We call on those states responsible for the invasion and occupation of Iraq to terminate their illegal and immoral war, and express our solidarity with the Iraqi people in their struggle for peace, justice and self-determination.

In particular, we demand:

  1. An immediate end to the US and UK-led occupation of Iraq;
  2. Urgent action to fully address the current humanitarian crises facing Iraq’s people, including help for the more than three million refugees and displaced persons;
  3. An end to all foreign interference in Iraq's affairs, including its oil industry, so that Iraqis can exercise their right to self-determination;
  4. Compensation and reparations from those countries responsible for war and sanctions on Iraq;
  5. Prosecution of all those responsible for war crimes, human rights abuses, and the theft of Iraq's resources.

We demand justice for Iraq.

This statement was adopted by the Justice for Iraq conference in London on 19th July 2008. We plan to publish this more widely in future. If you would like to add your name to the list of supporters please contact us.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

New mass grave

Post-U.S. invasion mass grave found in Iraq’s Mosul includes corpses of small children

Azzaman report (December 21st): Iraqi troops have uncovered a mass grave where the bodies of 11 Iraqis were buried among them small children.

The victims were murdered and buried in the grave, close to a neighborhood in northern city of Mosul, said Major Iamd-el-deen Abdulkarim.


He said those buried in the grave were victims of violence which swept Mosul and the rest of Iraq in the aftermath of the 2003-U.S. invasion.


Sunday, 19 December 2010

Shoe thrower on book signing tour

Iraqi shoe thrower says he is suing Iraq's prime minister

AP report (December 14th): The Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at formerPresident George W. Bush said Tuesday he is suing Iraq's prime minister for his detention and alleged torture during the nine months he spent in custody.

Muntadhar al-Zeidi spoke during the signing in Beirut of his first book, entitled "The Last Salute to President Bush."

Al-Zeidi was arrested and convicted of assault. He spent nine months in prison, including three in solitary confinement. He toldThe Associated Press Tuesday that he was beaten and electrocuted for three days by interrogators, some of them related to al-Maliki.

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/nationworld/sns-ap-ml-iraq-shoe-thrower,0,4052243.story

Looking forward to the New Year?

Victor, Meet Spoils: Weaponeers Peddle Wares to Iraqi Cops

Danger Room reports (December 17th): Next year’s supposed to be the big year in Iraq: the final departure of U.S. troops. But the Iraqi Ministry of Interior wants you to know that it has a lot of business opportunities available long after that for enterprising defense corporations.
Come by the Crown Plaza Hotel near National Airport just outside of Washington, D.C. on March 3 and 4, because that’s when the Iraq Homeland and Border Control Conference will kick off. Sponsored by a business-expo firm called New Fields, which has hosted Iraqi defense officials for similar conferences, the event bills itself as a rare chance to “brief key Iraqi homeland and border control officials and decision maker [sic] about your equipments and services,” according to a typo-prone brochure for the event 
It’s not so surprising that the Iraqi Interior Ministry is looking for a few good American contractors. The remaining 50,000 U.S. troops may be on the way out, but Iraq still doesn’t have a developed air force — or control of its own air space.

Amnesty alert

37 Iraqis at risk of imminent execution

Amnesty International report (December 17th): Deputy Justice Minister Busho Ibrahim said in an interview that Iraq will execute 37 people who have exhausted all legal remedies and their death sentences have been approved by the Presidential Council. He also said that Iraq has executed 257 people, including six women, since 2005. Last Monday Iraqi Interior Minister Jawad al-Bolani said that 835 people are presently on death row in Iraq.
Amnesty International and the United Nations have repeatedly called on Iraq to abolish the death penalty, to give fair trials to prisoners, and to investigate allegations of torture.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

ICRC: civilians still suffering undue hardship

30-11-2010 Operational Update

Over the past year, the lives of many Iraqi civilians have not changed for the better. Civilians continue to carry the heaviest burden amid the widespread violence. They are still the main victims of the indiscriminate attacks and mass explosions that have taken place in the governorates of Baghdad, Ninewa, Diyala, Anbar, Najaf, Kerbala and Basra, and that have left, on average, hundreds of people wounded or dead each month this year.


"Indiscriminate attacks against civilians inflict tremendous suffering. They are clearly unacceptable. They are contrary to international humanitarian law and to the most basic principles of humanity," said Magne Barth, head of the ICRC delegation in Iraq. "Civilians must be protected against violence, as must be medical personnel and facilities".

The humanitarian situation in Iraq remains serious. Iraqis are filled with anxiety and uncertainty about what the future holds. Vulnerable people, such as women heading households, disabled people and detainees, continue to depend to some extent on outside help to meet basic needs.
 

Human Rights reports/apeals

Qusay ‘Abdel-Razaq Zabib, who is married with two children, was a police officer in the village of ‘Uwaynat, near Tikrit, 140 km northwest of Baghdad, at the time of his arrest by US forces in July 2008.. He was suspected of collaborating with armed groups opposed to the Iraqi government and the presence of US forces in Iraq.
AI: Urgent action DETAINED former police officer AT SERIOUS RISK

Amnesty International today strongly condemned a call by the Iraqi Interior Minister for the swift execution of 39 alleged al-Qai’da members as they were paraded before journalists, handcuffed and clad in orange jumpsuits.

Iraqi Interior Minister condemned for demanding execution of al-Qai’da suspects

(Reuters)The United Nations criticised an Iraqi official on Friday for calling for a group of prisoners to be executed before they have gone to trial, saying that such remarks undermined Iraq's judicial process.
Last week, Iraqi Interior Minister Jawad al-Bolani said that 39 al Qaeda militants arrested by security forces should be executed without delay.

Iraq should ensure fair trials for detainees - U.N.

