APPEAL -To everyone in the UK who is concerned with the Human Rights situation in Iraq

December 13, 2010 at 11:37 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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REPOSTED

Human Rights Situation of Iraqi Turkmen

 To everyone in the UK who is concerned with the Human Rights situation in Iraq:

Please contact your MP and ask him/her to sign the Early Day Motion EDM968 – Human Rights Situation of Iraqi Turkmen

 See:

http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMDetails.aspx?EDMID=41957&SESSION=905

80 signatures are needed.

 21 MPs have already signed 

EDM 968  
 
HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION OF IRAQI TURKMEN 08.11.2010
 
Hancock, Mike   21 signatures
  Blenkinsop, Tom   Bottomley, Peter   Clarke, Tom
  Connarty, Michael   Durkan, Mark   Hemming, John
  Hopkins, Kelvin   Leech, John   McDonnell, Alasdair
  McDonnell, John   Munt, Tessa   Ritchie, Margaret
  Rogerson, Dan   Russell, Bob   Shannon, Jim
  Sharma, Virendra   Singh, Marsha   Williams, Mark
  Williams, Roger   Williams, Stephen
 
That this House is concerned about the human rights situation of the Iraqi Turkmen, the third largest ethnic group in Iraq, who mainly live in the northern provinces, such as Kirkuk; condemns the ethnic cleansing and assimilation policy of Iraqi Turkmen by both Saddam Hussein’s government until 2003 andthe Kurds since 2003, who claim the Iraqi Turkmen lands which are rich with oil, gas sulphur, uranium and phosphorus; notes that the census in Iraq delayed for the third time since 2007 is now due to be held on 5 December 2010; worries that the inclusion of the questions on ethnicity and mother tongue in the census will divide Iraqi people instead of uniting them and might create new outbreaks of violence in this country; further condemns the treatment of the Iraqi Turkmen as the lower class in Iraq in comparison with the Arabs and Kurds; believes all ethnicities in Iraq should possess equal rights; welcomes the work of the Iraqi Turkmen Front to promote the human rights of Iraqi Turkmen such as the right to participate in the forming of the new government and the right to have justice, equality, fairness and an end to the discrimination and violence; and calls on the Prime Minister and the Government to raise the issue of Iraqi Turkmens’ human rights with the government of Iraq.
 

Beyond the WikiLeaks Files: Dismantling the Iraqi State

November 7, 2010 at 6:33 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Beyond the WikiLeaks Files: Dismantling the Iraqi State

Friday 05 November 2010

by: Dirk Adriaensens, t r u t h o u t | Op-Ed

The United Nation’s Human Rights Council in Geneva reviews the human rights record of the United States on November 5, 2010, on the occasion of the Ninth Session of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), November 1 to 12, 2010. The following is an edited version of the presentation given by Dirk Adriaensens in Geneva on November 3.

Just days after the devastating attacks of 9/11, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz declared that a major focus of US foreign policy would be “ending states that sponsor terrorism.” Iraq was labeled a “terrorist state” targeted for termination. President Bush went on to declare Iraq the major front of the global war on terror. US forces invaded the country illegally with the express aim of dismantling the Iraqi state. After World War II, the social sciences focused on state-building and development models. Little has been written about state destruction and de-development. We can now, after seven years of war and occupation, state for certain that state ending was a deliberate policy objective.

The consequences in human and cultural terms of the destruction of the Iraqi state have been enormous: notably the death of over 1.3 million civilians; the degradation in social infrastructure, including electricity, potable water and sewage systems; over eight million Iraqis are in need of humanitarian assistance; abject poverty: the UN Human rights report for the first quarter of 2007 found that 54 percent of Iraqis were living on less than $1 a day; the displacement of minimum 2.5 million refugees and 2,764,000 internally displaced people as to end 2009. One in six Iraqis is displaced. Ethnic and religious minorities are on the verge of extinction. UN-HABITAT, an agency of the United Nations, published a 218-page report entitled “State of the World’s Cities, 2010-2011.” Prior to the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, the percentage of the urban population living in slums in Iraq hovered just below 20 percent. Today, that percentage has risen to 53 percent: 11 million of the 19 million total urban dwellers.

Destroying Iraqi Education

The UNESCO report “Education Under Attack 2010 – Iraq,” dated 10 February, 2010, concludes: “Although overall security in Iraq had improved, the situation faced by schools, students, teachers and academics remained dangerous.” The director of the United Nations University International Leadership Institute published a report on 27 April, 2005, detailing that since the start of the war in 2003, some 84 percent of Iraq’s higher education institutions have been burnt, looted or destroyed. Ongoing violence has destroyed school buildings and around a quarter of all Iraq’s primary schools need major rehabilitation. Since March 2003, more than 700 primary schools have been bombed, 200 have been burnt and over 3,000 looted. The population of teachers in Baghdad has fallen by 80 percent. Between March 2003 and October 2008, 31,598 violent attacks against educational institutions were reported in Iraq, according to the Ministry of Education (MoE). Since 2007, bombings at Al Mustansiriya University in Baghdad have killed or maimed more than 335 students and staff members, according to a 19 October, 2009, New York Times article, and a 12-foot-high blast wall has been built around the campus. MNF-I, the Iraqi Army and Iraqi police units, occupied more than 70 school buildings for military purposes in the Diyala governorate alone, in clear violation of The Hague Conventions. The UNESCO report is very clear: “Attacks on education targets continued throughout 2007 and 2008 at a lower rate – but one that would cause serious concern in any other country.” Why didn’t it cause serious concern when it comes to Iraq? And the attacks are on the rise again, an increase of 50 percent, as these statistics show:

Murdered Academics (source: BRussells Tribunal)
Date unknown – 115 killed in 2003-2005
2003 – 16
2004 – 36
2005 – 65
2006 – 113
2007 – 63
2008 – 19
2009 – 10
2010 – 16 (until 15 October 2010)

Murdered Media Professionals (source: BRussells Tribunal)
2003 – 26 (6 Iraqis)
2004 – 59 (53 Iraqis)
2005 – 59 (58 Iraqis)
2006 – 90 (88 Iraqis)
2007 – 82 (81 Iraqis)
2008 – 19 (19 Iraqis)
2009 – 8 (8 Iraqis)
2010 – 12 (12 Iraqis) (until 15 October 2010)

(On the March 20, 2008, Reporters Without Borders reported that hundreds of journalists had been forced into exile since the start of the US-led invasion.)

Eliminating the Iraqi Middle Class

Parallel to the destruction of Iraq’s educational infrastructure, this repression has led to the mass forced displacement of the bulk of Iraq’s educated middle class – the main engine of progress and development in modern states. Iraq’s intellectual and technical class has been subject to a systematic and ongoing campaign of intimidation, abduction, extortion, random killings and targeted assassinations. The decimation of professional ranks took place in the context of a generalized assault on Iraq’s professional middle class, including doctors, engineers, lawyers and judges as well as political and religious leaders. Roughly 40 percent of Iraq’s middle class is believed to have fled by the end of 2006. Few have returned. Up to 75 percent of Iraq’s doctors, pharmacists and nurses have left their jobs since the US-led invasion in 2003. More than half of those have emigrated. Twenty thousand of Iraq’s 34,000 registered physicians left Iraq after the US invasion. As of April 2009, fewer than 2,000 returned, the same as the number who were killed during the course of the war.

