province – UN

 UNHCR spokesperson Melissa Fleming.

11 February 2014 – The United Nations said today that it is receiving more reports of civilian casualties and further displacement within Iraq as the conflict in Anbar province continues.

Over the last six weeks up to 300,000 Iraqis – some 50,000 families – have been displaced due to insecurity around Fallujah and Ramadi in the province, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported.

The Iraqi Government estimates that it will initially need $35 million to address humanitarian needs caused by the Anbar crisis, which began at the end of 2013, including providing food, bedding and other supplies.

UNHCR field staff report that displaced Iraqis are residing in schools, mosques and other public buildings and urgently need various humanitarian items. Pregnant women and children need medical care while all families are in need of drinking water, milk and other food aid, diapers, beds and cooking items.

“Most of the displaced have fled to outlying communities in Anbar province to escape the fighting while 60,000 persons have fled to more distant provinces,” UNHCR spokesperson Melissa Flemingtold reporters in Geneva.

In a relief operation coordinated by the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) to support the Government’s response, UNHCR has distributed more than 2,300 kits of core relief items and 175 tents in various locations across the country.

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has so far distributed more than 1,250 hygiene kits and various water/sanitation supplies and plans to send more in the coming days, while UN’s partner aid organizations are also providing critically needed relief items.

“Access and roadblocks remain a challenge,” Ms. Fleming said, noting that a consignment of World Health Organization (WHO) medical supplies has reportedly been detained at an Iraqi Army checkpoint since 30 January. “Many bridges leading into the Anbar region have been destroyed and roads are blocked, complicating deliveries to communities hosting IDPs [internally displaced persons],” she said.

UNHCR added that the 300,000 new IDPs are on top of Iraq’s population of more than 1.1 million displaced persons, who have still not returned to communities wracked by violence mainly during the 2006-2008 upheaval.

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=47117&Cr=iraq&Cr1=#.UvxRX_ldVNu

ITF EU representative attended the Conference “The State of Freedom of Religion or Belief in the World” at the EU Parliament

February 15, 2014 at 2:14 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment

ITF EU representative attended the Conference “The State of Freedom of Religion or Belief in the World” at the EU Parliament

ITF EU representative Dr Hassan Aydinli and the Director of Human Rights Without Frontiers (HRWF) Mr. Willy Fautré.

ITF EU Representative and Mr. Jean-Bernard Bolvin, Policy Officer, Human Rights Policy Instruments and Bilateral Cooperation European External Action Service (EEAS).
 
At a conference held in Brussels on February, 12 the European Parliament Working Group on Freedom of Religion or Belief (EPWG), co-chaired by MEPs Peter van Dalen (ECR) and Dennis de Jong (GUE/NGL), presented its first annual report on freedom of religion in the world. The report takes stock of developments regarding religious freedom and concludes that this human right is increasingly violated, around the globe. The report proposes to give the promotion of religious freedom a more prominent place in EU foreign policy. It furthermore makes recommendations for EU action in case of fifteen countries where the situation is particularly dire.Namely: China, Egypt, Eritrea, India, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Libya, Mali, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, and Uzbekistan.The report was presented at a conference jointly organised with the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, who also presented their annual report. UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Dr. Heiner Bielefeldt, gave the keynote speech.

The conference welcomed the adoption of EU Guidelines on the promotion and protection of freedom of religion or belief, by the EU Member States last year. Participants agreed that this was a major step, however, the process of ensuring a thorough implementation has only just begun. Also, complementing measures were needed.

MEP Peter van Dalen said:

“Today is a sad day as right now many millions of people are bullied, discriminated, persecuted and even killed for their faith. I hope that our work may contribute towards improving this situation.”

“We made several recommendations on specific countries. On Egypt for example, we would like the EU to unfreeze the aid pledged, but tie it to human rights conditions; Coptic Christians must be able to freely and safely practise their faith. On Pakistan, we demand that hate speech be scrapped from school books, in particular where they are subsidized by the EU! On India, we’d like to see the states who have introduced anti-conversion legislation, to repeal those provisions.”

MEP Dennis de Jong said:

“I am grateful for the co-operation we developed with the EEAS on the EU Guidelines. However, we now need to follow this up through an informal dialogue on the toolkit which will serve as an instrument for embassies and EU delegations to implement the Guidelines.”

“Similarly, we need to further develop our dialogue with the EEAS also on the countries of concern: we identified many such countries and we now have to focus on the instruments the EU and the Member States have to help to change the situation in these countries.”

Dr. Heiner Bielefeldt said:

“I see an enormous practical potential in the EU Guidelines, in harnessing the existing capacities of the EU and its Member States to make Freedom of Religion or Belief a reality. I value the Working Group’s strategic role in promoting the Guidelines and their efficient implementation. The European Parliament would be well advised to upgrade the working group to an intergroup.”

Recommendations for Iraq:

After relative calm for some years, Iraq is experiencing a new peak of violence along sectarian lines. Although people from every ethnic or religious background are bein made victim, smaller religious minority groups are particularly vulnerable. Despite this volatility the EU and IRAQ have signed a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement. The EU must now make sure that the Human Rights provisions in this Agreement don’t become a dead letter.

Iraqis demonstrate in front of the EU Parliament to denounce terrorism, sectarianism and corruption

February 15, 2014 at 2:06 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Iraqis from Belgium and the Netherlands demonstrate in front of the EU Parliament to denounce terrorism, sectarianism and corruption in  Iraq

Brussels, 14th February 2014 –

Despite the heavy rain and strong wind, Iraqis from Belgium and the Netherlands demonstrated today in front of the European Parliament

to denounce:-

. the targeting of the Iraqi people by foreign supported terrorist gangs inside Iraq
. corruption
. sectarianism

U.S. Continues War by Proxy: Playing the Al-Qaeda Card to the Last Iraqi, by Nicola Nasser

February 13, 2014 at 5:02 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Iraq is now “on the edge of the abyss,” director of Middle East Studies at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), professor Gareth Stansfield, wrote on this February 3. This situation is “being laid at the door of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki,” who “is now portrayed as a divisive figure,” he said.

