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.
For more info click here
Friday, April 2, 2010
Iraq Occupation Focus
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1,400 checkpoints inside Iraqi capital
Azzaman reports (March 27th): There are 1,400 check points inside Baghdad, screening individuals and vehicles for weapons and explosives, said an Iraqi military spokesman.
Asked whether the command would reduce the number of checkpoints in the future, he said: “There is a plan to reduce the number by 5 per cent.”
Baha Mousa inquiry: Eight or more civilians died in British custody
The Guardian reports (March 16th): Eight or more civilians died in the custody of British troops in the weeks after the invasion of Iraq, despite frequent warnings by the army's most senior legal adviser there about unlawful treatment of detainees, an inquiry has heard.
In devastating evidence to an official inquiry, Lieutenant Colonel Nicholas Mercer described the way Iraqi detainees were intimidated and hooded by British soldiers as "repulsive". He said that 10 days after the invasion in March 2003 he saw 20 or 30 detainees lined up with sandbags on their heads.
British military intelligence 'ran renegade torture unit in Iraq'
The Independent reports (March 21st): Military intelligence ran a secret operation in Iraq which authorised degrading and unlawful treatment of prisoners. Documents reveal that prisoners were kept hooded for long periods in intense heat and deprived of sleep by defence intelligence officers. They also reveal that officers running the operation claimed to be answerable only "directly to London".
The latest documents emerged during the inquiry into Baha Mousa, an Iraqi hotel worker beaten to death while in the custody of British troops in September 2003. Lawyers believe the new evidence supports suspicions that an intelligence unit – the Joint Forward Interrogation Team (JFIT) which operated in Iraq – used illegal "coercive techniques" and was not answerable to military commanders in Iraq, despite official denials it operated independently.
In a statement to the inquiry, Colonel Christopher Vernon said he raised concerns after seeing 30 to 40 prisoners in a kneeling position with sacks over their heads.
Marine to face court-martial in killings of 24 Iraqi civilians
LA Times reports (March 27th): A military judge rejected a defense request to throw out charges against the last Marine accused in the killing of 24 Iraqi civilians in Haditha in 2005.
Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich's court-martial is set for Sept. 13 on a variety of charges, including manslaughter, aggravated assault, dereliction of duty, reckless endangerment and obstruction of justice. He remains on active duty.
Maliki Orders Elected Sunni MPs Detained
Antiwar.com reports (March 27th): The battle to form the next government in Iraq is turning ugly, as Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki seems intent on eating into rival Ayad Allawi’s two seat plurality any way possible.
Earlier today it was revealed that Maliki had quietly sought a ruling from the Iraqi supreme court just before the election results were released that would allow him to bypass Allawi’s plurality through recruiting new bloc members after the election. But beyond that and perhaps more galling for the Iraqi voter, the Justice and Accountability Commission, which saw several members of Allawi’s bloc barred from competing in the election, has suggested it may block some of his elected members from serving, and replace them with members of some other political faction.
Allawi’s narrow two seat lead could scarce stand up to this possibility. Yet the Maliki government is being even more brazen than this, it would seem, as reports have emerged out of Diyala Province that four Sunni MP-elects from Allawi’s bloc are being targeted by security forces. One has already been captured and is being held incommunicado by the Maliki government, two others have gone into hiding, and the fourth is nowhere to be found.
Iraqi elections hit with claims of fraud by opposing parties
The Guardian reports (March 16th): Iraqi prime minister Nour al-Maliki's political bloc has called for a recount of all ballots cast in the general election, alleging an official in the government-run election centre has wrongly entered data to favour a rival candidate.
The claim is from key Maliki supporter Ali al-Adeeb. Abeed said the State of Law list had lodged an official complaint with the Iraqi high election commission, which supervised the ballot and the subsequent count of 18.9 million registered votes. His claim follows sporadic allegations of fraud levelled by the political bloc of the man running second in counting, former prime minister, Iyad Allawi.
Competing claims of vote rigging have been flung by all key players in the election in what has become a chaotic and uncertain aftermath. Several election observers have also raised doubts about the vote's integrity.
Election monitors’ report increases doubts over fairness of Iraq election
The Times reports (March 15th): Independent election monitors in Iraq have raised significant concerns over the conduct and fairness of last week’s national poll.
A high-level Iraqi report obtained by The Times details violations across the country and includes evidence of the army and police interfering directly with voting on March 7. Based on testimony compiled by three non-governmental agencies, the report says that in some Iraqi provinces “security forces were urging people to vote for a specific list”.
Election monitors also observed “the presence of a number of security forces even within the voting hall, which sometimes hindered the movement of voters and confused them about ensuring privacy in the voting”.
Returning to Iraq after 10 years
Hela Rahman reports for Scoop (March 17th): Driving through the streets of Baghdad is a heartbreaking experience. Rubbish lies uncollected, roads bear the scars of exploded munitions and impoverished children play outside destroyed buildings, fires still smouldering amongst the rubble. There is no green now, only dust and sand. There are no ambitions for the people of Iraq bar one - to survive another day.
