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[ This message has been sent to you via the CASI-analysis mailing list ] This is an automated compilation of submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org Articles for inclusion in this daily news mailing should be sent to email@example.com. Please include a full reference to the source of the article. Today's Topics: 1. US heroes speaking (nermin) 2. Fri 19 March: anniversary protest - IRAQ: STORIES OF INVASION AND OCCUPATION (Emma Sangster) 3. Recovering Iraq's Assets (Nicholas Gilby) 4. IRC News | Bhagdad & Beyond (IRC Communications) 5. Iraq: One year on the human rights situation remains dire (Mark Parkinson) 6. Galloway Accepts Damages over Iraq Libel (bluepilgrim) --__--__-- Message: 1 From: "nermin" <nermin@DELETETHISburntmail.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Tue, 16 Mar 2004 07:29:57 +0000 Subject: US heroes speaking =0D Dear list,=0D The real American heroes are speaking!! Let us celebrate with them the firs= t anniversary of the (FREEDOM) in Iraq!!=0D =0D =0D =0D Patriotic Words from the front lines in the War on Terror=0D =0D uploaded 08 Mar 2004=0D =0D =0D Despite controversy back home, our soldiers in Iraq remain confident in Pre= sident Bush and focused in their mission to ensure the safety and emerging = democracy of Iraq. Here are some words from our soldiers on the front lines= :=0D =0D "The way we have been treated and the continuous lies told to our families = back home has devastated us all," in a letter to Congress.=0D Anonymous Soldier, U.S. Army, in Iraq=0D =0D "I came into this war hoping to rid the world of an evil man, Saddam Hussei= n. Once accomplished, I now find myself confined and surrounded by the post= -war chaos and anger of a people without direction and begging for leadersh= ip. I see their pain and realize that at this time I am part of their pain.= "=0D Major Matthew Jennings, 82nd Airborne Division, U.S. Army, in Iraq=0D "If Donald Rumsfeld were here, I'd ask him for his resignation," as told to= ABC's Good Morning America.=0D Anonymous Officer, U.S. Army, in Iraq=0D =0D "It pretty much makes me lose faith in the Army ... I don't really believe = anything they tell me. If they told me we were leaving next week, I wouldn'= t believe them," as told to ABC News.=0D Private First Class Jason Punyhotra, 3rd Infantry Division, U.S. Army in Fa= llujah, Iraq=0D =0D "The Army is strained and stressed ... The last time we had people doing co= mbat tours every other year was Vietnam ... The impact on soldiers and fami= lies was great. A lot of good junior officers and mid-grade NCOs walked. Th= is decimated the rising leadership and broke the force."=0D General John Keane, U.S. Army=0D =0D "Somewhere down the line, we became an occupation force in [Iraqi] eyes. We= don't feel like heroes any more ... We are outnumbered. We are exhausted. = We are in over our heads. The President says, 'Bring 'em on.' The generals = say we don't need more troops. Well, they're not over here."=0D Private Isaac Kindblade, 671st Engineer Company, U.S. Army, in Iraq=0D =0D "I've got my own 'Most Wanted' list ... The aces in my deck are Paul Bremer= , Donald Rumsfeld, George Bush and Paul Wolfowitz," as told to ABC News.=0D Anonymous Sergeant, U.S. Army, in Iraq=0D =0D "For the last six months I have participated in what I believe to be the gr= eat modern lie: Operation Iraqi Freedom ... I once believed that I served f= or a cause: 'to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States.' N= ow I no longer believe that; I have lost my conviction, as well as my deter= mination. I can no longer justify my service for what I believe to be half-= truths and bold lies."=0D Tim Predmore, 101st Airborne Division near Mosul, Iraq=0D =0D "[Soldiers] vent to anyone who will listen. They write letters, they cry, t= hey yell. Many of them walk around looking visibly tired and depressed.... = We feel like pawns in a game that we have no voice [in]."=0D Anonymous Officer, U.S. Army, in Iraq=0D =0D "I wasn't particularly impressed with anything he came up with," referring = to President Bush's September 23, 2003 speech to the U.N. regarding progres= s in Iraq.=0D Staff Sergeant Jason Dungan, 4th Infantry Division, U.S. Army in Tikrit, Ir= aq=0D =0D "We've been out here for six months, and it looks like we're going to be he= re for another six months more ... That's it. It's a done deal, so nothing = he says makes a blind bit of difference to us," referring to President Bush= 's September 23, 2003 speech to the U.N. regarding progress in Iraq.=0D Anonymous Soldier in Tikrit, Iraq=0D =0D "Most soldiers would empty their bank accounts just for a plane ticket home= ," in a letter to Congress.=0D Anonymous Soldier, U.S. Army, in Iraq=0D =0D "Make no mistake, the level of morale for most soldiers that I've seen has = hit rock bottom."=0D Anonymous Officer, 3rd Infantry Division, U.S. Army, in Iraq=0D =0D "I have never seen in almost 14 years of Army experience anything that call= ous," recounting an incident when two Army doctors refused to treat three I= raqi children severely burned by explosives. "After today, I wonder if I wi= ll still be able to carry the title 'soldier' with any pride at all."=0D Sergeant David J. Borell, U.S. Military Police in Balad, Iraq=0D =0D "I signed up to defend my country, not carry out acts of aggression ... The= y are exploiting the events of September 11, based on greed and our need fo= r oil."=0D Private Jeremy Hinzman, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, U.S. Army (Priva= te Hinzman is a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and re= fuses to serve in Iraq. He currently seeks refugee status in Canada with hi= s family.)=0D =0D =0D =0D Soldiers' families voice their pride=0D =0D Because some of the above quotes were from soldiers within the 3rd Infantry= Division, a rear-detachment commander sent soldiers' families a patriotic = e-mail warning them not to contact the media "in a negative manner regardin= g the military and this deployment."=0D =0D But military families are too proud of their loved ones in combat to keep q= uiet:=0D =0D "George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld care about the troops in the same way that= Tyson Foods cares about chickens."=0D Stan Goff, Retired Army Master Sergeant and father of soldier in Iraq=0D =0D "I'm in awe of my sons and the honorable service they give. But the leaders= they serve have not acted honorably. They have failed my sons. They have f= ailed all of us."=0D Larry Syverson, father of two sons serving in Tikrit and Baghdad=0D =0D "It's all part of the lie of the Bush administration, that they say they su= pport our troops ... Our troops have become oppressors and occupiers in a h= ostile nation."=0D Susan Schuman, Mother of Massachusetts National Guard Sergeant stationed in= Iraq=0D =0D "My son died because Bush lied ... Neither my wife nor my family want more = children to die in this illegal war. We are no less patriotic for wanting p= eace ... Bush wants $87 billion for this war, but what does he give us for = our schools?"=0D Fernando Suarez, father of Jesus Suarez who was killed in Iraq=0D =0D =0D Bush is supporting our troops=0D =0D To support the troops, President Bush's 2004 Budget and the Republican-led = Congress has:=0D =0D Cut $14.6 billion from veteran's benefits over the next ten years.=0D Cut $1.5 billion from military housing. U.S. House Representative David Obe= y attempted to recover $1 billion of this loss by trimming the portion of B= ush's tax cut to Americans earning over $1 million per year by 5%. He faile= d.=0D Cut $200 million from public schools on military bases.=0D Denies the much-touted child tax credit to nearly 200,000 low-income milita= ry personnel.=0D Canceled a modest proposal to increase the benefit to families of soldiers = who die on active duty from $6,000 to $12,000.=0D Rolled back recent modest increases in monthly imminent-danger pay for sold= iers (from $225 to $150) and the family-separation allowance (from $250 to = $100) for troops in hostile combat zones.=0D Refused to consider military tax relief, which would be a great help to mil= itary homeowners and parents deployed to combat zones.=0D Passed pay raises for some higher ranks, and capped raises for lower ranks.