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
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.
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Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Iraq Occupation Focus
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Iraq confiscates arms in private security crackdown
Reuters report (January 9th): Security forces confiscated hundreds of rifles, thousands of rounds of ammunition and other military gear in a crackdown on private security contractors in Iraq, officials said.
Police raided three locations in Baghdad, a week after Iraqi authorities were incensed by a U.S. judge's decision to throw out charges against five Blackwater Worldwide security guards accused of killing over a dozen Iraqi civilians in 2007. Officials said they are targeting private security companies that are no longer legally licensed to operate in Iraq.
Endemic Sectarianism and Ethnic Partition
Layla Anwar blogs (January 8th): A series of dangerous developments are taking place in Iraq - not that it has ever stopped, but definitely reminiscent of the events that led up to the 2006 sectarian war, instigated and supported by the USA, Iran and Israel.
Two days ago, a sweep of mass arrests of Sunnis took place in Baghdad, Tikrit and Mosul leading to an exodus of families to the Northern part of the country. This mass of arrests came over and above the daily explosions and killings targeting Sahwa members and Sunni officials in the Anbar province.
Yesterday in the Shaab neighborhood of Baghdad, alone, 21 men were arrested by so called “anti-terrorist” squads, and it seems that 2 women were part of those reported as missing.
UK troops 'executed Iraqi grandmother'
The Independent reports (January 11th): Allegations that a 62-year-old Iraqi grandmother was tortured and executed by British soldiers after her family home was raided three years ago are being investigated by the Royal Military Police.
The Army's involvement in the death and abuse of Sabiha Khudur Talib is one of the most serious charges to be made against Britain during its six-year occupation of southern Iraq.
An investigation led by Lieutenant Haidar Yashaa Salman from Al-Qibla police station of the Al-Hussein Police Directorate found: "At 11 o'clock, we were informed by the police operation room of the finding of a dumped body, so went to the site and found out that the body belonged to the victim Sabiha Khudur Talib, who was arrested by the British forces on 14-15 November 2006 ... I saw the body in a brown dish- dash [one-piece tunic], bare feet and hands with marks of handcuffs. I saw traces of torture on the body of the victim. I saw a non-penetrated bullet entry in the abdome/p>
Blackwater Settles Massacre Lawsuit by Paying Families of Dead Iraqis $100,000 Each
Rebel Reports report (January 7th): Two sources with inside knowledge of Blackwater’s settlement with Iraqi victims of a string of shootings, including the Nisour Square massacre, have confirmed that Blackwater is paying $100,000 for each of the Iraqis killed by its forces and between $20-30,000 to each Iraqi wounded. One source said it was “an absolute bargain” for Blackwater. Based on the number of dead and injured named in the civil lawsuits, the total amount paid by Blackwater is likely in the range of $5 million. Blackwater has made more than $1.5 billion in “security” contracts in Iraq alone since 2003.
Blackwater’s owner, Erik Prince, recently said his company is spending $2 million a month in legal fees to battle civil and criminal cases and investigations.
Iraqis say they were forced to take Blackwater settlement
A Times reports (January 11th): Several victims of a 2007 shooting involving American private security guards employed by the firm formerly known as Blackwater alleged Sunday that they were coerced into reaching settlements, and they demanded that the Iraqi government intervene to have the agreements nullified.
The Iraqis said they were pressured by their own attorneys into accepting what they now believe are inadequate settlements because they were told the company was about to file for bankruptcy, that its chairman was going to be arrested and that the U.S. government was about to confiscate all of the firm's assets. This would be their last chance to get any compensation, the victims said they were told.
When criminal charges against the guards were dismissed by a U.S. federal judge on Dec. 31, the Iraqis concluded that they had been duped and that Blackwater, now called Xe, was not in the kind of legal and financial trouble they had been led to believe.
3 Blackwater Guards Called Baghdad Shootings Unjustified
NY Times reports (January 16th): Three private security guards working for Blackwater Worldwide who witnessed a 2007 episode in Baghdad in which at least 17 Iraqi civilians were killed by other Blackwater guards told a federal grand jury that they believed the shootings were unjustified, according to newly unsealed court documents.
Two senior United States military officers who arrived at the site soon after the shooting also told investigators that they saw no evidence of insurgent activity that would have justified the shootings, according to the documents.
Squatters moved out of nearly two thirds of returnees’ homes
IRIN reports (January 10th): Nearly two thirds of homes belonging to Iraqi internally displaced persons (IDPs) or refugees that were occupied by squatters have been evacuated since mid-2008, a government official said.
Since July 2008, the government has made a concerted effort to encourage the return of IDPs and refugees to the areas of origin. One element of this initiative was to crackdown on squatters by offering them a one-off payment of 1.8 million Iraqi dinars (US$1,525) to assist them in finding legitimate accommodation to rent.
Abdul-Khaliq Zankana, head of parliament's committee on displacement and migration, said the evacuation decree “has not been implemented properly, as only a limited number of people have returned to their houses so far and the majority is still waiting as their houses are still occupied by other families”.
"I swear that I have not heard until now that even one family has been paid the one-off payment,” Zankana told IRIN. He blamed long-winded procedures and bureaucracy.
Iraq’s Interior Ministry’s calls for public executions
Azzaman reports (January 7th): Iraq’s judicial council has passed 77 more death sentences on convicts charged with different offenses, namely terror.