In their report titled “Iraq in Crisis” and published by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) on last January 24, Anthony H. Cordesman and Sam Khazai said that the “cause of Iraq’s current violence” is “its failed politics and system of governance,” adding that the Iraqi “election in 2010 divided the nation rather than create any form of stable democracy.”

On the background of the current status quo, Iraq’s next round of elections, scheduled for next April 30, is expected to fare worse. Writing in Al-Ahram Weekly last August 14, Salah Nasrawi said that more than 10 years after the U.S. invasion, “the much-trumpeted Iraqi democracy is a mirage.” He was vindicated by none other than the Iraqi Speaker of the parliament Osama Al Nujaifi who was quoted by the Gulf News on last January 25 as saying during his latest visit to U.S.: “What we have now is a facade of a democracy — superficial — but on the inside it’s total chaos.”

U.S. Continues War by Proxy: Playing the Al-Qaeda Card to the Last Iraqi

By Nicola Nasser

Global Research, February 12, 2014

Url of this article:
http://www.globalresearch.ca/u-s-continues-war-by-proxy-playing-the-al-qaeda-card-to-the-last-iraqi/5368500

International, regional and internal players vying for interests, wealth, power or influence are all beneficiaries of the “al-Qaeda threat” in Iraq and in spite of their deadly and bloody competitions they agree only on two denominators, namely that the presence of the U.S.-installed and Iran–supported sectarian government in Baghdad and its sectarian al-Qaeda antithesis are the necessary casus belli for their proxy wars, which are tearing apart the social fabric of the Iraqi society, disintegrating the national unity of Iraq and bleeding its population to the last Iraqi.

The Iraqi people seem a passive player, paying in their blood for all this Machiavellian dirty politics. The war which the U.S. unleashed by its invasion of Iraq in 2003 undoubtedly continues and the bleeding of the Iraqi people continues as well.

According to the UN Assistance Mission to Iraq , 34452 Iraqis were killed since 2008 and more than ten thousand were killed in 2013 during which suicide bombings more than tripled according to the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Brett McGurk’s recent testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. The AFP reported that more than one thousand Iraqis were killed in last January. The UN refugee agency UNHCR, citing Iraqi government figures, says that more than 140,000 Iraqis have already been displaced from Iraq ’s western province of Anbar .

Both the United States and Russia are now supplying Iraq with multi–billion arms sales to empower the sectarian government in Baghdad to defeat the sectarian “al-Qaeda threat.” They see a casus belli in al–Qaeda to regain a lost ground in Iraq, the first to rebalance its influence against Iran in a country where it had paid a heavy price in human souls and taxpayer money only for Iran to reap the exploits of its invasion of 2003 while the second could not close an opened Iraqi window of opportunity to re-enter the country as an exporter of arms who used to be the major supplier of weaponry to the Iraqi military before the U.S. invasion.

Regionally, Iraq’s ambassador to Iran Muhammad Majid al-Sheikh announced earlier this month that Baghdad has signed an agreement with Tehran “to purchase weapons and military equipment;” Iraqi Defense Minister Saadoun al-Dulaimi signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen defense and security agreements with Iran last September.

Meanwhile Syria , which is totally preoccupied with fighting a three –year old wide spread terrorist insurgency within its borders, could not but coordinate defense with the Iraq military against the common enemy of the “al-Qaeda threat” in both countries.

Counterbalancing politically and militarily, Turkey and the GCC countries led by Qatar and Saudi Arabia, in their anti-Iran proxy wars in Iraq and Syria, are pouring billions of petrodollars to empower a sectarian counterbalance by money, arms and political support, which end up empowering al–Qaeda indirectly or its sectarian allies directly, thus perpetuating the war and fueling the sectarian strife in Iraq, as a part of an unabated effort to contain Iran’s expanding regional sphere of influence.

Continue Reading U.S. Continues War by Proxy: Playing the Al-Qaeda Card to the Last Iraqi, by Nicola Nasser…

AL-AMIRIYA: Bombing a civilian shelter is a crime against humanity

February 13, 2014 at 2:02 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Al-Amiriya Shelter

Abri d’Al- Amiriya

Photos taken during my first visit to the shelter on 1st March 1992

Photos prises lors de ma première visite de l’abri le 1er mars 1992

BOMBING A CIVILIAN SHELTER IS

A CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY

BOMBARDER UN ABRI CIVIL

EST UN CRIME CONTRE L’HUMANITE

During the night of 13-14 February 1991 the U.S. sent 2 laser guided missiles to destroy the Al-Amiriya shelter in Baghdad, killing hundreds of women and children (488) who had sought refuge there during the U.S. bombardments on Baghdad’s residential areas.

When I visited Al-Amiriya one year after the U.S. attack, all the houses around the shelter still had black banners with the names of relatives who had died inside the shelter during that terrible night.

Pendant la nuit du 13-14 février 1991, les Etats Unis ont envoyé 2 missiles sur l’abri civil d’Al- Amiriya à Bagdad, tuant des centaines de civils (488),  la majorité d’entre eux étaient des femmes et des enfants qui y avaient cherché refuge pendant les bombardements américains incessants sur les quartiers résidentiels de Bagdad.

See VIDEO : 1991, USA Crime in Iraq جريمة أمريكية في العراق

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iaYkj0omcMA

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