= =0D Regarding some of these patriotic measures taken by the Bush Administration= and Republicans, U.S. Army newspaper Army Times wrote: "Taken piecemeal, a= ll these corner-cutting moves might be viewed as mere flesh wounds. But eve= n flesh wounds are fatal if you suffer enough of them."=0D =0D =0D The Pentagon looks after our ill soldiers=0D =0D Sgt. Brian Pacholski and Sgt. David J. Borell Soldiers are falling ill and = dozens are dying due to a mysterious "pneumonia-like" illness. The symptoms= of this mystery disease include severe chest pains, difficulty breathing, = and fluid in the lungs. Doctors and especially soldiers suspect government-= issued anthrax and smallpox vaccines as the cause. Military personnel face = possible court-martial if they refuse to accept the vaccines when ordered. = All cases of this mystery pneumonia are soldiers that were injected with th= ese vaccines, including some soldiers that were never deployed.=0D =0D The Pentagon refuses to count many of these cases (including casualties) as= part of an investigation into the matter, will not consider the anthrax an= d smallpox vaccines as a commonality to the cases, and attributes the stran= ge incidents of illness and death primarily to smoking.=0D =0D "They say I have Parkinson's, but it is developing too rapidly ... I did no= t have a problem until I got those shots."=0D Anonymous Soldier, U.S. Army=0D =0D "I'm real touchy here. Come a few more months, I'm in line to get another [= anthrax shot]. It's not like we have a choice in the matter."=0D Staff Sergeant Neal B. Erickson Sr., U.S. Army=0D =0D "I would invite anyone who doesn't believe in the adverse reaction of the a= nthrax vaccine to come spend a day in my home to see first hand what my fam= ily and I go through ... We are just victims of wanting to serve our countr= y."=0D Private Dennis W. Drew, U.S. Army=0D =0D Hundreds of wounded and ill national guard and reserve soldiers that served= in Iraq and elsewhere are being kept in "medical hold" back in America, ho= used in concrete barracks without air conditioning. Many wait weeks and mon= ths without proper medical treatment while the Army considers what benefits= they deserve. Some have mysterious illnesses they attribute to the anthrax= vaccine, many of which the Army classify as pre-existing conditions, undes= erving of medical benefits.=0D =0D "I have loved the Army. I have served the Army faithfully and I have done e= verything the Army has asked me to do ... Now my whole idea about the U.S. = Army has changed. I am treated like a third-class citizen."=0D Sergeant Willie Buckels, U.S. Army=0D =0D "Now, I would not go back to war for the Army."=0D First Sergeant Gerry Mosley, U.S. Army=0D =0D One of the soldiers at Fort Knox who described these conditions to the pres= s has been punished by being denied pay and healthcare for Post Traumatic S= tress Disorder. Lt. Jullian Goodrum was forced to seek help at a civilian h= ospital and currently at the mental ward of the Walter Reed Army Medical Ce= nter in Washington, D.C. Goodrum was named 2001 "Soldier of the Year" of th= e Army Reserve 176th Maintenance Battalion.=0D =0D "They are coming after me pretty bad."=0D Lt. Jullian Goodrum, 176th Maintenance Battalion, U.S. Army Reserve, Vetera= n of the 1991 Persian Gulf War and Operation Iraqi Freedom=0D =0D Source: bushpresident2004.com=0D --__--__-- Message: 2 Date: Wed, 17 Mar 2004 01:24:46 +0000 To: email@example.com From: Emma Sangster <emma@DELETETHISdrifting.demon.co.uk> Subject: Fri 19 March: anniversary protest - IRAQ: STORIES OF INVASION AND OCCUPATION IRAQ: STORIES OF INVASION AND OCCUPATION A theatrical protest and tour of Whitehall to mark one year since the US/UK invasion of Iraq FEATURING: giant puppets, wigs, costumes, readings, food and the wonderful Theatre of War (www.theatreofwar.org)! WHERE AND WHEN: Friday 19 March 2004. Assemble at 11am at the Edith Cavell Statue, St Martins Place, London (nr. Trafalgar Sq, opposite National Portrait Gallery entrance, nearest tube Leicester Square). Finish around 1pm with refreshments on Parliament Square. 19 March 2004 will mark one year since the illegal invasion of Iraq. Join us: =E2=80=A2 to remember the lies, the killings and the protests =E2=80=A2 to demonstrate against the ongoing occupation and corporate pillage =E2=80=A2 = to strengthen your commitment to future acts of resistance =E2=80=A2 to celebr= ate the international anti-war movement Audience participation is optional (!) but if you're coming and would like to take on a small role on the day (eg. police officer, judge or Antarctic scientist!) it would be useful if you could let us know in advance by sending an e-mail to Lyn.firstname.lastname@example.org or leaving a message with your name and number at 0845 458 2564 (local rate call). Organised by Voices in the Wilderness UK (www.voicesuk.org) and friends. For more information contact Voices on 0845 458 2564 (local rate call) or e-mail email@example.com. -- Emma Sangster --__--__-- Message: 3 Subject: Recovering Iraq's Assets Date: Fri, 19 Mar 2004 09:18:09 -0000 From: "Nicholas Gilby" <Nicholas.Gilby@DELETETHISmori.com> To: <firstname.lastname@example.org> [ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ] The General Accounting Office (GAO) today released the following reports, testimony, and correspondence: TESTIMONY Recovering Iraq's Assets: Preliminary Observations on U.S. Efforts and Challenges. GAO-04-579T, March 18 http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-04-579T <http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-04-579T> Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/highlights/d04579thigh.pdf <http://www.gao.gov/highlights/d04579thigh.pdf> GAO estimates that from 1997 through 2002, the former Iraqi regime acquired $10.1 billion in illegal revenues related to the Oil for Food program-$5.7 billion in oil smuggled out of Iraq and $4.4 billion in illicit surcharges on oil sales and after-sales charges on suppliers. This estimate is higher than our May 2002 estimate of $6.6 billion because it includes 2002 data from oil revenues and contracts under the Oil for Food Program and newer estimates of illicit commissions from commodity suppliers. The United States has tapped the services of a variety of U.S. agencies and recently developed domestic and international tools in its efforts to recover Iraqi assets worldwide. Led by the Department of the Treasury, about 20 government entities have combined efforts to identify, freeze, and transfer the former regime's assets to Iraq. The United States also used the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, as amended by provisions in the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001, to confiscate the property of the former Iraqi regime under U.S. jurisdiction and vest the assets in the U.S. Treasury. Finally, U.N. Security Council Resolution 1483 required all U.N. members to freeze without delay and immediately transfer assets of the former Iraqi regime to the new Development Fund for Iraq (DFI). U.S. efforts to recover Iraqi assets have had varying results. In March 2003, the U.S. government quickly took control of Iraq's assets in the United States. From May to September 2003, the United States transferred $1.7 billion to Iraq to help pay for the salaries of Iraqi civil servants, ministry operations, and pensions. Within Iraq, U.S. military and coalition forces seized about $926 million of the regime's assets. Other countries froze about $3.7 billion of Iraqi regime assets in compliance with U.N. Security Council resolutions. As of March 2004, Treasury reported that more than 10 countries and the Bank for International Settlements had transferred approximately $751 million to the DFI. Little progress has been made in identifying and freezing additional Iraqi assets that remain hidden. While the amount of hidden assets accumulated by the former Iraqi regime is unknown, estimates range from $10 to $40 billion in illicit earnings. The United States faces key challenges in recovering Iraq's assets. First, recovering the former regime's assets was not initially a high priority in the overall U.S. effort in Iraq. Second, U.S. officials stated that many countries needed to adopt additional legislation to implement the U.N. requirements and transfer the funds to the DFI. U.S. expectations for the quick transfer of funds may have been overly optimistic given the legal capabilities of some countries. Third, the impending transfer of sovereignty to an interim Iraqi government on June 30, 2004, may further complicate U.S. efforts to locate and recover assets of the former regime. It is uncertain whether the new government will allow the United States to continue its hunt for the former regime's assets. <http://www.mori.com/pubinfo/rd/sri-change.shtml> ============================ Disclaimer This e-mail is confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual to whom it is addressed. Any views or opinions presented are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of MORI Limited. If you are not the intended recipient, be advised that you have received this e-mail in error and that any use, dissemination, forwarding, printing, or copying of this e-mail is strictly prohibited. 