To this date, there has been no systematic investigation of this phenomenon by the occupation authorities. Not a single arrest has been reported in regard to this terrorization of intellectuals. The inclination to treat this systematic assault on Iraqi professionals as somehow inconsequential is consistent with the occupation powers’ more general role in the decapitation of Iraqi society.

Destroying Iraqi Culture and Erasing Collective Memory

All these terrible losses are compounded by unprecedented levels of cultural devastation, attacks on national archives and monuments that represent the historical identity of the Iraqi people. On America’s watch, we now know that thousands of cultural artifacts disappeared during “Operation Iraqi Freedom.” These objects included no less that 15.000 invaluable Mesopotamian artifacts from the National Museum in Baghdad and many others from the 12.000 archaeological sites that the occupation forces left unguarded. While the museum was robbed of its historical collection, the National Library that preserved the continuity and pride of Iraqi history was deliberately destroyed. Occupation authorities took no effective measures to protect important cultural sites, despite warnings by international specialists. According to a recent update on the number of stolen artifacts by Francis Deblauwe, an archaeologist expert on Iraq, it appears that no less than 8,500 objects are still missing, in addition to 4,000 artifacts said to be recovered abroad, but not yet returned to Iraq. The smuggling and trade of Iraqi antiquities has become one of the most profitable businesses in contemporary Iraq.

The attitude of the US-led forces to this pillage has been, at best, indifference. The failure of the US to carry out its responsibilities under international law to take positive and protective actions was compounded by egregious direct actions that severely damaged the Iraqi cultural heritage. Since the invasion in March 2003, the US-led forces have transformed at least seven historical sites into bases or camps for the military, including Ur, one of the most ancient cities of the world and birthplace of Abraham, as well as the storied city of Babylon, where a US military camp has irreparably damaged the ancient site.

Destroying the Iraqi State

Rampant chaos and violence hamper efforts at reconstruction, leaving the foundations of the Iraqi state in ruins. The majority of Western journalists, academics and political figures have refused to recognize the loss of life on such a massive scale and the cultural destruction that accompanied it as the fully predictable consequences of American occupation policy. The very idea is considered unthinkable, despite the openness with which this objective was pursued.

It is time to think the unthinkable. The American-led assault on Iraq forces us to consider the meaning and consequences of state destruction as a policy objective. The architects of the Iraq policy never made explicit what deconstructing and reconstructing the Iraqi state would entail; their actions, however, make the meaning clear. From those actions in Iraq, a fairly precise definition of state termination can be read. The campaign to destroy the state of Iraq involved, first, the removal and execution of the legal head of state, Saddam Hussein, and the capture and expulsion of Baath figures. However, state destruction went beyond regime change. It also entailed the purposeful dismantling of major state institutions and the launching of a prolonged process of political reshaping.

Bremer’s 100 orders turned Iraq into a giant free-market paradise, but a hellish nightmare for Iraqis. The occupiers colonized the country for capital – pillage on the grandest scale. New economic laws instituted low taxes, 100 percent foreign investor ownership of Iraqi assets, the right to expropriate all profits, unrestricted imports and long-term 30-40 year deals and leases, dispossessing Iraqis of their own resources.

This desecration of the past and undermining of contemporary social gains is now giving way in occupied Iraq to the destruction of a meaningful future. Iraq is being handed over to the disintegrative forces of sectarianism and regionalism. Iraqis, stripped of their shared heritage and living today in the ruins of contemporary social institutions that sustained a coherent and unified society, are now bombarded by the forces of civil war, social and religious atavism and widespread criminality. Iraqi nationalism that had emerged through a prolonged process of state building and social interaction is now routinely disparaged. The regime installed by occupation forces in Iraq reshaped the country along divisive sectarian lines, dissolving the hard-won unity of a long state-building project. Dominant narratives now falsely claim that sectarianism and ethnic chauvinism have always been the basis of Iraqi society, recycling yet again the persistent and destructive myth of age-old conflicts with no resolution and for which the conquerors bear no responsibility. Contemporary Iraq represents a fragmented pastiche of sectarian forces with the formal trappings of liberal democracy and neoliberal economic structures. We call this the divide-and-rule technique, used to fracture and subdue culturally cohesive regions. This reshaping of the Iraqi state resulted in a policy of ethnic cleansing, partially revealed by the WikiLeaks files.

The WikiLeaks Documents

The WikiLeaks documents first made public on October 22, 2010, show how the US military gave a secret order not to investigate torture by Iraqi authorities discovered by American troops.

The data also reveal how hundreds of civilians were killed by coalition forces in unreported events, how hundreds of Iraqi civilians – pregnant women, elderly people and children – were shot at checkpoints.

There are numerous claims of prison abuse by coalition forces, even after the Abu Ghraib scandal. The files also paint a grim picture of widespread torture in Iraqi detention facilities. Two revelations await the reader of the WikiLeaks section dealing with civilian deaths in the Iraq war: Iraqis are responsible for most of these deaths and the number of total civilian casualties is substantially higher than has been previously reported.

The documents record a descent into chaos and horror as the country plunged into so-called “civil war.” The logs also record thousands of bodies, many brutally tortured, dumped on the streets of Iraq.

Through the WikiLeaks files, we can see the impact the war had on Iraqi men, women and children. The sheer scale of the deaths, detentions and violence is here officially acknowledged for the first time.

A thorough research of these documents will give us a further insight into the atrocities committed in Iraq. The WikiLeaks logs can serve as evidence in courts. They are important material for lawyers to file charges against the US for negligence and responsibility for the killing of thousands. A fair compensation for the families of the victims and the recognition of their suffering can help to heal the wounds. In the first official US State Department response to the massive WikiLeaks release of these classified Iraq war documents, spokesman P.J. Crowley shrugged off the evidence that US troops were ordered to cover up detainee abuse by the Iraqi government, insisting the abuse wasn’t America’s problem. This response is infuriating. The perpetrators of this violence and those who ordered the soldiers to turn a blind eye when being confronted with torture and extrajudicial killings should be convicted for war crimes. The US and UK forces and governments clearly refused to fulfill their obligations under international law as a de facto occupying power.

However, these logs reveal only the “SIGACT’s or Significant Actions in the war as told by soldiers in the United States Army”: the reports of the “regular” US troops. The logs contain nothing new, they merely confirm and make official what the Iraqis and unembedded Western observers have been trying to convey to the public for years. While all of the press is now reporting the WikiLeaks story, few media outlets are going back to their own coverage and acknowledging how they have failed to honestly report the crimes.

What these 400.000 documents do not reveal is the US involvement of “irregular troops” in Special Operations, counterinsurgency war and death squad activities. When will the documents of the “dirty war” be revealed? The BRussells Tribunal, monitoring this horrendous invasion and occupation since 2003, is convinced that the leaked logs only scratch the surface of the catastrophic war in Iraq. What we can extract from the WikiLeaks documents is only the tip of the iceberg. It is time to take a dive into the troubled waters of the Iraq war and try to explore the hidden part of the iceberg.

Ethnic Cleansing

It became clear after the invasion in 2003 that the Iraqi exile groups were to play an important role in the violent response to dissent in occupied Iraq. Already on January 1, 2004, it was reported that the US government planned to create paramilitary units comprised of militiamen from Iraqi Kurdish and exile groups, including the Badr brigades, the Iraqi National Congress and the Iraqi National Accord, to wage a campaign of terror and extrajudicial killing, similar to the Phoenix program in Vietnam: the terror and assassination campaign that killed tens of thousands of civilians.

