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

Thursday, April 8, 2010

US-IRAQ: Leaked Video of Shooting Spurs Calls for New Probe

WASHINGTON, Apr 6, 2010 (IPS) - Journalist advocacy groups called for the reopening of an investigation into the 2007 killing of a Reuters photographer and his driver after the WikiLeaks website released classified video footage on Monday of a 2007 helicopter attack in Baghdad which killed 12 people.

"This footage is deeply disturbing," said Joel Simon, executive director of the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

"The video also confirms our long-held view that a thorough and transparent investigation into this incident is urgently needed," Simon added.

The video shows the camera feed from an Apache helicopter gun ship as it performs an air strike on a group of men milling around an empty Baghdad street.

The video also shows the helicopter fire on a van which arrived at the scene and was attempting to evacuate the only visible survivor of the first attack. The attack wounded two children who were inside the vehicle.

Among those killed were Reuters photographer Namir Noor-Eldeen, 22, and his driver, Saeed Chmagh, 40.

WikiLeaks' website states that it goes "to great lengths to verify the authenticity of the information it receives," and has "analysed the information about this incident from a variety of source material." The New York Times confirmed with a senior military official that the footage was authentic.

In a statement released after the incident, Reuters said that its photographer and his driver "had gone to the area after hearing of a military raid on a building around dawn that day, and were with a group of men at the time. It is believed two or three of these men may have been carrying weapons, although witnesses said none were assuming a hostile posture."

"There had been reports of clashes between U.S. forces and insurgents in the area but there was no fighting on the streets in which Namir was moving about with a group of men," said the statement.

Some analysts believe this incident raises important questions about the U.S. military's rules of engagement.

"The video appears to depict a case of confirmation bias by the American helicopter pilots," wrote Christopher Albon, a security analyst who blogs about armed conflict and public health on conflicthealth.com.

"Confirmation bias is the tendency of the human mind to unconsciously prefer information reinforcing existing beliefs. In this case, the fact the pilots were looking for armed insurgents made them predisposed to believe that any item carried by the persons were weapons," Albon continued.

The footage appears to contravene earlier reports by military officials on the day of the attack which stated that U.S. forces had been engaged by a group of insurgents with small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades during a raid, causing them to return fire and call in air support.

"There is no question that coalition forces were clearly engaged in combat operations against a hostile force," Lt. Col. Scott Bleichwehl, a spokesman for the multinational forces in Baghdad, said to the New York Times after the attack.

The video is released in two versions on the Wikileaks website, one unedited 38-minute long version and one edited 17-minute version with added text and commentary surrounding the incident.

Both versions of the video contain subtitles of the conversation between helicopter pilots and other military personnel as they stalk the group of men and await permission to shoot at them.

The pilots are heard joking about their kills, chuckling and making sarcastic commentary such as. "Ah, yeah, look at those dead bastards. Nice," and "Look at that. Right through the windshield," after shooting the van that came to rescue the wounded from the first strike

But after U.S. ground forces arrive and find wounded children in the van the helicopter attacked, the helicopter pilots blame the Iraqis.

"Well it's their fault for bringing kids into a battle," says one.

"That's right," says another.

"I know that two children were hurt, and we did everything we could to help them. I don't know how the children got hurt," Maj. Brent Cummings, the executive officer of the battalion who launched the attack, told the Washington Post after the incident.

Though the U.S. military opened an inquiry into the incident, some advocates do not believe it has been adequately thorough.

Clothilde Le Coz, Washington director of Reporters Without Borders USA (RSF), told IPS that the group will "urge the Pentagon to be more transparent and call on the Obama administration to show its commitment to justice by officially releasing the video as well as key elements of the case."

According to RSF, since March of 2003, 221 journalists and related staff have been killed in Iraq.

"The deaths of Namir Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh three years ago were tragic and emblematic of the extreme dangers that exist in covering war zones," said David Schlesinger, editor-in-chief of Reuters news.

"The video released today via Wikileaks is graphic evidence of the dangers involved in war journalism and the tragedies that can result," added the Reuters chief.


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