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For further information visit http://www.mci.com --__--__-- Message: 4 From: "IRC Communications" <communications@DELETETHISirc-online.org> Organization: Interhemispheric Resource Center To: "email@example.com" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: IRC News | Bhagdad & Beyond Date: Fri, 19 Mar 2004 11:24:56 -0700 [ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ] ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ What=92s New at the IRC "Forging local-global links for policy alternatives, strategic dialogue, and citizen action since 1979." www.irc-online.org March 19, 2004 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ It's still too early to evaluate U.S. policy in the Middle East. The overall mission of the administration is to spark a process of creative destruction that will transform the region through a process of regime change, preventive war, and global democratic revolution. The Iraq invasion was the kick-off to what President Bush calls the "forward strategy of freedom." A year after the invasion, Tom Barry looks at the neocon policy agenda as formulated and implemented by a handful of neocon think tanks, policy institutes, and front groups. One of the first of these groups, the U.S. Committee on NATO, was a model for other groups led by the same neocon operatives, including the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, U.S. Committee for a Free Lebanon, and Coalition for a Democracy in Iran. All are closely linked to the Project for the New American Century and the American Enterprise Institute. The neocon visions of Middle East restructuring cannot be dismissed, despite the deepening quagmire of Iraq, in part because of the success the neoconservative camp in winning bipartisan support for its policy initiatives and its front groups. One Year After the Invasion Baghdad and Beyond By Tom Barry (approximately 1100 words) In defiance of world opinion and the UN Security Council--but with the support of the U.S. Congress--the Bush administration invaded Iraq in March 2003. A year later it=92s still too soon to evaluate the success of the mission whi= ch aims with bipartisan support to restructure the Middle East through a process of creative destruction. In speeches at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in 2003, President Bush sketched out an interventionist foreign and military policy in the Middle East. This new policy, according to the president, is a "forward strategy of freedom in the Middle East," which he describes as "the calling of our time, the calling of our country." First Stop: Baghdad While neocon institutes such as PNAC and AEI were laying out the overall agenda, the specific targets of the neocon transformative strategy have been developed by region- and country-focused front groups created and led by neoconservatives. One of the most successful neocon groups was the U.S. Committee on NATO, directed by Bruce Jackson. Because of Jackson=92s success at the U.S. Committee on NATO in corralling bipartisan support to usher Central and East European nations into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Bush administration tapped Jackson to help build bipartisan support for the Iraq invasion. Bruce Jackson, who sits on PNAC=92s five-member board of directors and was until 2002 Lockheed Martin=92s director of strategic planning, was the point man = in establishing the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq (CLI) in November 2002. By Jackson=92s account, the current administration encouraged him to set up CLI. "People in the White House said, =91We need you to do for Iraq what you did for NATO=92," Jackson asserted. The Committee for the Liberation of Iraq was the quintessential modern front group, built on a diverse membership, international connections, a broad and unifying statement of purpose, and internal disciplines. Scheunemann, CLI= =92s executive director, was like Jackson a board member of the U.S. Committee on NATO; and he was at the core of the early efforts in Congress and within the Republican Party to support the Iraqi National Congress (INC). Almed Chalabi, INC=92s chieftain, was a wealthy Iraqi expatriate who gained favor with neocons and hawks during the 1990s but was distrusted by the State Department and the CIA. In his position as national security adviser to Senator Trent Lott, Scheunemann had drafted numerous legislative bills shaping Washington=92s Iraq policy. One of these bills, the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998, authorized $98 million to the INC--funds that were never fully disbursed by the Clinton administration, partly because of serious infighting within the INC. Most CLI board members were prominent neocons, such as Robert Kagan, Richard Perle, William Kristol, and Joshua Muravchik. But the success of the CLI as a front group stemmed from its ability to incorporate Democrats and Republicans outside the politically incestuous circle of neocons, including former Senator Bob Kerrey, former Congressman Steve Solarz, Will Marshall of the Progressive Policy Institute (an offshoot of the center-right Democratic Leadership Council), Sen. John McCain, Sen. Joseph Lieberman, and former Secretary of State George Shultz, who served as honorary chairman of the CLI advisory board. On to Damascus Visions of regime change in Iran and Syria preoccupy Middle East experts at the American Enterprise Institute, the Hudson Institute, and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs. In early May 2003, Meyrav Wurmser of the Hudson Institute, the convener of an AEI forum on Iran, alerted the administration and Congress that Iran should be the next target of the war on terrorism=92= s Operation Enduring Freedom--the Pentagon=92s name for its first antiterrori= sm campaign in Afghanistan. "Our fight against Iraq was only a battle in a long war," the Israeli-born Wurmser asserted. "It would be ill-conceived to think we can deal with Iraq alone=85 We must move on, and faster," she insisted. Amid much controversy President Bush appointed Daniel Pipes, the founder and director of the Middle East Forum, to the board of the U.S. Institute of Peace during the summer 2003 congressional recess. In 2000 Pipes, son of the anti-Soviet crusader Richard Pipes (who was both a Team B and Committee on the Present Danger member in mid-1970s), coauthored a jingoistic report with Ziad Abdelnour, director of the U.S. Committee for a Free Lebanon (USCFL), advocating U.S. military action to force Syria out of Lebanon and to disarm Syria of its alleged weapons of mass destruction. Virtually all 31 signatories of the MEF report, which was used to persuade Congress to introduce and pass the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act in 2003, were USCFL members, and several became high officials or advisers in the Bush foreign policy team, including Elliott Abrams, Paula Dobriansky, Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, and David Wurmser. Passed in the House of Representatives on October 15, 2003, and signed by President Bush on December 12, 2003, the act enumerated several reasons--support for terrorism, possession of weapons of mass destruction, and harboring Iraqi Ba=92athists--that laid the groundwork to justify another "regime change" invasion in the region. The U.S. Committee for a Free Lebanon is the self-proclaimed "cyber-center for Pro-Lebanon Activism." Like Ahmed Chalabi, who founded the Iraqi