The $87 billion supplemental appropriation for the war in November 2003 included $3 billion for a classified program, funds that would be used for the paramilitaries for the next three years. Over that period, the news from Iraq gradually came to be dominated by reports of death squads and ethnic cleansing, described in the press as “sectarian violence,” that was used as the new central narrative of the war and the principal justification for continued occupation. Some of the violence may have been spontaneous, but there is overwhelming evidence that most of it was the result of the plans described by several American experts in December 2003.

Despite subsequent American efforts to distance US policy from the horrific results of this campaign, it was launched with the full support of conservative opinion makers in the USA, a Wall Street Journal editorial even declaring that, “The Kurds and the INC have excellent intelligence operations that we should allow them to exploit … especially to conduct counterinsurgency in the Sunny Triangle.”

The Salvador Option

In January 2005, more than a year after the first reports about the Pentagon’s planning for assassinations and paramilitary operations emerged, the “Salvador Option” hit the pages of Newsweek and other major news outlets. The outsourcing of state terrorism to local proxy forces was regarded as a key component of a policy that had succeeded in preventing the total defeat of the US-backed government in El Salvador. Pentagon-hired mercenaries, like Dyncorp, helped form the sectarian militias that were used to terrorize and kill Iraqis and to provoke Iraq into civil war.

In 2004, two senior US Army officers published a favorable review of the American proxy war in Colombia: “Presidents Reagan and Bush supported a small, limited war while trying to keep US military involvement a secret from the American public and media. Present US policy toward Colombia appears to follow this same disguised, quiet, media-free approach.”

It reveals the fundamental nature of dirty war, as in Latin America and the worst excesses of the Vietnam War. The purpose of dirty war is not to identify and then detain or kill actual resistance fighters. The target of dirty war is the civilian population. It is a strategy of state terrorism and collective punishment against an entire population with the objective of terrorizing it into submission. The same tactics used in Central America and Colombia were exported to Iraq. Even the architects of these dirty wars in El Salvador (Ambassador John Negroponte and James Steele) and in Colombia (Steven Casteel) were transferred to Iraq to do the same dirty work. They recruited, trained and deployed the notorious “Special Police Commandos,” into which death squads like the Badr Brigades and other militias were incorporated later, in 2006. US forces set up a high-tech operations center for the Special Police Commandos at an “undisclosed location” in Iraq. American technicians installed satellite telephones and computers with uplinks to the Internet and US forces Networks. The command center had direct connections to the Iraqi Interior Ministry and to every US forward operating base in the country.

As news of atrocities by these forces in Iraq hit the newsstands in 2005, Casteel would play a critical role in blaming extrajudicial killings on “insurgents” with stolen police uniforms, vehicles and weapons. He also claimed that torture centers were run by rogue elements of the Interior Ministry, even as accounts came to light of torture taking place inside the ministry headquarters where he and other Americans worked. US advisers to the Interior Ministry had their offices on the eighth floor, directly above a jail on the seventh floor where torture was taking place.

The uncritical attitude of the Western media to American officials like Steven Casteel prevented a worldwide popular and diplomatic outcry over the massive escalation of the dirty war in Iraq in 2005 and 2006, consistent with the “disguised, quiet, media-free approach” mentioned before. As the Newsweek story broke in January 2005, General Downing, the former head of US Special Forces, appeared on NBC. He said: “This is under control of the US forces, of the current Interim Iraqi government. There’s no need to think that we’re going to have any kind of killing campaign that’s going to maim innocent civilians.” Within months, Iraq was swept by exactly that kind of a killing campaign. This campaign has led to arbitrary detention, torture, extrajudicial executions and the mass exodus and internal displacement of millions. Thousands of Iraqis disappeared during the worst days of this dirty war between 2005 and 2007. Some were seen picked up by uniformed militias and piled into lorries, others simply seemed to vanish. Iraq’s Minister of Human Rights Wijdan Mikhail said that her ministry had received more than 9,000 complaints in 2005 and 2006 alone from Iraqis who said a relative had disappeared. Human rights groups put the total number much higher. The fate of many missing Iraqis remains unknown. Many are languishing in one of Iraq’s notoriously secretive prisons.

Journalist Dr. Yasser Salihee was killed on June 24th, 2005, by an American sniper, purportedly “accidentally.” Three days after his death, Knight Ridder published a report on his investigation into the Special Police Commandos and their links to torture, extrajudicial killings and disappearances in Baghdad. Salihee and his colleagues investigated at least 30 separate cases of abductions leading to torture and death. In every case, witnesses gave consistent accounts of raids by large numbers of police commandos in uniform, in clearly marked police vehicles, with police weapons and bullet-proof vests. And in every case, the detained were later found dead, with almost identical signs of torture and they were usually killed by a single gunshot to the head.

The effect of simply not pointing out the connection between the US and the Iranian-backed Badr Brigade militia, the US-backed Wolf Brigade and other Special Police Commando units, or the extent of American recruitment, training, command and control of these units, was far-reaching. It distorted perceptions of events in Iraq throughout the ensuing escalation of the war, creating the impression of senseless violence initiated by the Iraqis themselves and concealing the American hand in the planning and execution of the most savage forms of violence. By providing cover for the crimes committed by the US government, news editors played a significant role in avoiding the public outrage that might have discouraged the further escalation of this campaign.

The precise extent of US complicity in different aspects and phases of death squad operations, torture and disappearances, deserves thorough investigation. It is not credible that American officials were simply innocent bystanders to thousands of these incidents. As frequently pointed out by Iraqi observers, Interior Ministry death squads moved unhindered through American as well as Iraqi checkpoints as they detained, tortured and killed thousands of people.

As in other countries where US forces have engaged in what they refer to as “counterinsurgency,” American military and intelligence officials recruited, trained, equipped and directed local forces, which engaged in a campaign of state-sponsored terror against the overwhelming proportion of the local population who continued to reject and oppose the invasion and occupation of their country.

The degree of US initiative in the recruitment, training, equipping, deployment, command and control of the Special Police Commandos made it clear that American trainers and commanders established the parameters within which these forces operated. Many Iraqis and Iranians were certainly guilty of terrible crimes in the conduct of this campaign. But the prime responsibility for this policy and for the crimes it involved, rests with the individuals in the civilian and military command structure of the US Department of Defense, the CIA and the White House who devised, approved and implemented the “Phoenix” or “Salvador” terror policy in Iraq.

The report of the Human Rights Office of UNAMI, issued on September 8th, 2005, written by John Pace was very explicit, linking the campaign of detentions, torture and extrajudicial executions directly to the Interior Ministry and indirectly to the US-led Multi-National Forces.

The final UN Human Rights Report of 2006 described the consequences of these policies for the people of Baghdad, while downplaying their institutional roots in American policy. The “sectarian violence” that engulfed Iraq in 2006 was not an unintended consequence of the US invasion and occupation, but an integral part of it. The United States did not just fail to restore stability and security to Iraq. It deliberately undermined them in a desperate effort to “divide and rule” the country and to fabricate new justifications for unlimited violence against Iraqis who continued to reject the illegal invasion and occupation of their country.

The nature and extent of involvement of different individuals and groups within the US occupation structure has remained a dirty, dark secret, but there are many leads that could be followed by any serious inquiry.