Electricity constantly goes off. Food is expensive and water isn’t always clean – a couple of times when I was washing fruit and vegetables, mud started coming out of the tap. Due to the tremendous heat, water coolers are almost as essential as oxygen in most of the Middle East but because of the electrical cuts the water is tepid at best. Petrol is very expensive – ironic considering Iraq’s large oil reserves. Since the invasion, most oil produced is exported overseas. Infrastructure is poor – rubbish collectors will only take away rubbish for cash in hand. As no one has cash, rubbish lies on the footpaths and on the streets. Every day is a struggle.
Destroying educational institutions or using them for military purposes is a war crime
Dirk Adriaensens of the Brussells Tribunal executive committee writes (March 23rd): A recent UNESCO report “Education Under Attack 2010 – Iraq”, dated 10 February 2010, concludes that “Although overall security in Iraq had improved, the situation faced by schools, students, teachers and academics remained dangerous.” ]The destruction of Iraq’s education is ongoing. Aswat Al Iraq reported on 4 January 2010 that “the 2010 federal budget offers the country’s education and higher education only 10 percent of the funding they need.”
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.
Between March 2003 and October 2008, 31,598 violent attacks against educational institutions were reported in Iraq, according to the Ministry of Education.
Since 2007 bombings at Al Mustansiriya University in Baghdad have killed or maimed more than 335 students and staff members, according to a 19 Oct 2009 NYT article, and a 12-foot-high blast wall has been built around the campus.
Vegetable price soar in Iraq as government bans imports
Azzaman reports (March 23rd): A government ban on imports of vegetables has led to steep hikes in vegetable prices in the country.
The government has issued a list of vegetables which cannot be imported in a bid to encourage farmers.
A kilogram of tomatoes, a staple for Iraqi cuisine, has skyrocketed to about 1,250 dinars from nearly 500. Cucumbers have surged to 1, 000 dinars from 500.
A dollar is worth 1,250 dinars. The new rates will put the two items beyond the reach of many families since average government salaries range between $200-300.
Iraq's crumbling, corrupt healthcare
Abeer Mohammed writes for The Guardian (March 25th): My mother is 53. Three days after an operation to correct the cataract in her left eye, my mother suffered a spasm in her left leg. As her pain worsened, she was unable to leave the bed or even sit upright.
The expensive scanning technology that could examine my mother was only available at the big public hospitals. When we went there, however, we found that the senior doctors – the specialists she needed to see – had stopped coming to work in the runup to the elections because they were worried about being killed or kidnapped. Targeted because of their wealth or sect, almost half the country's population of doctors is estimated by the government to have fled abroad at the height of the recent conflict. Few have returned.
A healthcare system that was starved by sanctions in the time of Saddam Hussein is now better stocked, but desperately short of skilled staff. Patients still face long waits for life-saving treatment in battered facilities. As in other areas of Iraqi public life, corruption is rife in public hospitals. The staff often solicits money from patients, either blatantly as bribes or masked as payment for medicines that ought to be free.
Blair Strikes Oil in Iraq
Middle east Online reports (March 26th): In the three years since he stepped down as prime minister, Blair pocketed more than $30 million in oil revenues from his secret dealings with a South Korean oil consortium, UI Energy Corporation.
Not surprisingly, Mr. Blair isn't the only prominent politician on UI's payroll. Others reportedly include former Australian prime minister Bob Hawke, as well as politicians like Congressman Stephen J. Solarz, former secretary of defense Frank Carlucci, former ambassador to Egypt, Nicholas A. Belites, and U.S. Commander for the Middle East General John P. Abizaid.
Despite Drawdown, Big Bucks for Baghdad Embassy Security
Wired reports (March 26th): According to a new audit by the department’s Office of the Inspector General, or IG, the State Department has paid one company — Triple Canopy — a whopping $438 million to guard the embassy in Baghdad since mid-2005.
Thousands rally to pull troops from 2 war zones
AP report (March 21st): Thousands of protesters — many directing their anger squarely at President Barack Obama — marched through the nation's capital to urge immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.
At least eight people, including activist Cindy Sheehan, were arrested by U.S. Park Police at the end of the march, after laying coffins at a fence outside the White House. "Arrest that war criminal!" Sheehan shouted outside the White House before her arrest, referring to Obama.
Activist Ralph Nader told thousands who gathered in Lafayette Park across from the White House that Obama has essentially continued the policies of the Bush administration, and it was foolish to have thought otherwise.
Protesters in Washington stopped at the offices of military contractor Halliburton — where they tore apart an effigy of former Vice President and Halliburton Chief Executive Dick Cheney — the Mortgage Bankers Association and The Washington Post offices.
Sat 10 April 10:30 - 16:30 One day conference: What Now for Iraq? Conway Hall, Holborn, London.
Speakers from Amnesty International, Stop the War Coalition and the Brussells Tribunal. Sessions on 1) Iraqis' Human Rights today, 2) Iraq's Environment and its implications on public health, 3) The plight of Iraq's Professionals and Academics. Conway Hall, Holborn, London WC1R 4RL.
Organised by Women Solidarity for an Independent and Unified Iraq.
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 email@example.com