National Congress, the USCFL=92s Ziad Abdelnour is a wealthy, exiled investment bank= er who seems set on currying favor among the U.S. policy elite hoping for a regime change in Syria and another round of political upheaval in Lebanon. No More Schmoozing with the Mullahs Even before the invasion plans were finalized, several neocons associated with the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq created a new "war party" calling for the U.S. government to support regime change in Iran. Cofounded by Michael Ledeen and Morris Amitay, the Coalition for Democracy in Iran (CDI) is yet another one of the neocon front groups pressuring the U.S. public and government into supporting policies that aim to radically alter the political landscape of the Middle East. Other prominent neocons joining Ledeen and Amitay in CDI are James Woolsey, Joshua Muravchik, Jack Kemp, and Frank Gaffney. In the summer of 2003 the CDI-driven Iran Freedom and Democracy Support Act, which among other things called for a tightening of the trade embargo against Iran, received overwhelming bipartisan support. The proposed act received the immediate support of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs. Although it did not authorize funding for exiled opposition groups, its sponsors, such as Rep. Christopher Cox and other associates of the Center for Security Policy, promised that funding would be forthcoming as part of future spending bills. With their front groups in place for regime change in Iran, Syria, and Lebanon, and having secured bipartisan support for their democratization resolutions, the neocons remain intent on leading the nation down the same path that has led to quagmire in Iraq. Tom Barry is Policy Director of the Interhemispheric Resource Center (IRC), online at: www.irc-online.org ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Distributed by the Interhemispheric Resource Center (IRC) www.irc-online.or= g To subscribe to the IRC News, please go to:: email@example.com To unsubscribe: firstname.lastname@example.org ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Interhemispheric Resource Center(IRC) http://www.irc-online.org/ Siri D. Khalsa Outreach Coordinator Email: email@example.com =A0 --__--__-- Message: 5 From: "Mark Parkinson" <mark44@DELETETHISmyrealbox.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Fri, 19 Mar 2004 23:51:19 -0000 Subject: Iraq: One year on the human rights situation remains dire Put all together like this makes for depressing reading. Iraq: One year on the human rights situation remains dire 19.03.2004 [20:04] A year after US-led forces launched war on Iraq, the promise of improved human rights for Iraqis remains far from realized. Most Iraqis still feel unsafe in a country ravaged by violence. Every day Iraqis face threats to their lives and security. Violence is endemic, whether in the form of attacks by armed groups, abuses by the occupying forces, or violence against women. Millions of people have suffered the consequences of destroyed or looted infrastructure, mass unemployment and uncertainty about their future. And there is little or no confidence that those responsible for past and present human rights abuses will be brought to justice. There have been some welcome positive developments in the country, especially in the field of freedom of expression, association and assembly. Dozens of non-government organizations (NGOs), including organizations focusing on women's rights, have been established, more than 80 daily and weekly newspapers are published and scores of political parties and religious organizations have emerged. The people of Iraq, however, urgently needs stability, security and peace, not more bloodshed. Their future must be based on justice and the rule of law. This report, published a year after the war began, outlines some of the major human rights concerns that must be addressed if such a future is to be secured. Background Before the war began on 20 March 2003, Amnesty International (AI) warned that military action would mean further suffering for a people who had already suffered terribly as a result of government repression and the devastating effects of economic sanctions. Some of AI's fears were borne out. Hundreds of Iraqi civilians were killed and injured during the war, some as a result of cluster bombs dropped by Coalition Forces. Homes and vital institutions were destroyed, and whole communities were cut off from electricity and water supplies. By early April, US forces controlled Baghdad and UK forces controlled southern Iraq. On 1 May, US President George W. Bush declared the main combat operations over and soon after Paul Bremer, a former US diplomat, had been appointed as US Administrator for Iraq and Head of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA). Iraq was a defeated and occupied country. On 24 April, AI delegates arrived in Basra -- the first time in 20 years that the organization had been able to visit Iraq. The overriding concern of everyone they met was the growing insecurity and violence. Basra was a city ravaged by looting and lawlessness, a city where women and girls were too frightened to go out alone for fear of rape, abduction and other violence. Across Iraq, disorder, fear and insecurity prevailed. In most places, US and UK troops stood by as government buildings, offices, universities, schools, hospitals, museums, libraries and warehouses were ransacked and demolished. Countless documents vital to the future of Iraqis were burned or otherwise destroyed. The Coalition Forces had removed the previous government's authority, but had demonstrably failed to provide the protection and assistance they were obliged to give the people whose land they were occupying. Under international humanitarian law, as occupying powers it was their duty to maintain and restore public order, and provide food, medical care and relief assistance. They failed in this duty, with the result that millions of Iraqis faced grave threats to their health and safety. The problem of insecurity was heightened by the lack of appropriate policing and the wide availability of arms. An increase in serious abuses against women, including rape and murder, was reported, and scores of former Ba'ath Party and security force members were targeted in revenge attacks, particularly in the Shi'a dominated districts of Baghdad and in southern Iraq. In July the CPA appointed a 25-member Iraqi Governing Council (IGC) from the various religious and ethnic groups. The Council had some executive powers, but Paul Bremer retained power to overrule or veto its decisions. In early September the IGC appointed an Iraqi interim government. The CPA and IGC agreed in November on a power transfer to an interim Iraqi government on 30 June 2004 and on 8 March 2004 the IGC signed an interim Constitution. In the meantime, new Iraqi human rights non-governmental organizations, including women's groups, had begun to emerge and started work on a wide range of human rights activities, including documenting past and recent violations. New political parties and media outlets also emerged, and people freely organized demonstrations for the first time in decades to express their grievances. Reforms to the law introduced by the new authorities removed the shadow of the death penalty and closed down courts that had been a mockery to justice. However, the positive developments, along with almost everything else, were constantly threatened by the mounting insecurity. AI repeatedly called on the occupying forces, as a matter of urgency, to enforce law and order until Iraqi police forces could operate effectively, and expedite the creation of an Iraqi police force. Some progress in this direction has been made since the early months of the occupation, particularly in the south of Iraq. Iraqis interviewed by AI delegates in February and March 2004 in Basra and Amara, the two governorates under the control of British troops, said the general situation had improved, although lack of security was still a major concern. Members of religious minorities, such as Sunni Muslims, Christians and Sabean/Mandeans, felt they were being targeted for attacks and other abuses. Elsewhere in Iraq, however, violence and insecurity continue to dominate daily life. Attacks on Iraqi police stations and Coalition Forces have steadily mounted. Most have taken place in central and northern Iraq, as well as in Baghdad, and have resulted in hundreds of deaths, mostly of Iraqis but also of US and other nationals. As the first anniversary of the war approached, such attacks appeared to be intensifying. On 3 February US Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt said that there were an average of 23 engagements a day between US soldiers and "Iraqi insurgents", compared with 18 the week before.