The Surge

In January 2007, the US government announced a new strategy, the “surge” of US combat troops in Baghdad and Anbar province. Most Iraqis reported that this escalation of violence made living conditions even worse than before, as its effects were added to the accumulated devastation of four years of war and occupation. The UN Human Rights Report for the first quarter of 2007 gave a description of the dire conditions of the Iraqi people. The violence of the surge resulted in a further 22 percent reduction of the number of doctors, leaving only 15,500 out of an original 34,000 by September 2008. The number of refugees and internally displaced rose sharply during the period 2007-2008.

Since Interior Ministry forces under US command were responsible for a large part of the extrajudicial killings, the occupation authorities had the power to reduce or increase the scale of these atrocities more or less on command. So, a reduction in the killings with the launch of the “security plan” should not have been difficult to achieve. In fact, a small reduction in violence seems to have served an important propaganda role for a period until the death squads got back to work, supported by the new American offensive.

The escalation of American firepower in 2007, including a five-fold increase in airstrikes and the use of Spectre gunships and artillery in addition to the surge was intended as a devastating climax to the past four years of war and collective punishment inflicted upon the Iraqi people. All resistance-held areas would be targeted with overwhelming fire power, mainly from the air, until the US ground forces could build walls around what remained of each neighborhood and isolate each district. It’s worth mentioning that General Petraeus compared the hostilities in Ramadi with the Battle of Stalingrad without qualms about adopting the role of the German invaders in this analogy. Ramadi was completely destroyed, as was Fallujah in November 2004.

The UN Human Rights reports of 2007 mentioned the indiscriminate and illegal attacks against civilians and civilian areas and asked for investigations. Air strikes continued on an almost daily basis until August 2008 even as the so-called “sectarian violence” and US casualties declined. In all the reported incidents where civilians, women and children were killed, the Centcom press office declared that the people killed were “terrorists,” “Al Qaeda militants” or “involuntary human shields.” Of course, when military forces are illegally ordered to attack civilian areas, many people will try to defend themselves, especially if they know that the failure to do so may result in arbitrary detention, abuse, torture, or summary execution for themselves or their relatives.

Forces Involved in “Special Operations”

Another aspect of the surge or escalation appears to have been an increase in the use of American Special Forces assassination teams. In April 2008, President Bush declared: “As we speak, US Special Forces are launching multiple operations every night to capture or kill Al-Qaeda leaders in Iraq.” The New York Times reported on 13 May, 2009: “When General Stanley McChrystal took over the Joint Special Operations Command in 2003, he inherited an insular, shadowy commando force with a reputation for spurning partnerships with other military and intelligence organizations. But over the next five years he worked hard, his colleagues say, to build close relationships with the CIA and the FBI … In Iraq, where he oversaw secret commando operations for five years, former intelligence officials say that he had an encyclopedic, even obsessive, knowledge about the lives of terrorists and that he pushed his ranks aggressively to kill as many of them as possible…. Most of what General McChrystal has done over a 33-year career remains classified, including service between 2003 and 2008 as commander of the Joint Special Operations Command, an elite unit so clandestine that the Pentagon for years refused to acknowledge its existence.” The secrecy surrounding these operations prevented more widespread reporting, but as with earlier US covert operations in Vietnam and Latin America, we will learn more about these operations over time.

An article in the Sunday Telegraph in February 2007 pointed towards clear evidence British Special Forces recruited and trained terrorists in the Green Zone to heighten ethnic tensions. An elite SAS wing, called “Task Force Black,” with a bloody past in Northern Ireland, operates with immunity and provides advanced explosives. Some attacks are being blamed on Iranians, Sunni insurgents or shadowy terrorist cells such as al-Qaeda.

SWAT teams (Special Weapons and Tactics) were extensively used in counterinsurgency operations. The mission of SWAT is to conduct high-risk operations that fall outside the abilities of regular patrol officers to prevent, deter and respond to terrorism and insurgent activities. It was reported that, “The foreign internal defense partnership with Coalition Soldiers establishes a professional relationship between the Iraqi Security and Coalition forces where the training builds capable forces. Coalition soldiers working side-by-side with the SWAT teams, both in training and on missions.” On 7 October, 2010, the official web site for US Forces in Iraq reported, “The Basrah SWAT team has trained with various Special Forces units, including the Navy SEALs and the British SAS. The 1st Bn., 68th Arm. Regt., currently under the operational control of United States Division-South and the 1st Infantry Division, has taken up the task of teaching the SWAT team.”

Facilities protection services, where “private contractors” or mercenaries such as Blackwater are incorporated, are also used in counterinsurgency operations.

Iraq Special Operations Forces (ISOF), probably the largest special forces outfit ever built by the United States, free of many of the controls that most governments employ to rein in such lethal forces. The project started in Jordan just after the Americans conquered Baghdad in April 2003, to create a deadly, elite, covert unit, fully fitted with American equipment, which would operate for years under US command and be unaccountable to Iraqi ministries and the normal political process. According to Congressional records, the ISOF has grown into nine battalions, which extend to four regional “commando bases” across Iraq. By December 2009 they were fully operational, each with its own “intelligence infusion cell,” which will operate independently of Iraq’s other intelligence networks. The ISOF is at least 4,564 operatives strong, making it approximately the size of the US Army’s own Special Forces in Iraq. Congressional records indicate that there are plans to double the ISOF over the next “several years.”

In conclusion, the dirty war in Iraq continues. Even as President Barack Obama was announcing the end of combat in Iraq, US forces were still fighting alongside their Iraqi colleagues. The tasks of the 50,000 remaining US troops, 5,800 of them airmen, are “advising” and training the Iraqi Army, “providing security” and carrying out “counterterrorism” missions.

According to the UN Human Rights report, upon a request for clarification by UNAMI, the MNF confirmed that “the US government continued to regard the conflict in Iraq as an international armed conflict, with procedures currently in force consistent with the 4th Geneva Convention” and that the civil rights of Iraqis should not be governed by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and other human rights laws, because this would have strengthened the rights of Iraqis detained by US or Iraqi forces to speedy and fair trials. The admission that the US was still engaged in an “international armed conflict” against Iraq at the end of 2007 also raises serious questions regarding the legality of constitutional and political changes made in Iraq by the occupation forces and their installed government during the war and occupation.

Legitimizing Torture

When the public revelations of abuse and torture at Abu Ghraib prison created a brief furor in the world, the ICRC, Human Rights First, AI, HRW, and other human rights groups documented far more widespread and systematic crimes committed by US forces against people they extrajudicially detained in Iraq. In numerous human rights reports, they established that command responsibility for these crimes extended to the highest levels of the US government and its armed forces.

The forms of torture documented in these reports included death threats; mock executions; waterboarding; stress positions, including excruciating and sometimes deadly forms of hanging; hypothermia; sleep deprivation; starvation and thirst; withholding medical treatment; electric shocks; various forms of rape and sodomy; endless beatings; burning; cutting with knives; injurious use of flexicuffs; suffocation; sensory assault and/or deprivation; and more psychological forms of torture such as sexual humiliation and the detention and torture of family members. The ICRC established that the violations of international humanitarian law that it recorded were systematic and widespread. Military officers told the ICRC that, “between 70 percent and 90 percent of the persons deprived of their liberty in Iraq had been arrested by mistake.”

