For Iraqi women, America’s promise of democracy is anything but liberation

February 27, 2013 at 11:16 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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For Iraqi women, America’s promise of democracy is anything but liberation

Iraq’s jailers learned their abuses from the allied occupiers. And under today’s sectarian regime, women are under assault

An Iraqi woman walks past a British soldier and military vehicle with a poster of a dollar bill with the Arabic writing: You can get some money, in exchange for some information

An Iraqi woman, in 2008, walks past a British soldier and military
vehicle with a poster of a dollar bill inscribed, in Arabic: ‘You can
get some money, in exchange for some information.
‘ Photograph: Essam al-Sudani/AFP/Getty Images

A decade on from the US-led invasion of Iraq, the destruction caused by foreign

occupation and the subsequent regime has had a massive impact on Iraqis’ daily

life – the most disturbing example of which is violence against women. At the

same time, the sectarian regime’s policy on religious garb is forcing women to

retire their hard-earned rights across the spectrum: employment, freedom of

movement, civil marriage, welfare benefits, and the right to education and

health services.

Instead, they are seeking survival and protection for themselves and their

families. But for many, the violence they face comes from the very institution

that should guarantee their safety: the government. Iraqi regime officials

often echo the same denials of the US-UK occupation authorities, saying that

there are few or no women detainees. An increasing number of international

and Iraqi human rights organizations reports otherwise.

The plight of women detainees was the starting point for the mass protests

that have spread through many Iraqi provinces since 25 December 2012.

Their treatment by the security forces has been a bleeding wound – and

one shrouded in secrecy, especially since 2003. Women have been

routinely detained as hostages – a tactic to force their male loved ones to

surrender to security forces, or confess to crimes ascribed to them.

Banners and placards carried by hundreds of thousands of protesters

portray images of women behind bars pleading for justice.

According to Mohamed al-Dainy, an Iraqi MP, there was

1,053 cases of documented rape (pdf) cases by the occupying troops

and Iraqi forces between 2003 and 2007. Lawyers acting on behalf

of former detainees say that UK detention practices between 2003

and 2008 included unlawful killings, beatings, hooding, sleep

deprivation, forced nudity and sexual humiliation, sometimes

involving women and children. The abuses were endemic, allege

the detainees’ lawyers, arising from the

“systems, management culture and training” of the British military.

These same occupation forces trained Iraqi forces. Abuses often

occurred under the supervision of US commanders, who were

unwilling to intervene, as the Washington Post reported:

“Of all the bloodshed in Iraq, none may be more disturbing than

the campaign of torture and murder being conducted by

US-trained government police forces.”

Continue Reading For Iraqi women, America’s promise of democracy is anything but liberation…

IRAQ – THE FORGOTTEN OCCUPATION from occupation to neo-colonial rule?-

January 15, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Guest Speaker


Iraqi author, journalist & activist

Iraq; from occupation to neo-colonial rule?

There has now been 20 years of war, in its many phases, on the people of Iraq. The reasons given to the British people for the war in 2003 were unfounded. No weapons of mass destruction were found and Blair either knew or should have known this before invading. Blair is being recalled to the Chilcot Inquiry on Friday 21st January 9.30am to explain himself. Stop the War is organising protests, street theatre and media briefings.

The war on Iraq continues not just through the actions of US occupation forces and presence of foreign mercenaries, but also through a number of punitive measures that are used against Iraq in order to secure compliance with US wishes.

Is the occupation now moving to neo-colonial rule?

Norwich Central Baptist Church,

Duke Street, Norwich NR3 3AP,

Wednesday 9th February, 7pm

Public Meeting All welcome


· First Gulf War 1991

· Sanctions 1990-2003

· Invasion and Occupation 2003

Still ongoing· Over a million Iraqis killed, 4 million displaced of which 2 million exiled, millions wounded.

· Thousands of U.S. led soldiers killed and maimed.


More information from


Frank 01493 664499






Iraq 7 years later, the Legacy of Invasion

April 25, 2010 at 8:41 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Iraq 7 years later,

the Legacy of Invasion

Seven years after the Anglo-American invasion

of Iraq, New Internationalist co-editor Hadani

Ditmars returned to a land she last visited in

2003, when she went to research her book

Dancing in the No-Fly Zone.

With more than a million people dead in

the wake of post-invasion violence, an

infrastructure in ruins despite $53 billion

dollars in ‘aid’, and a corrupt government

whose human rights abuses echo the terror of

the Saddam years, the prognosis is bleak.

But there are signs of life amidst the

devastation. The national theatre has reopened,

women continue to defy oppressive

fundamentalism, and young people dream

of a better future, where a renewed sense of

national identity trumps sectarian divisions.

As Iraq’s fortunes hang in a delicate, dangerous

balance, join the New Internationalist and special guests – writer

Haifa Zangana, and playwright Hassan

Abdulrazzak – for the launch of our May issue, as well as a panel

discussion on Iraq.

At the Hellenic Centre

16-18 Paddington Street, Marylebone, London W1U 5AS

Tel: 020 7487 5060

Thursday 29 April, 7 pm, Free Admission

For media or other enquiries phone 07892486507

Haifa Zangana: “It was excruciating watching Tony Blair’s testimony at the Iraq inquiry”

January 30, 2010 at 12:19 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Haifa Zangana

 Novelist and former prisoner of Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi regime

It was excruciating watching Tony Blair’s testimony at the Iraq inquiry. Blair was the same smooth talker as he was throughout his career, repeating his “absolutely clear” visions, how options are quite simple, and “when you’re right, it is the right thing to do”. He kept to his usual script, including reading from his speeches and preaching at length on why he feels stronger now about WMD and managed to manoeuvre the committee on to “the danger of Iran”, though never mentioning Israel’s arsenal. He was so self-righteous, I got the impression that he was about to stand up holding the bible ranting “God will judge me on the Iraq war”!

But how often do war criminals admit their crimes? He was in a warm, well-lit hall, conversing with gentle folk in an academic conversation that could have lasted forever. Undergraduates would have asked more probing questions.

Sabiha Khudur Talib, a 62-year-old grandmother from Basra, was led away from her house in 2006 by British soldiers, according to her son. Her tortured body was found dumped on a roadside in a British body bag. The Royal Military Police, we are told, is investigating. Should not Blair be investigated too? Contrast Blair’s questioning with the questioning of Iraqis initiated by Blair and Bush.

Abu Ghraib was just the start for the terror campaign unleashed by the “liberators”. The legacy is still there, by mercenaries and US-UK trained Iraqi guards: midnight raids, people led into darkness in their underwear with hands shackled and sacks on their heads, to be tortured about allegations that can be later dubbed “mistakes”. Last month alone nearly two thousands Iraqis were arrested, accused of terrorism.

Blair’s polished performance only confirms to Iraqis, Arabs and Muslims what they experience on the ground: racist, colonial foreign policy.

This inquiry can only be meaningful if it leads to the re-establishment of justice and international law. Without that we can only imagine what the growing orphans will do to Iraq and the world in a few years. A humanitarian worker, quoted in the latest Red Cross report, said: “Once I was called to an explosion site. There I saw a four-year-old boy sitting beside his mother’s body, decapitated by the explosion. He was talking to her, asking her what had happened.” He will be asking the living too. Current UN estimates are of 5 million Iraqi orphans, holding the UK and the US responsible. It is up to the British people who had twice democratically elected Blair and co to make amends to the victims, to hold their government responsible for the damage to Iraq and to the world.

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