(1) In response, Coalition Forces appear in many cases to be using the climate of violence to justify violating the very human rights standards they are supposed to be upholding. They have shot Iraqis dead during demonstrations. They have tortured and ill-treated prisoners and detainees. They have arrested people arbitrarily and held them indefinitely without charge and without access to a lawyer. They have demolished houses and other property in acts of revenge and collective punishment. And they are operating in a legal framework that offers no mechanism in Iraq for bringing members of the Coalition Forces to justice for such acts. Killings of civilians More than 10,000 Iraqi civilians are thought to have been killed since 20 March 2003 as a direct result of the military intervention in Iraq, either during the war or in violent incidents during the subsequent occupation. The number is an estimate =96 no one in authority in Iraq is willing or able to catalogue the killings. "We don't have the capacity to track all civilian casualties", admitted US Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt in February 2004.(2) A different attitude has been shown towards non-Iraqi civilians and soldiers who have been killed. A year after the war began, Iraqi civilians are still being killed every day. The worst incidents receive some international coverage, but many killings simply go unreported. Often, the assailants are unknown. On 4 March 2004 an AFP journalist witnessed three Iraqi civilians being killed when a missile hit their car and exploded near a US military base in southwest Baghdad. Neither the journalist nor the Iraqi police could find out who fired the rocket, and the names of the victims were not published.(3) Killings by Coalition Forces Scores of civilians have been killed apparently as a result of excessive use of force by US troops or have been shot dead in disputed circumstances. For example, US soldiers have shot and killed scores of Iraqi demonstrators in several incidents, including seven in Mosul on 15 April 2003, at least 15 in Falluja on 29 April and at least two outside the Republican Palace in Baghdad on 18 June. In November 2003 the US military said it had paid out US $1.5 million to Iraqi civilians to settle claims by victims or relatives of victims for personal injury, death or damage to property. Some of the 10,402 claims reportedly filed concerned incidents in which US soldiers had shot dead or seriously wounded Iraqi civilians with no apparent cause.(4) Beyond such payments, however, there has been little recourse for the families of the dead and injured. No US soldier has been prosecuted for illegally killing an Iraqi civilian. Iraqi courts, because of an order issued by the US-led authority in Baghdad in June, are forbidden from hearing cases against US soldiers or any other foreign troops or foreign officials in Iraq. In effect, US soldiers are operating with total impunity. The following are just a few cases that have been monitored by AI. =B7 On 14 May, two US armed vehicles broke through the perimeter wall of the home of Sa'adi Suleiman Ibrahim al-'Ubaydi in Ramadi. Soldiers beat him with rifle butts and then shot him dead as he tried to flee. =B7 US forces shot 12-year-old Mohammad al-Kubaisi as they carried out search operations around his house in the Hay al-Jihad area in Baghdad on 26 June. He was carrying the family bedding to the roof of his house when he was shot. Neighbours tried to rush him by car to the nearby hospital, but US soldiers stopped them. By the time they got back home, Mohammad al-Kubaisi was dead. CPA officials told AI delegates in July that Mohammad al-Kubaisi was carrying a gun when he was killed. =B7 On 17 September a 14-year-old boy was killed and six people were injured when US troops opened fire at a wedding party in Fallujah. The soldiers reportedly believed they were under attack when shots were fired in the air in celebration. =B7 On 23 September, three farmers, 'Ali Khalaf, Sa'adi Faqri and Salem Khalil, were killed and three others injured when US troops opened a barrage of gunfire reportedly lasting for at least an hour in the village of al-Jisr near Fallujah. A US military official stated that the troops came under attack but this was vehemently denied by relatives of the dead. Later that day, US military officials reportedly went to the farmhouse, took photographs and apologized to the family. AI has also documented numerous cases where British soldiers have resorted to lethal force and killed Iraqi civilians even though their lives and the lives of others did not appear to be in danger. In some of these cases, no investigation has been carried out. In others, the investigation appeared to be inadequate. Families of victims killed by the British Army are usually given no information or inadequate information about the mechanisms and procedures for investigations and compensation. =B7 Walid Fayay Mazban, a driver aged 42, was shot dead by British soldiers on 24 August at a junction near the Apache Military Camp in circumstances indicating that no lives were in danger. Soldiers had set up a temporary checkpoint at the junction, but street lights were not working so the whole area was dark. When Walid Fayay Mazban failed to stop at the checkpoint, he was shot several times in his back by a British soldier. Soldiers found nothing of suspicion in his car. In September the British Army paid around US$1,500 to his family on humanitarian grounds. The Royal Military Police launched an investigation into the killing, but Walid Fayay Mazban's family have been provided with no information on the progress of the investigation. AI has repeatedly called for all killings of civilians by Coalition Forces to be thoroughly, independently and impartially investigated and for perpetrators of unlawful killings to be brought to justice. To date, no independent investigations are known to have been held. Killings by armed individuals On 2 March 2004, bombs exploded in a Shi'a mosque in the Kadhimiya neighbourhood of Baghdad and in the Shi'a holy city of Karbala within seconds of each other, killing around 170 civilians and injuring 500, almost all of them Shi'a Muslims. The attacks appeared to have been carefully planned: a combination of suicide bombs, planted explosives and possibly mortar fire.(5) A month earlier, 101 people died as two suicide bomb attacks ripped apart the offices of Kurdish political parties in the northern city of Arbil. These bombings were just two of the more recent attacks, apparently carried out by armed groups, that have been a growing feature of life in Iraq since the occupation began. The attacks have targeted the US military, Iraqi security personnel, Iraqi-controlled police stations, religious leaders and buildings, media workers, non-governmental organizations and UN agencies. They have resulted in the deaths of hundreds if not thousands of civilians. Many other civilians have been killed by shooting =96 either targeted for assassination or shot dead by stray bullets. In Basra, for example, such victims have included former Ba'ath Party members and security or government officials, as well as people suspected of selling or drinking alcohol. Some of these killings appear to have been acts of revenge carried out by individuals. Many, however, appear to have been organized, reportedly by armed Islamist groups. The head of one police station in Basra openly endorsed revenge killings, telling an AI delegate that families of victims of past abuses "were in the right" for avenging the deaths of relatives by the previous government. AI has called on armed groups to end the policy of attacking civilians and members of international humanitarian agencies. It has also called on those responsible for such crimes to be brought to justice and tried according to international human rights standards. The following list highlights a few attacks. In