All these facts are well known, however only the lower ranks in the Army were mildly punished. The “Command’s Responsibility” report revealed that the failure to charge higher ranking officers was the direct result of the “key role” that some same officers played “in undermining chances for full accountability.” By delaying and undermining investigations of deaths in their custody, senior officers compounded their own criminal responsibility in a common pattern of torture, murder and obstruction of justice. Senior officers abused the enormous power they wield in the military command structure to place themselves beyond the reach of law, even as they gave orders to commit terrible crimes. It was in recognition of the potential for exactly this type of criminal behavior that the Geneva Conventions were drafted and signed in the first place and that is why they are just as vital today.

Nevertheless, the responsibility for these crimes is not limited to the US Army. The public record also includes documents in which senior civilian officials of the US government approved violations of the Geneva Conventions, the 1994 Convention Against Torture and the 1996 US War Crimes Act. The United States government should, thus, be held accountable for this terrible tragedy it inflicted upon millions of Iraqi citizens and should be forced to pay appropriate compensations to the victims of its criminal policy in Iraq.

Recommendations

We learned that, on Tuesday the 26th of October, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay urged Iraq and the United States to investigate allegations of torture and unlawful killings in the Iraq conflict revealed in the WikiLeaks documents. We are very surprised by this statement. Does the high commissioner think it is appropriate for criminals to investigate their own crimes? Wijdan Mikhail, the Iraqi minister of human rights in Iraq, has called for putting Julian Assange on trial instead of investigating the crimes. And since the Obama administration has shown no desire to expose any of the crimes committed by US officials in Iraq, an international investigation under the auspices of the high commissioner of human rights is necessary. Different Special Rapporteurs should be involved: i.e. the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions; the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism; and the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. A Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iraq should be urgently appointed.

Although the UN did not authorize the invasion of Iraq, it did “legalize” the occupation a posteriori in UNSC resolution 1483 (22 May, 2003), against the will of the overwhelming majority of the world community which did not accept the legality or the legitimacy of that UN resolution. And it was during the occupation that the war crimes brought to light by WikiLeaks took place. Like the US, the UN has the moral and legal duty to respond.

The world community has the right to know the complete and unbiased truth about the extent and responsibilities of American involvement in Iraq’s killing fields and demands justice for the Iraqi people.

We appeal to all states to ask the US about all these crimes against the Iraqi people during the UPR on the 5th of November.

We also demand that procedures be set up to compensate the Iraqi people and Iraq as a nation for all the losses, human and material destruction and damages caused by the illegal war and the occupation of the country lead by the US/UK forces.

Note: This presentation contains information available in the public domain: it is compiled of several official reports, press articles, BRussells Tribunal witness accounts, Max Fuller’s articles on the counterinsurgency war and two books:

“Cultural Cleansing in Iraq,” of which Dirk Adriaensens is co-author (Pluto Press, London, ISBN-10: 0745328121, ISBN-13: 978-0745328126) and “Blood On Our Hands, The American Invasion And Destruction Of Iraq,” written by Nicolas J.S. Davies. (Nimble Books LLC, ISBN-10: 193484098X, ISBN-13: 978-1934840986).

=============

Background

The Universal Periodic Review: “Reviewing Human Rights Violations of the United States by NGOS” (November 2010)

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) was established to undertake a review of the fulfillment by each State of its obligations and commitment under international Human Rights Law taking in account the Human Rights obligations of States as set out in the UN Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Humanitarian Law in a manner to prompt, support and expand the promotion and protection of Human Rights around the world.

This event is proposed to encourage states to raise questions during the ninth session of the UPR concerning human rights violations by the United States outside its territory, especially in Iraq, Afghanistan.

The United States are still present in Iraq and Afghanistan, exercising actual control, through its and its allies’ forces, or through the private companies, therefore, it is under obligation to protect the civilians in these countries and maintain public order and safety.

It is unfortunate that the reports compiled by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights failed to take into account violations that occurred outside the US territory. It sets a regrettable precedent that should not be ignored.

Hence, we believe that these violations must be addressed during the Universal Periodic Review of the United States, in order to respect the real goals of this mechanism.

For the above mentioned reasons a group of NGOs is going to organize a meeting to allow the NGOs to do their own review to the violations of the United States and encourage states to take this review in their account during the official review on the 5th of November 2010.

UN experts, specialist from the Middle East and victims from Iraq and USA are supposed to address the event.

===============

The Ninth Session of the Universal Periodic Review: The Extra-Territorial Application of Human Rights

Reviewing the Human Rights Record of the United States of America (UN – Geneva November 3, 2010, 11.00h-17.00h) 

The United States’ human rights record will be reviewed by the Human Rights Council during the Ninth Session of Universal Periodic Review (UPR) being held in Geneva from 1 to 12 November, 2010. The United States will be reviewed on the morning of Friday, 5 November.

The UPR was established to undertake a review of the each States obligations and commitments under international human rights law taking in account the UN Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Humanitarian Law in a manner that prompts, supports and expands the promotion and protection of human rights.

NGOs are not allowed to speak during the official session, but they can exercise influence by bringing relevant information to the attention of States. It is for this reasons that a coalition of NGOs have organized a side event on Wednesday, 3 November, 2010, at the site of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland. At this event, prominent human rights defenders familiar with the situation of human rights in the United States will speak and NGOs and other observers will have the opportunity to submit information relevant to the review of the human rights record of the United States. The focus will be on extra-territorial violations of human rights, namely in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere.

Among the speaker will be:

  • Mr. Ramsey Clark, 66th United States attorney general
  • Mr. Dirk Adriaensens, BRussells Tribunal Executive Committee
  • Prof. Alfred De Zayas, US attorney and professor at the Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Prof. Curtis Doebbler, American international human rights lawyer and representative of the NGO Nord-Sud XXI
  • Mr. Sabah Al-Mukhtar, president of the Arab Lawyers Network in the United Kingdom
  • Dr. Aziz Al- Qazaz, Iraqi human rights defender
  • Mr. Jose del-Prado, member of the UN Human Rights Council’s Working Group on Mercenaries

http://www.truth-out.org/beyond-wikileaks-files-dismantling-iraqi-state64821

Cruel Britannia

January 28, 2010 at 12:56 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Britain ‘complicit in mistreatment and possible torture’ says UN Human rights report indicates clear evidence of UK role in secret detention of British Muslims

Ian Cobain

www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jan/27/britain-complicit-possible-torture-un

January 27, 2010United Nations human rights investigators have concluded that the British government has been complicit in the mistreatment and possible torture of several of its own citizens during the “war on terror”.

In a report published today that will make difficult reading for ministers who repeatedly denied the UK’s involvement in torture, UN officials have indicated that there is clear evidence of the UK’s role in the secret detention overseas of several British Muslims.

Continue Reading Cruel Britannia…

Help Deformed Children in Fallujah

November 15, 2009 at 2:27 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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PETITION

Help Deformed Children in Fallujah

Iraq Solidarity UK

 

 

To:  The United Nations

Young women in Fallujah in Iraq are terrified of having children because of the increasing number of babies born grotesquely deformed, with no heads, two heads, a single eye in their foreheads, scaly bodies or missing limbs. In addition, young children in Fallujah are now experiencing hideous cancers and leukaemias. These deformities are now well documented, for example in television documentaries on SKY UK on September 1 2009, and on SKY UK June 2008. Our direct contact with doctors in Fallujah report that:

In September 2009, Fallujah General Hospital had 170 new born babies, 24% of whom were dead within the first seven days, a staggering 75% of the dead babies were classified as deformed.This can be compared with data from the month of August in 2002 where there were 530 new born babies of whom six were dead within the first seven days and only one birth defect was reported.

