TADHAMUN تـضـامـن

Tadhamun (solidarity) is an Iraqi women organization, standing by Iraqi women's struggle against sectarian politics in Iraq. Fighting for equal citizenship across ethnicities and religions, for human rights, and gender equality.

جمعية تضامن تدعم المساواة في المواطنة بغض النظر عن الأنتماء الأثني أو الديني وتسعى من أجل العدالة الأجتماعية و حماية حقوق الأنسان في العراق

Monday, July 6, 2009

Q&A Basra inquiry: killings during the battle for Danny Boy

Government agrees to a new independent inquiry into the deaths in Basra in 2004 of Iraqis allegedly tortured and killed by British troops. Mark Tran explains the background

guardian.co.uk, Monday 6 July 2009 14.47 BST
Q&A Basra inquiry: killings during the battle for Danny Boy

Government agrees to a new independent inquiry into the deaths in Basra in 2004 of Iraqis allegedly tortured and killed by British troops. Mark Tran explains the background

  • day 6 July 2009 14.47 BST
What is the background?

On 14 May 2004, soldiers of the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment were ambushed by Mahdi army fighters. The gunfight, during which the soldiers fought with everything from bayonets to tank shells, became known as the battle for Danny Boy, the name British troops gave to a junction on route 6, just south of Amara on the road to Basra. According to some British estimates at the time, up to 50 Iraqis were killed. A number of local residents claimed relatives tending nearby fields were caught up in the fighting. British forces also detained a number of men, and were seen transporting them from the battlefield. The next day, it appears that 22 bodies were handed over by British forces at Camp Abu Naji. The battle took place near Majar al-Kabir, where militants murdered six British military police officers, known as redcaps, six months earlier.

What are the allegations?

The father of an Iraqi killed by British forces during the battle, together with five other Iraqis who were detained on the same date, allege they were beaten and abused, during and after their original detention. They, and other witnesses, also allege that a far larger number of men were detained and transported from the battlefield and that, while their vision was obscured by blacked-out goggles, they overheard the unmistakable sounds of torture at the base. Public Interest Lawyers, a group representing the Iraqis, says this is corroborated by the death certificates to dead Iraqis who were handed over from the Abu Naji base. Evidence of torture included close-range bullet wounds, the removal of eyes, and stab wounds. The Iraqis have been asking the high court in London to order an independent public inquiry into claims they were mistreated and that British soldiers may have killed up to 20 captives.

What have the witnesses said?

In statements last year, five of the Iraqis tell of hearing other men screaming, moaning in pain and choking, and the sound of gunfire. One man, Atiyah Sayid Abdelreza said: "I believed people were being killed. I have never heard anything like that sound ever before in my life. It shocked me and filled me with such terror." The five detainees include two farmers, a student, a taxi driver and a baker, according to the statements. Their lawyers said they had "absolutely nothing" to do with the insurgent Mahdi army. Death certificates of Iraqis, disclosed at the time of the witness statements, described how they died. "Several gunshot wounds to body – severance of sexual organs," one states. "Gunshot to head," another reads. One notes: "Gunshot in face, pulling out of the eye, breaking the jaw, gunshot to the chest." The witness statements implied that Iraqi men were executed by being shot at close range, strangled or having their throats cut, the lawyers said. British soldiers have said they were told to take some bodies of dead Iraqis back to their camp, though it is unclear why.

What do the Iraqis want?

They want compensation for their alleged ordeal and a judicial review of the Ministry of Defence's failure to conduct a proper inquiry into the allegations. The Human Rights Act demands an independent public inquiry when there is prima facie evidence of serious wrongdoing by the state, lawyers have told the high court.

What was the government's reaction?

Allegations of mistreatment of Iraqi civilians at Abu Naji were first reported in the Guardian a month after the battle. Military police were asked to investigate and cleared the soldiers of wrongdoing. The MoD had until now opposed the application for a judicial review into the way it and military police responded to the allegations. Lawyers for the ministry argued the 20 who died were killed during fighting.

Have there been other allegations?

There is the well-documented killing of hotel worker Baha Mousa, 26, who was beaten to death in September 2003. Six soldiers were acquitted and one was jailed for a year. The MoD paid nearly £2.8m to Mousa's family and nine other victims of abuse detained at the same time.

Petition sign and circulate:

Release Iraqi women hostages, victims of terrorism themselves

بعيدا عن الوطن؛ حراك التضامن مع الوطن فنا، شعرا وكتابةً
Away from Home; Memory, Art and women solidarity: you are invited to an evening of poetry and music 22/3/2017 18:30 at P21 Gallery London click here for more details
Public meeting at The Bolivar Hall, London Sat.14/5/2016 at 15:00 IDPs : Fragmentation of Cultural and National Identity


Protest the suffering of Iraqi Christians: No to terrorism No to state terrorism.Hands off our minorities. Hands off our people. Shame on the human rights violators on all sides. Assemble 11:30 on 28/7/14 near Parliament Square, near Westminister tube station London. For more past events click here


Useful links

Halt All Executions! Abolish The Death Penalty!

We women of Tadhamun condemn the persisting practice of arbitrary arrests by the Iraqi security forces. We condemn their arrests of women in lieu of their men folk. These are 'inherited' practices. We are alarmed by credible media reports of the Green Zone government’s intentions of executing hundreds of Iraqi men and women.

For more info click here

Professor Zaineb Al Bahrani of Columbia University NY speaking at a our meeting on the destruction/damage to historical sites in Iraq

On youtube: Part1
Part 3
One more video:

Human Rights Watch: No woman is Safe


Articles published on this site do not necessarily reflect the opinion of WSIUI or its members

المقالات المنشورة على هذا الموقع لا تعكس بالضرورة آراء منظمتنا أو أعضاء منظمتنا

Samarra Minrate built in 852 AD

Samarra Minrate built in 852 AD
Building of 1 500 massive police station !
From the angle of the photo, it is possible to calculate that the complex is being built at E 396388 N 3785995 (UTM Zone 38 North) or Lat. 34.209760° Long. 43.875325°, to the west of the Malwiya (Spiral Minaret), and behind the Spiral Cafe.
While the point itself may not have more than Abbasid houses under the ground, it is adjacent to the palace of Sur Isa, the remains of which can be seen in the photo. While the initial construction might or might not touch the palace, accompanying activities will certainly spread over it.Sur Isa can be identified with the palace of al-Burj, built by the
Abbasid Caliph al-Mutawakkil, probably in 852-3 (Northedge, Historical Topography of Samarra, pp 125-127, 240). The palace is said to have cost 33 million dirhams, and was luxurious. Details are given by al-Shabushti, Kitab al-Diyarat.
Samarra was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO at the end of June. The barracks could easily have been built elsewhere, off the archaeological site.--
Alastair Northedge Professeur d'Art et d'Archeologie Islamiques UFR d'Art et d'Archeologie
Universite de Paris I (Pantheon-Sorbonne) 3, rue Michelet, 75006 Paris
tel. 01 53 73 71 08 telecopie : 01 53 73 71 13 Email :
Alastair.Northedge@univ-paris1.fr ou anorthedge@wanadoo.fr