not one of these cases have the perpetrators been brought to justice. =B7 On 7 August 2003, 17 people were killed when a truck exploded outside Jordanian embassy in Baghdad. =B7 On 19 August, 22 people were killed, including UN envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello, by truck bomb on the UN headquarters in Baghdad. =B7 On 29 August: 83 people were killed, including Shi'a leader Ayatollah Mohammad Baqer al-Hakim, by a car bomb at the Imam Ali mosque in Najaf. =B7 On 27 October, 35 people were killed in four bomb attacks in Baghdad targeting the Red Cross and police stations. =B7 On 18 January 2004, 25 people were killed, most of them Iraqi civilians, in a car bomb attack outside US headquarters in Baghdad. Administration of justice On 12 December, 65-year-old Amal Salim Madi, whose three sons were arrested in October, joined a demonstration in Baghdad demanding rights for prisoners. She said, "The Americans said they were taking [my sons] off for an hour of questioning. We have not seen them since." (6) Her sons are among the new generation of missing people in Iraq. They are not ending up in mass graves, as many did under the former Iraqi government, but they are lost to their families =96 held somewhere in the system of detention centres being run by the occupying forces in Iraq. Adil Allami, a lawyer with the Human Rights Organization of Iraq, said in October 2003: "Iraq has turned into one big Guantanamo", referring to the US military prison in Cuba where hundreds of individuals suspected of "terrorist" acts remain held without charge.(7) Ever since the war began, AI has been receiving reports of Iraqis who have been taken into detention by Coalition Forces and whose rights have been violated. Many have been held without charge for weeks or months. Some have been tortured and ill-treated. Virtually none has had prompt access to a lawyer, their family or judicial review of their detention. Such abuses in the administration of justice have been facilitated by the general breakdown in law and order, but also by inconsistent application of international standards by the occupying forces. After taking power, the CPA reviewed the Iraqi Penal Code of 1969 and the Criminal Procedure Code of 1971 to evaluate their compatibility with international human rights standards. It also introduced legal amendments; these entered into force prior to their publication in Arabic in the Official Gazette, in contravention of Article 65 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. The amendments did, nevertheless, include some welcome reforms. Section 9 of CPA Memorandum No. 7 prohibited the use of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. The Revolutionary, Special and National Security Courts, which had conducted grossly unfair trials, were abolished. In June 2003, the CPA issued Order No.13, establishing the Central Criminal Court of Iraq. The court applies Iraqi law and has jurisdiction over crimes committed in Iraq since 19 March 2003, including crimes against the Coalition forces. In November 2003 the court sentenced the former governor of Najaf to 14 years' imprisonment for "illegal arrest, destruction of a government document and misuse of office." The court has also looked at at least two other cases involving smuggling. Amnesty International has not been able to attend trial proceedings of this court, but the organization remains concerned that Order No.13 imposed the sweeping condition that judges appointed to the court should not have been involved in Ba'ath Party activity. It is also concerned that those selected are appointed for a one-year term by the Administrator of the CPA. Such conditions appear to violate the principle of judicial independence. Section 2(3) of CPA Memorandum No. 3 removed the jurisdiction of Iraqi courts over any Coalition personnel in both civil and criminal matters, resulting in a lack of accountability for such personnel. There are no proper mechanisms to ensure competent, impartial investigations into allegations of violations of international human rights and humanitarian law by the CPA or Coalition Forces. Incommunicado and unlawful detention The massive Abu Ghraib prison on the southwest edge of Baghdad was the most feared detention centre under the former Iraqi government. Today the building officially goes by the name of Baghdad Correctional Facility, but little else has changed. Relatives of those held inside still wait outside for news of their loved ones, and lawyers are still turned away. One father was told to come back in four months when he tried to visit his son in November. "My son has already been in there for four months and he has been charged with nothing", he told a member of International Occupation Watch Center.(8) The CPA published a list of 8,500 detainees on the Internet. Most are being held indefinitely and without charge as "suspected terrorists" or "security" detainees.(9) Families waiting outside Abu Ghraib prison say most of their relatives were picked up in indiscriminate raids. Many Iraqis do not know where their relatives are being held and the majority have no access to the Internet to seek information about them. Some of those arrested are taken to jails run by Iraqi police, others are taken to US-run centres =96 but often no one seems to have the relevant information. Those in Iraqi jails usually have access to lawyers and judges at some point. Many of those held in prisons and detention centres run by the Coalition Forces =96 such as Camp Cropper in Baghdad International Airport (which closed in October), Abu Ghraib Prison and the detention centres in Habbaniya Airport and Um Qasr =96 have invariably been denied access to family or lawyers and any form of judicial review of their detention. Some have been held for weeks or months; others are apparently being held beyond the prescribed 90 days for judicial review. AI has also investigated cases in which Coalition Forces have failed to implement promptly rulings by judges to release suspects. In effect, there is a two-tier system whereby people detained by the Coalition Forces have fewer safeguards than those held by Iraqi officials. For example, those detained by Coalition Forces can be held for 90 days before being brought before a judge (according to CPA Memorandum No. 3), whereas those detained within the framework of the Iraqi Code of Criminal Procedure must have their case reviewed within 24 hours. Conditions in many of the detention centres are harsh. There have been many unconfirmed reports of hunger strikes and revolts in prisons. The CPA acknowledged that three prisoners were killed and eight wounded during an uprising in Abu Ghraib prison on 24 November. In Basra, scores of people remain held without charge or trial in the British-controlled al-Shu'aiba detention centre near al-Zubair. Some were held in Um Qasr before being transferred. Also in Basra, armed Islamist groups have been involved in the arrest, detention and torture of people whom they suspect of "immoral" activities such as selling alcohol, videos or CDs. =B7 Qays Mohammad Abd al-Karim al-Salman, a businessman with Danish citizenship, returned to Iraq 10 days before his arrest by the US army on 6 May. He alleged he was forced to lie down on the road, then taken to the Holding Centre at Baghdad Airport where he was held for 33 days on suspicion of murder before being released without charge. He was denied contact with the outside world and ill-treated. =B7 Zakariya Zakher Sa'ad, aged 55, an Egyptian nightwatchman for the Russian Consul in Baghdad, was arrested by US soldiers investigating an attempted theft at the Consulate. Neighbours tried to tell the soldiers that he was the guard, not the thief, but the soldiers would not listen. The soldiers threw Zakariya Zakher Sa'ad to the ground, tied him and took him away. Until July 2003 he had been held at Camp Cropper, although his family had not been able to see him to confirm his whereabouts. Amnesty International does not have any information as to whether his still detained or not. =B7 Humam 'Abd al-Khaleq 'Abd al-Ghaffur, a nuclear physicist, was arrested in his home in Baghdad on 20 April 2003. His whereabouts remain unknown. =B7 Hussain al-Haery, a professor at Baghdad University, was arrested at his house in early July 2003. He is currently held in Abu Ghraib. =B7 Sa'doun Hamadi, the