Doctors in Fallujah have specifically pointed out that not only are they witnessing unprecedented numbers of birth defects but premature births have also considerably increased after 2003. But what is more alarming is that doctors in Fallujah have said, “a significant number of babies that do survive begin to develop severe disabilities at a later stage”.

As one of a number of doctors, scientists and those with deep concern for Iraq, Dr Chris Burns-Cox, a British hospital physician, wrote a letter to the Rt. Hon. Clare Short, M.P. asking about this situation. She wrote a letter to the Rt. Hon.Douglas Alexander, M.P. the Secretary of State of the Department for International Development (a post she had held before she resigned on a matter of principle in May 2003 ) asking for clarification of the position of deformed children in Fallujah.

She received a reply dated 3rd September 2009 (two days after the Sky TV broadcast of 1st September 2009 ) from a junior minister, deputy to The Secretary of State, Mr. Gareth Thomas MP, Duty Minister, Department for International Development. In his reply he denies that there are more than two or three deformed babies in Fallujah in a year and asserts that there is, therefore, no problem. This is at wild variance with reports coming out of Fallujah. One grave digger of a single cemetery is burying four to five babies a day, most of which he says are deformed.

Clare Short passed us a copy of this letter. It bears a remarkable similarity to three other written answers we have received over a four year period, in regard to child health and the use of depleted uranium. All these letters are based on lies and an aim to confuse the recipients. In her autobiography “Honorable Deception?” Clare Short says “The first instinct of Number 10 (Downing Street) is to lie.”We regard the mendacity of Mr. Thomas’s letter, and of the other letters we have received, as extremely serious. These letters do not deal with minor matters of corruption, or taxes, but do deal with the use of armed forces and deadly weapons.

The use of certain weapons has tremendous repercussions. Iraq will become a country, if it has not already done so, where it is advisable not to have children. Other countries will watch what has happened in Iraq, and imitate the Coalition Allies’ total disregard of the United Nations Charter, The Geneva, and Hague Conventions, and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Some countries, such as Afghanistan, will also come to experience the very long term damage to the environment, measured in billions of years, and the devastating effect of depleted uranium and white phosphorous munitions.

If, as we say in our letter to the Duty Minister of the Department for International Development, the UK Government clearly does not know the effects of the weapons it uses, nor, as a matter of policy, does “it do body counts”, how can the UK Government judge whether it is conducting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan according to International Law, especially in terms of “proportionality” and long term damage to the natural environment? How can the UK know about the illegality of the weapons systems it sells on the international market, such as the “Storm Shadow” missile, if the very Department of the Government that is supposed to assess the deaths and medical needs of children and adults in Iraq is not telling the truth.

We request from the United Nations General Assembly the following:

1. To acknowledge that there is a serious problem regarding the unprecedented number of birth defects and cancer cases in Iraq specifically in Fallujah, Basra, Baghdad and Al – Najaf.

2. To set up an independent committee to conduct a full investigation into the problem of the increased number of birth defects and cancers in Iraq.

3. To implement the cleaning up of toxic materials used by the occupying forces including Depleted Uranium, and White Phosphorus.

4. To prevent children and adults entering contaminated areas to minimize exposure to these hazards.

5. To investigate whether war crimes, or crimes against humanity, have been committed, and thereby uphold the United Nations Charter, The Geneva and Hague Conventions, and The Rome Statute of The International Criminal Court.

Sincerely,

The Undersigned

View Current Signatures
 

CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW TO SIGN THE PETITION:

http://www.petitiononline.com/hdcif/petition-sign.html?


The Help Deformed Children in Fallujah Petition to The United Nations was created by Iraq Solidarity UK and written by Hussein Al-alak (hussy_al_2000@yahoo.co.uk).

Legal case filed in Spain against the US and the UK for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Iraq

November 14, 2009 at 9:52 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Brussells Tribunal

USGenocide logo

Dear Friends,

Update on the legal case, filed in Spain against the US and the UK for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Iraq.

High profile support from father Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, former President of the UN General Assembly.

Extract of his message:

“Father Miguel (d’Escoto Brockmann) has only recently returned to Managua after a year and a half in New York, where he served as 63rd President of the UN General Assembly.

 

Father Miguel is very pleased to learn of your initiative to file a case against the US and the UK for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Iraq… It is a matter which he has raised repeatedly both publicly and in private. He also referred to the issue during a keynote address to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on 4 March of this year [constituting the first time a General Assembly president addressed the Council].

 

Father Miguel is more than glad to give his wholehearted support and prayers for the success of this initiative. Please  DO add his name to your list of supporters/endorsers.

 

(…) Father Miguel would like to know how the case is proceeding and to be kept informed.”

We hope we can count on your cooperation and support for this important initiative.

Warmest regards.

Members of the BRussells Tribunal Executive Committee.

 ***

Below is what Mr.  Miguel  d’Escoto Brockmann had said in his keynote address at the high level segment of the Human Rights Council, Geneva-4 March 2009, which was mentioned in his letter of support.

 

Extract from

The keynote address of

H.EX. MR. MIGUEL D’ESCOTO BROCKMANN,

PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED NATION GENERAL ASSEMBLY

The high level segment of the 10 Sesson of the Human Rights Council

Geneva 4 March 2009

Paras 25, 26 and 27

(( 25. Finally, I urge the Council to focus on the profound problems that have been created by the massive violations human rights in Iraq. Even as the world absorbs the inhumanity of the recent invasion of Gaza, we see Iraq as contemporary and ongoing example of how the illegal use of force leads inexorably to human suffering and disregard for human rights. It has set a number of precedents that we cannot allow to stand. The illegality of the use of force against Iraq cannot be doubted as its runs contrary to the prohibition of the use of force in article 2(4) of the UN Charter. All pretended justifications not withstanding, the aggressions against Iraq and Afghanistan and their occupations, constitute atrocities that must be condemned and repudiated by all who believe in the rule of law in international relations.

26. Reliable and independent experts estimate that over one million Iraqis have lost their lives as a direct result of the illegal invasion of their country. The various UN human rights monitor have prepared report after report documenting the unending litany of violations from crimes of war, rights of children and women, social rights, collective punishment and treatment of prisoners of war and illegal detention of civilians. These must be addressed to bring an end to the scandalous present impunity.