Hundreds of Iraqis are on death row but the penalty is only administered after being approved by the country’s presidency. Scores are reported to have been executed in 2009, according to Amnesty International.
The arrests are carried out mainly by the internal security forces of the interior ministry which now wants the executions be carried out in public in various Iraqi cities as deterrence.
5 Iraqis killed in traffic accident with US forces
AP report (January 6th): A minibus carrying an extended Iraqi family collided Wednesday with a U.S. military vehicle south of Baghdad, killing five Iraqis and wounding at least 10 people, including three American soldiers, U.S. and Iraqi officials said.
Babil province's police spokesman Maj. Muthana Khalid said the accident occurred about 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of Baghdad on the road to the city of Hillah. He said the U.S. military vehicle was traveling in the wrong lane.
Iraqi army personnel involved in oil smuggling
Azzaman reports (January 13th): Personnel from the Iraqi armed forces have been found smuggling crude oil and selling it on the open market, a senior oil ministry official said.
Alaa Muhideen, the ministry’s inspector-general, said investigations conducted in the past two months have revealed that the army has been directly involved in oil smuggling operations.
Iraq bars major Sunni party from election
LA Times reports (January 8th): In a development that bodes ill for the prospects of national reconciliation in Iraq, a prominent Sunni party has been barred from participating in March elections because of its leader's alleged ties to the outlawed Baath Party that ruled the country under Saddam Hussein, officials said.
The Justice and Accountability Committee charged with checking that candidates don't have ties to Baathists has named Saleh Mutlak, a prominent lawmaker, among those disqualified from the elections, according to the panel's executive director, Ali Lami.
That means that Mutlak's Iraqi Dialogue Front also will be barred, said Lami, who was detained by the U.S. military for a year on suspicion of ties to Iranian-backed militias.
Mutlak had been cleared for participation in the last election, in December 2005, but Lami said that new information had come to light that showed Mutlak "is a Baathist and nominated himself as a Baathist." He declined to provide further details.
Mutlak, who is regarded as a leading spokesman for disgruntled Sunni Muslims and secularists who wish to participate in the political process, dismissed the allegation as "absolute rubbish."
Sunni candidates ban threatens Iraq election
The Guardian reports (January 15th): Leading Sunni politicians warned that Iraq was sliding towards a "dark unknown" in the wake of a decision to ban more than 400 Sunni candidates from contesting the upcoming general election. The move is increasingly being seen as a test of the poll's legitimacy and a direct threat to the Shia-led government's attempts at reconciling the country's warring militant and political factions.
The country's independent electoral commission banned about 500 candidates from running in the 7 March poll. But more than 80% were today revealed to be Sunni nominees who had been courted to take part in a bid to prevent a re-run of the 2005 election, which saw a Sunni boycott and a subsequent slide towards sectarian war.
British firms 'did pretty well' out of overthrowing Saddam
The Times reports (January 6th): British companies have benefited from the award of oil contracts in Iraq because of the decision to help to overthrow Saddam Hussein, Gordon Brown’s chief foreign policy adviser told the Chilcot inquiry yesterday.
Simon McDonald said British companies had “done pretty well” in a recent auction of oil rights and that Britain had “privileged access” to the Government of Nouri al-Maliki, the Prime Minister.
Norway's Statoil to invest $1.4 billion in Iraqi oil field
Lebanon Daily Star reports (January 9th): Norway’s Statoil will invest $1.4 billion in Iraq’s West Qurna Phase Two over the next four to five years and hopes to book some reserves from the field, its head of international operations said. Statoil and Russian partner Lukoil have said they will make money out of one of the world’s largest untapped supergiant fields with the remuneration fee of $1.15 per barrel, the lowest agreed in Iraqi bidding rounds last year.
Iraq invasion violated international law, Dutch inquiry finds
The Guardian reports (January 12th): The invasion of Iraq in 2003 was a violation of international law, an independent inquiry in the Netherlands has found.
In a damning series of findings on the decision of the Dutch government to support Tony Blair and George Bush in the strategy of regime change in Iraq, the inquiry found the action had "no basis in international law".
The 551-page report, chaired by former Dutch supreme court judge Willibrord Davids, said UN resolutions in the 1990s prior to the outbreak of war gave no authority to the invasion.
Army Imprisons Soldier for Singing Against Stop-Loss Policy
Dahr Jamail reports for Truth Out (January 8th): Army Specialist and Iraq war veteran Marc Hall was incarcerated by the US Army on December 11, 2009, in Liberty County Jail, Georgia, for recording a song that expresses his anger over the Army's stop-loss policy.
Stop-loss is a policy that allows the Army to keep soldiers active beyond the end of their signed contracts. According to the Pentagon, more than 120,000 soldiers have been affected by stop-loss since 2001, and currently 13,000 soldiers are serving under stop-loss orders.
Hall, (aka hip hop artist Marc Watercus), who is in the Army's 3rd Infantry Division, was placed in Liberty County Jail for the song (click here to listen to "Stop-Loss," by Marc Watercus), in which he angrily denounces the continuing policy that has barred him from exiting the military.
المقالات المنشورة على هذا الموقع لا تعكس بالضرورة آراء منظمتنا أو أعضاء منظمتنا
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 firstname.lastname@example.org