former parliament speaker, was arrested on 29 May 2003 and detained without charge or trial for nearly nine months before his release on 14 February. He was held in three different places, Camp Cropper at Baghdad International Airport, Um Qasr and then Abu Ghraib Prison. On his release US authorities stated that there was no security justification for his detention. AI has written to the CPA asking for clarification on the reasons for the continued detention and legal status of a number of people, including scientists, former diplomats and civil servants. It has yet to receive a response. Torture and ill-treatment Abdallah Khudhran al-Shamran, a Saudi Arabian national, was arrested in al-Rutba in early April 2003 by US and allied Iraqi forces while travelling from Syria to Baghdad. On reaching an unknown site, he said he was beaten, given electric shocks, suspended by his legs, had his penis tied and was subjected to sleep deprivation. He was held there for four days before being transferred to a camp hospital in Um Qasr. He was then interrogated and released without money or passport. He approached a British soldier, whereupon he was taken to another place of detention, then transferred to a military field hospital and again interrogated and tortured. This time torture methods reportedly included prolonged exposure in the sun, being locked in a container, and being threatened with execution. Such reports of torture or other ill-treatment by Coalition Forces have been frequent in the past year. In the first weeks of the war and occupation, detainees suffered extreme heat while housed in tents and were supplied with insufficient water, inadequate washing facilities, open trenches for toilets, no change of clothes, and no books, newspapers, radios or writing materials. Since then, detainees have reported being routinely subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment during arrest and the first 24 hours of detention. Plastic handcuffs used by US troops have caused detainees unnecessary pain. Former detainees have said they were forced to lie face down on the ground, were held handcuffed, hooded or blindfolded, and were not given water or food or allowed to go to the toilet. Many detainees have alleged they were tortured and ill-treated by US and UK troops during interrogation. Methods often reported include prolonged sleep deprivation; beatings; prolonged restraint in painful positions, sometimes combined with exposure to loud music; prolonged hooding; and exposure to bright lights. Virtually none of the allegations of torture or ill-treatment has been adequately investigated. In Basra, at least four people have died in British custody. In one case, the cause of death was torture. Several people interviewed by AI described being tortured by British soldiers during interrogation. =B7 Eight Iraqis arrested on 14 September by British soldiers from the British military base Camp Steven in Basra were reportedly tortured. The men all worked for a hotel in Basra where weapons were reported to have been found. Baha' al-Maliki, the hotel's receptionist, died in custody three days later; his body was reportedly severely bruised and covered in blood. Kefah Taha was admitted to hospital in critical condition, suffering renal failure and severe bruising. =B7 In February 2004, during a hearing into the death in June 2003 of Najem Sa'doun Hattab at Camp Whitehorse detention centre near Nassiriya, a former US marine testified that it was common practice to kick and punch prisoners who did not cooperate =96 and even some who did. The marine had been granted immunity from prosecution for his testimony. Najem Sa'doun Hattab, a former Ba'ath Party official, died after he was beaten and choked by a US marine reservist.(10) House demolitions and searches On 10 November 2003, US soldiers arrived at the farmhouse of the Najim family near the town of al-Mahmudiya, south of Baghdad. They ordered everyone who lived there to leave within 30 minutes. Soon afterwards, two F-16 warplanes bombed and destroyed the farmhouse. The demolition was apparently in retaliation for an attack on a US convoy a few days earlier. Soon after the attack, US soldiers had arrested six men outside the Najim house reportedly after weapons were found there. The destruction of the Najim home was just one of several similar retaliatory house demolitions that have been reported. Such acts =96 reprisals against people or their property, and collective punishments -- are clearly prohibited by the Fourth Geneva Convention. AI has learned of at least 15 other houses that have been destroyed by US forces since November during military operations in Tikrit. In one case, a family in al-Haweda village was given just five minutes to leave their house before it was razed to the ground by US tanks and helicopter fire. Major Lou Zeisman, a US military official from the 82nd Airborne Division, reportedly said: "If you shoot at an American or Coalition force member, you are going to be killed or you are going to be captured, and if we trace somebody back to a specific safe house, we are going to destroy that facility=85"(11) AI also continues to receive many reports of members of the Coalition Forces damaging and destroying property without justification during house searches. Soldiers have smashed their way into cars, houses and cupboards after the owners have offered keys and begged that they be used. In numerous cases, property and large sums of money have been "confiscated" during an arrest and not returned when the person is released. In one case, US officers accepted that there was evidence that a crime had been committed by officers who took more than three million dinars (US$2,000) from a family's home. They added, however, that redress would be long and difficult as they lacked the means to investigate. Victims of lawlessness A sudden barrage of shooting rang out in the bustling Old Basra Street on 15 February 2004. When it finished, at least nine people were dead =96 the latest victims of attacks on suspected alcohol vendors in Basra. The attackers were unknown, but widely suspected to be members of Shi'a armed political groups which have appeared after the war. A frightened salesman, Tarik Mahmoud, said: "There are no laws to protect me, and even if a law existed, I would still be afraid because people are used to killing each other."(12) The lack of law and order continues to be a major concern in many areas of Iraq. AI delegates witnessed firsthand the devastating impact the lawlessness is having on the lives of ordinary Iraqis, whether it be looting, revenge killings, kidnappings or violent sexual crimes. Violence against women In the aftermath of war, women and girls have increasingly faced violent attacks, including abduction, rape and murder, as a result of the breakdown of law and order. Many women were too afraid to leave their homes, and girls were being kept away from school. Women who have been victims of violence in the street or home have virtually no hope of obtaining justice. In May 2003, for example, Asma, a young engineer, was abducted in Baghdad. She was shopping with her mother, sister and a male relative when six armed men started shooting around them. Asma was forced into a car and driven to a farmhouse outside Baghdad, where she was said to have been repeatedly raped. A day later she was driven back to her parents' neighbourhood and pushed out of the car. In Basra, women and girls not wearing the hijab have been threatened by Islamist groups and now almost all cover themselves. Samira Abd al-Munim, who works in Basra's teaching hospital, told AI delegates in May: "Because of the insecurity, my life is extremely limited. I cannot visit my family or go to the market without the company of my husband=85 I don't dare walk on my own as I used to=85 My children are almost imprisoned in the house for their safety." In some cases women who have been campaigning to protect women's rights have been threatened. Yanar Mohammed, a member of the Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq, has reportedly received several death threats, including one by email from an Islamist group known as the Army of Sahaba. When she asked CPA officials for protection, she was allegedly told there were more urgent matters to attend to. A number of women working for the CPA have been killed. AI is