27. What can the Council do? I urge you to put the questions of the situation of human rights in Iraq on your agenda. You might discuss the appointment of a special mechanism to report on the situation of human rights there. You also might consider the reports of the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights that are prepared by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI). It is ironic that for almost 20 years before the U.S led invasion and occupation, there was a Special Rapporteur on Iraq. Yet precisely when the largest human catastrophe on earth began to unfold in Iraq in 2003, this post was eliminated. Reliable sources estimates there are over one million civilian deaths in Iraq as a direct result of the U.S led aggression and occupation, and still there is no Special Rapporteur. This is a serious omission that should be corrected. ))

Report in English

http://www. unmultimedia. org/radio/english/detail/70558. html

Report in Arabic

http://www.albasrah.net/ar_articles_2009/0309/jnef_070309.htm

 

Human Rights Watch Report (Nov 2009) Iraq: Violence against Minority Communities in Nineveh Province’s Disputed Territories

November 10, 2009 at 3:24 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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HRW Report Nov 2009

On Vulnerable Ground

Violence against Minority Communities in Nineveh Province’s Disputed Territories

November 10, 2009

Read the Report
ISBN: 1-56432-554

Get the Report

Table of Contents

 http://www.hrw.org/en/reports/2009/11/10/vulnerable-ground-0

Handbook on UN Human Rights Mechanisms

November 1, 2009 at 7:52 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Handbook on UN Human Rights Mechanisms

posted on : http://humanrightsdoctorate.blogspot.com/

An extremely useful handbook on the United Nations human rights mechanisms has been published by the Civil Society unit of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights:

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/AboutUs/CivilSociety/Documents/Handbook_en.pdf

ITF EU REPRESENTATIVE ATTENDED A CONFERENCE AT THE EU PARLIAMENT IN BRUSSELS

October 2, 2009 at 7:51 pm | Posted in Turkmens | 1 Comment
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ITF EU REPRESENTATIVE ATTENDED A CONFERENCE AT THE EU PARLIAMENT IN BRUSSELS

 E McMillan-Scott and H AYDINLI

MEP Edward McMILLAN-SCOTT, Vice President of EU Parliament and Dr. Hassan AYDINLI, ITF EU Representative

H AYDINLI AND G WATSON

With MEP Graham WATSON

E LICHTENBERGER AND H AYDINLI

With MEP Eva LICHTENBERGER

Dr. Hassan AYDINLI, ITF EU Representative and Mrs Merry FITZGERALD of the Committee for the Defence of the Iraqi Turkmen Rights in Belgium received invitations from several Members of the European Parliament and from the Director of the Brussels based association “HUMAN RIGHTS WITHOUT FRONTIERS”  Mr Willy FAUTRE to attend a conference on the Human Rights in China at the European Parliament in Brussels on 30th September 2009.

 

The conference was held on the eve of the 60th anniversary of the foundation of the People’s Republic of China to analyse China’s performance in the field of Human rights and Freedoms for civil society. It was held under the title:

 

60 Years of Democracy in China

(seen by Uyghurs, Tibetans, Falun Gong, Human Rights Defenders)

 

The conference was organised at the initiative of some Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) with the participation of the Director of the Human Rights without Frontiers association in Brussels:

 

Mr. Edward McMILLAN-SCOTT, MEP and Vice-President of EU Parliament

Mr. Graham WATSON, MEP and Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe)

Mr. Thomas MANN, MEP and Vice-Chairman of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (Group of the European People’s Party)

Mrs. Eva LICHTENBERGER, MEP and Vice-Chairwoman (Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance)

 Mr.  Willy FAUTRE, Director of Human Rights Without Frontiers

 Representatives from three Chinese communities in Europe and the Director of Human Rights without Frontiers were invited to the conference to share the panel with the MEPs and to address the conference. These Representatives were :-  

 

Mr. Isa Dolkun,  EU Representative of the Uyghurs & Secretary General of the World Uyghur Congress.

Mr. Tashi Wangdi, EU Representative of the Dalai Lama.

Mr. Man-Yan Ng, EU Representative of the Falun Gong Association.

 

Mr. Paolo Barabesi, Assistant to the Director of Human Rights without Frontiers, read Mr. Willy Fautré’s speech.

The organisers of the conference and their guest speakers addressed the conference, they described the political situation in China since the foundation of the People’s Republic of China in 1949 and they criticized the Chinese authorities for the lack of real democracy in China and for the intolerable violations of human rights against the Chinese people in general and against the Uyghur and Tibetan communities in particular.

 I DOLKUN AND E LICHTENBERGER

Each guest speaker presented a written statement in which they explained the actual situation and living conditions of their community in China. They all denounced the Chinese authorities’ intolerances and dictatorship, accusing the Chinese regime of brutal human rights violation against the Uyghurs, the Tibetans and the Falun Gong practitioners.     

 Conf at EU Parl MANN MAN-YAN Ng AND T. WANGDI

MEP Thomas MANN,  Mr. MAN-YAN Ng, Mr. Tashi WANGDI

 

After the conference Dr. Hassan AYDINLI, ITF EU Representative, established contact with the MEPs who had organised the conference and he presented the Iraqi Turkmens’ cause to them, describing the Turkmen reality in Iraq and updating them on the current difficult political situation, hard economical conditions, troubled cultural environment and unsafe living conditions imposed on the Iraqi Turkmens since decades.

 

He emphasized the deterioration of the situation for the Turkmens in Iraq, politically, economically and socially, especially after the regime change in April 2003. He explained how Turkmens continue to suffer from countless human rights violations as a consequence of an institutionalised discrimination policy applied against the Turkmens since the creation of the Iraqi State in 1921 and since the adoption of the “New Iraqi Constitution” which was concocted in a rush by a bunch of inexperienced, ethnically motivated and power thirsty ‘new Iraqi politicians’ under US occupation. Indeed, the new Iraqi constitution is terribly backward as it clearly discriminates between the Iraqi citizens according to their ethnic origin. The Arabs and Kurds are classified as ‘first class citizens’ and the country’s main landlords and share holders, while the Turkmens, the Chaldeo-Assyrians, the Shabaks, the Yezidis and other minority groups are considered as ‘second class citizens’.

 

Dr. H. AYDINLI stressed the fact that this ‘new constitution’ contains some terminology and notions unheard of in any constitution before, such as ‘Contested Territories and ‘Disputed border lines’ within the same country!!! and the infamous article 140 concerning Kerkuk. He also pointed out that the new constitution includes several controversial articles, which if they are maintained in the constitution will ultimately divide Iraq in two regions, a Kurdish region in the north and an Arabic region in the south, thus denying the Turkmens who are the third main ethnic component of the Iraqi people the right to have their own region (Turkmeneli). This would lead to more instability in Iraq and in the region.

 

Dr. H. AYDINLI urged the MEPs:

– to support the Turkmens’ just cause

– to follow closely the evolution of the political process in Iraq

– to monitor the upcoming general election in January 2010.

 Conf at EU Parl 60 Years Democracy in China DOLKUN AND AYDINLI 2

Mr. Isa DOLKUN and Dr. Hassan AYDINLI

ITF EU representative had the pleasure to meet again with the Secretary General of the World Uyghur Congress, Mr. Isa DOLKUN, and to reiterate the Iraqi Turkmens’ support to the Uyghur people and their just cause.

 

Dr. H. AYDINLI also spoke with former MEP F. SCHWALBA-HOTH, analyst and independent political strategist with whom he had already met on another occasion.

 Conf at EU Parl 60 Years Democracy in China 022

He made an interesting new encounter with Count Leonardo Alaeddin CLERICI* (Philosopher and Poet) President of Istituto di Skriptura Brussels-Istanbul.

 Conf at EU Parl 60 Years Democracy in China 028

Count Leonardo Alaeddin CLERICI, Mr. Isa DOLKUN, Dr Hassan AYDINLI

He also spoke with Brussels based journalist Magda FAHSI of Human Rights-Geneva to whom he gave some examples of the human rights abuses and discriminations to which the Turkmens continue to be exposed in today’s Iraq.  Ms. FAHSI is interested to hear more about the Turkmens and she will be in touch.