not aware of any steps that have been taken by the CPA or IGC to ensure adequate protection of women's human rights and women activists. Accountability for past violations Ensuring justice is fundamental for the countless victims of human rights violations in Iraq. They have suffered decades of grave violations by Iraqi government agents as well as abuses committed during the course of several conflicts, including the recent war and its aftermath. To date, little action has been taken to address past human rights violations, including mass "disappearances", or to investigate and bring to justice those found responsible for committing crimes against humanity, genocide and war crimes, or to provide compensation and restitution to victims. In December the Iraqi Governing Council established the statute of the Iraqi Special Tribunal in order to try Saddam Hussain and other former Iraqi officials, as well as a Committee on Truth and Reconciliation. However, it remains to be seen whether these will be effective and will help to gain justice for victims in accordance with international standards. In order to be fair and effective, all measures aimed at obtaining justice must conform to international human rights and standards. Neither victims nor suspected perpetrators of abuses should receive second class justice. In relation to former Iraqi government officials, AI has continued to stress the need for ensuring fairness. Any tribunal must be competent, impartial and independent, and suspects must be pursued solely on the basis of the evidence against them and through a fair process. There should be no statute of limitations and no amnesties, pardons or similar measures for crimes under international law if such measures would prevent a conclusive verdict and full reparations for victims. There should be the right to appeal and no recourse to the death penalty or other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment. Victims and their families must have effective means to obtain full reparation for the violations they have suffered. AI has recommended that Iraqi judicial experts work with international experts to assess the Iraqi judicial system, including its capacity to ensure fair trials, and explore options for bring perpetrators of abuse to justice. Conclusion and recommendations After a year of war, lawlessness, spiralling violence and economic hardship, Iraqis face an uncertain future. For the next year to be better than the last, the occupying forces, the Iraqi Governing Council, the next Iraqi interim administration and the international community must make a real commitment to protecting and promoting the full range of human rights. Fundamental changes to Iraq's legal, judicial and penal systems are needed. Human rights must be at the centre of all efforts to rebuild and reconstruct Iraq. A failure to fully protect human rights in the process of change would be a betrayal of the Iraqi people, who have suffered so much in the past. AI calls on the Coalition Provisional Authority, the Coalition Forces and the Iraqi Governing Council to: =B7 Ensure that soldiers fully abide by law enforcement standards and use force in line with the principles of necessity and proportionality. In particular, they should use firearms only if lives are in danger and there is no other means to respond to that danger. =B7 Ensure that Iraqi police replace soldiers for law enforcement duties as soon as possible provided they are given appropriate equipment and training, including on international standards for law enforcement. =B7 Provide a unified legal system whereby all criminal suspects are treated in the same way and afforded all safeguards provided for in international law. The rights of all suspects must be fully respected regardless of which authority is responsible for holding them. =B7 Clarify without delay the fate and whereabouts of everyone held in custody. =B7 Amend CPA Memorandum No. 3 to ensure that all criminal suspects can be brought before a judicial authority promptly after arrest and have the lawfulness and necessity of their detention reviewed. The Memorandum should also be amended to ensure detainees have a right to prompt access to a lawyer and that their families are promptly notified of the detention. =B7 Clarify and make public the disciplinary and criminal mechanisms of accountability for the CPA and Coalition Forces. =B7 Ensure that the prohibition of torture and any other form of ill- treatment is absolutely respected by Coalition Forces, Iraqi police and any other forces involved in detaining suspects. =B7 Ensure that all investigations into alleged abuses by Coalition Forces are conducted by a body that is competent, impartial and independent, and seen to be so, and that any findings of such investigations are made public. =B7 Provide reparations, including compensation to the victims or to their families. =B7 Improve conditions of detention so that they comply fully with the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners. =B7 Immediately stop any policy of unlawful destruction of property and collective punishment, and make clear to all US forces that such actions are prohibited. All families whose houses or other property have been destroyed in such actions should be fully compensated. (1) AP, 3 February 2004 (2) Reuters 12 Feb 2004 (3) AFP 4 March 2004 (4) Guardian, 26 November 2003 (5) AFP and Reuters 4 March 2004 (6) AFP, 12 December 2003 (7) agency/date not clear (8) Searching for Yunis =96 and how many others? International Occupation Watch Centre, David Enders, 28 November 2003. (9) Searching for Yunis =96 and how many others? International Occupation Watch Centre, David Enders, 28 November 2003. (10) Union-Tribune, 3 February 2004, by Rick Rogers (11) LA Times, 12 November 2003 (12) International Press, Edward Wong, 19 February 2004 http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGMDE140062004 Mark Parkinson Bodmin Cornwall --__--__-- Message: 6 Date: Fri, 19 Mar 2004 22:29:45 -0600 To: email@example.com From: bluepilgrim <bluepilgrim@DELETETHISgrics.net> Subject: Galloway Accepts Damages over Iraq Libel http://news.scotsman.com/latest.cfm?id=2670782 "PA" news Fri 19 Mar 2004 11:04am (UK) Galloway Accepts Damages over Iraq Libel By Jan Colley, PA News MP George Galloway accepted undisclosed High Court libel damages and a public apology today over an article which said he had opposed the conflict in Iraq because he had been paid by Saddam's regime. His solicitor, Mark Bateman, told Mr Justice Eady that the allegations in The Christian Science Monitor in April last year were "false and without foundation". Mr Galloway, the Independent MP for Glasgow Kelvin, was at London's High Court to hear Mr Bateman say that the article in the Boston-based newspaper, which publishes in the UK through the Internet, reported on documents which had been given to a journalist by an Iraqi general. These, he said, purported to show that Mr Galloway had received payments of more than 10 million US dollars in return for his support of Saddam Hussein's regime. According to the article, the payments pointed to a concerted effort by the regime to win friends in the west who could promote Iraqi interests, firstly by lifting sanctions against Iraq and later in blocking war plans. One of the documents was reported as stating that payments were made to Mr Galloway in return for his "courageous and daring stands against the enemies of Iraq, like Blair, the British Prime Minister, and for his opposition in the House of Commons and Lords against all outrageous lies against our patient people". Mr Bateman said: "The allegations contained in the Christian Science Monitor's story that Mr Galloway opposed the UN-imposed sanctions on Iraq and, thereafter, opposed the recent conflict in Iraq because he had been paid by the Iraqi regime are false and without foundation. "The allegations were highly defamatory of Mr Galloway. Understandably, they caused immense distress and anxiety to Mr Galloway, his family, his consitituents and supporters. "Mr Galloway was not willing to let his reputation be impugned in this way." End of casi-news Digest _______________________________________ Sent via the CASI-analysis mailing list To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-analysis All postings are archived on CASI's website at http://www.casi.org.uk