 

Notes:

Merry FITZGERALD of the Committee for the Defence of the Iraqi Turkmens’ Rights took part in the presentation of the Turkmen cause to the MEPs, adding her own arguments. 

 

* L. A.CLERICI organizes conferences and exhibitions from Rome to the United States to explain that Islamic philosophy offers a metaphysical vision of the world, and that philosophy belongs to God and not to man. He is working to merge the synergies of arts, philosophy and technology. His emphasis on sourcing all artistic and philosophical endeavours to the holy Qur’an and God makes it all the more fascinating.

Iraqi Children Emergency أطفال العراق في حالة طواريء

May 20, 2009 at 8:32 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Kindly Distribute Widely to Iraqis in Iraq and People Living in
Neighboring Countries
 
Please also Distribute it to Humanitarian Organizations
 
الرجاء تحويل الرابط أدناه الى العراقيين في العراق وكل من يسكن في الدول المجاورة
 وأيضا الى المؤسسات الخيرية
 
http://www.INEAS.org/IraqiChildren_Arabic.pdf

 

باللغة العربية
 
 

 

In English
 
 
 
Note: If you are interested in translating the report to Chinese, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Russian or Spanish, kindly write to us.
 
 
This message is coming your way from the
Institute of Near Eastern & African Studies (INEAS)
P.O. Box 425125
Cambridge, MA. 02142 USA
Tel: 1 (617) 86-INEAS (864-6327)
 

 

 

US interrogators may have killed dozens, human rights researcher and rights group say

May 7, 2009 at 11:42 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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US interrogators may have killed dozens, human rights researcher and rights group say

John Byrne, Raw Story

abu-ghraib-torture-using-dogs

May 6, 2009

United States interrogators killed nearly four dozen detainees during or after their interrogations, according a report published by a human rights researcher based on a Human Rights First report and followup investigations.

In all, 98 detainees have died while in US hands. Thirty-four homicides have been identified, with at least eight detainees — and as many as 12 — having been tortured to death, according to a 2006 Human Rights First report that underwrites the researcher’s posting. The causes of 48 more deaths remain uncertain.

The researcher, John Sifton, worked for five years for Human Rights Watch. In a posting Tuesday, he documents myriad cases of detainees who died at the hands of their US interrogators. Some of the instances he cites are graphic.

Most of those taken captive were killed in Afghanistan and Iraq. They include at least one Afghani soldier, Jamal Naseer, who was mistakenly arrested in 2004. “Those arrested with Naseer later said that during interrogations U.S. personnel punched and kicked them, hung them upside down, and hit them with sticks or cables,” Sifton writes. “Some said they were doused with cold water and forced to lie in the snow. Nasser collapsed about two weeks after the arrest, complaining of stomach pain, probably an internal hemorrhage.”

Another Afghan killing occurred in 2002. Mohammad Sayari was killed by four U.S. servicemembers after being detained for allegedly “following their movements.” A Pentagon document obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union in 2005 said that the Defense Department found a captain and three sergeants had “murdered” Sayari, but the section dealing with the department’s probe was redacted.

Perhaps the most macabre case occurred in Iraq, which was documented in a Human Rights First report in 2006.

“Nagem Sadoon Hatab… a 52-year-old Iraqi, was killed while in U.S. custody at a holding camp close to Nasiriyah,” the group wrote. “Although a U.S. Army medical examiner found that Hatab had died of strangulation, the evidence that would have been required to secure accountability for his death – Hatab’s body – was rendered unusable in court. Hatab’s internal organs were left exposed on an airport tarmac for hours; in the blistering Baghdad heat, the organs were destroyed; the throat bone that would have supported the Army medical examiner’s findings of strangulation was never found.”

In another graphic instance, a former Iraqi general was beaten by US forces and suffocated to death. The military officer charged in the death was given just 60 days house arrest.

“Abed Hamed Mowhoush [was] a former Iraqi general beaten over days by U.S. Army, CIA and other non-military forces, stuffed into a sleeping bag, wrapped with electrical cord, and suffocated to death,” Human Rights First writes. “In the recently concluded trial of a low-level military officer charged in Mowhoush’s death, the officer received a written reprimand, a fine, and 60 days with his movements limited to his work, home, and church.”

Another Iraqi man was killed in a US detention facility on Mosul in 2003.

“U.S. military personnel who examined Kenami when he first arrived at the facility determined that he had no preexisting medical conditions,” the rights group writes. “Once in custody, as a disciplinary measure for talking, Kenami was forced to perform extreme amounts of exercise—a technique used across Afghanistan and Iraq. Then his hands were bound behind his back with plastic handcuffs, he was hooded, and forced to lie in an overcrowded cell. Kenami was found dead the morning after his arrest, still bound and hooded. No autopsy was conducted; no official cause of death was determined. After the Abu Ghraib scandal, a review of Kenami’s death was launched, and Army reviewers criticized the initial criminal investigation for failing to conduct an autopsy; interview interrogators, medics, or detainees present at the scene of the death; and collect physical evidence. To date, however, the Army has taken no known action in the case.”

Death from interrogation is hard to separate from simple detainee death while in US custody. But one particular case stands out that seems to have fallen by the wayside — the murder of CIA “ghost” detainee named Manadel al-Jamadi, who was tortured to death by a CIA team at Abu Ghraib in 2003.

“Pictures of Abu Ghraib guards Charles Graner and Sabrina Harman posing with al-Jamadi’s dead body, the so-called Ice Man, were among the most notorious of the Abu Ghraib photographs published in April 2004,” Sifton notes. “A CIA officer named Mark Swanner and an interpreter led the team that interrogated al-Jamadi. Nine Navy personnel were also implicated. An autopsy conducted by the U.S. military five days after al-Jamadi’s death found that the cause: “blunt force injuries complicated by compromised respiration.”

“Reporting by The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer and NPR’s John McChesney revealed that al-Jamadi was strung up from handcuffs behind his back, a torture tactic sometimes called a ‘Palestinian hanging,’” he adds. “After an investigation, the CIA referred the case to the Department of Justice for possible criminal prosecution of the CIA personnel involved, but no charges were ever brought. Prosecutors accused 10 Navy personnel of the crime; nine were given nonjudicial punishments, such as rank reductions and letters of reprimand, and a 10th was acquitted.”

Additionally, Sifton notes the CIA may have had some close calls with detainees nearly dying during interrogations: the May 10, 2005, Bush Administration torture memo by Stephen Bradbury notes that doctors were nearby to perform a tracheotomy if during waterboarding the suspect is approaching death.

“Most seriously, for reasons of physical fatigue of psychological resignation, the subject may simply give up, allowing excessive filling of the airways and loss of consciousness,” Bradbury wrote. “An unresponsive subject should be righted immediately, and the integrator should deliver a sub-xyphoid thrust to expel the water. If this fails to restore normal breathing, aggressive medical intervention is required….’”

The memo says CIA doctors were on hand with necessary equipment to perform a tracheotomy if necessary during waterboarding sessions: “[W]e are informed that the necessary emergency medical equipment is always present—although not visible to the detainee—during any application of the waterboard.”

 

www.uruknet.info?p=54027

Link: rawstory.com/08/news/2009/05/06/us-interrogators-killed-dozens-human-rights-rese
   archer-and-rights-group-say/

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