Francesco Motta, head of the United Nations Human Rights office in Iraq, said such statements undermined justice.Amnesty International today called on all states to commit themselves to end enforced disappearances, following news that a landmark treaty aimed at preventing the practice will come into effect.

The International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (Disappearances Convention) will enter into force on 23 December, after Iraq on Wednesday became the 20th country to ratify it.
Landmark enforced disappearances convention to enter into force
 
Google translation :Dozens of people attended a protest with regards to Missing persons from the civil war in Kurdistan, on Thursday 9th Dec, a demonstration in fron...t of the United Nations headquarters in Arbil, demanding an international organization by putting pressure on the Kurdish authorities to reveal the fates of their children.



The organizer of the demonstration, Kamal Ahmed told (Voices of Iraq) "We have lost our children in the civil war between the KDP and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan 15 years ago where they were detained by the two parties, has asked the two parties more than once reveal the fate of our children, Release them if they are alive or extradite their bodies if they are dead".


The civil war raged in Kurdistan between the two main parties KDP, led by regional president Massoud Barzani and President Jalal Talabani for a period of four years (1994 - 1998), which killed thousands of Kurds disappeared fate of thousands of others where he was the Democratic administration of Arbil (Erbil and Dohuk), and  (Sulaymaniyah and the Ckramaan) under the authority of the National Union, and each party was arrested dozens of supporters of the other Party during the war years did not know the fate of those still missing.


For his part, Baber Ali, the father of one of the missing, told (Voices of Iraq) that "military force arrested my son 14 years ago in the city of Sulaimaniya, we do not know his fate until now we do not know if he is alive or not."

أهالي مفقودين بالحرب الأهلية بكردستان يطالبون الأمم المتحدة بالضغط على السلطات الكردية لكشف مصائر ابنائهم

7/12/2010 AI- The wife of a British man held without charge in Iraq for a year is calling on the UK government to step up its efforts to secure the release of her husband.
Ramze Shihab Ahmed, a 68-year-old dual Iraqi-UK citizen who has lived in the UK since 2002, was arrested by security officials in a relative’s house in the city of Mosul on 7 December 2009.
Ahmed, who had travelled to Iraq to try to secure the release of his detained son ‘Omar, was first held in total secrecy for nearly four months before being able to phone his wife in London. He has told his wife of how he was tortured - including with electric shocks to his genitals and suffocation by plastic bags.
Fresh appeal for UK man held for year without charge in Iraq


Sunday, 12 December 2010

Blog extract

The Streets of Baghdad

Asrar Anwarn blogs (December 10th): In Baghdad a ten minute journey turns into an hour long journey waiting at checkpoints.

The streets of Baghdad are filled with stories of the fallen and the forgotten. The brother kidnapped and tortured, his family unaware of his whereabouts. The uncle that was assassinated for his name. The mother who died giving birth to a baby born with deformities, a baby barely able to breathe and dies soon after its mother. The father whose car blew up on his way to work, his family left to pick up the pieces. The sister who was kidnapped, raped, and left to rot in an old cell. The boy who went to buy some groceries but never returned. The little girl in the yellow dress, shot dead by occupation forces driving by for no reason at all. Every person you encounter in Iraq will have a story of a fallen family member or a forgotten friend.

Read more here:


More on displacement

Displaced women still struggle for survival

IRIN reports (December 7th): Displaced Iraqi female-headed families who have returned home are still experiencing major livelihood challenges, says the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

An IOM survey of 1,355 female-headed displaced families who have returned to their places of origin found that 74 percent are struggling to secure adequate nutrition for their families.

Delays in receiving subsidized government food rations or lack of some food items in the rations force women to buy food with whatever money they have, adding to their struggle, the report, issued on 3 December, states.


No safe haven for displaced Iraqis

The Electronic Intifad reports (7th December): More than seven years after the United States and United Kingdom-led invasion of Iraq, millions of displaced Iraqis have nowhere to go. For the overwhelming majority of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs), displacement is not a one-off trauma. Rather, it is a continuous state of flight for most uprooted Iraqis, who the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates to number 1,785,212 refugees and 1,552,003 IDPs (both figures as of January 2010).

Among the Iraqis who were forced to flee their homes is a widow and mother of two, Umm Haitham, who spoke to The Electronic Intifada on condition that her real name not be revealed. "We don't know where to go. We have nowhere to go," Umm Haitham said, as her voice trembled over the phone.

Umm Haitham and her two children, both in their twenties, have moved three times in the past two years. To begin with, because of unbearable levels of violence they left their home in Baghdad and fled to Amman, hoping to find greater security in neighboring Jordan

So no change, then

US warplanes bomb central Iraq

Military World reports (December 9th): US fighter jets have reportedly pounded a region in Iraq's central governorate of Babil months after Washington declared an end to combat operations in Iraq late August.

Iraqi security sources said that US warplanes shelled a region lying north of the provincial capital of Hilla, Aswat al-Iraq news agency reported. 

Sunday, 5 December 2010

A wikileaks story you may have missed

Collusion with the United States by the Spanish Government over death in Baghdad

Typically Spanish reports (November 30th): The family of the Telecinco TV cameraman, José Couso, who was killed by US fire on April 8 2003, say that following the revelations in the Wikileaks papers which show the United States put pressure on Spain to close the court case brought by the family in the National Court in Madrid, they may start new legal action.

The leaked documents show that the United States Embassy in Madrid put pressure on the Spanish Government over the court cases opened in Madrid against the soldiers implicated in the Couso death, and the allegations of torture at Guantanamo Bay.

The then United States ambassador, Eduardo Aguirre, is revealed to have threatened breaking bilateral relations with Spain on several occasions, and said on one occasion ‘My patience is running out’.
http://www.typicallyspanish.com/news/publish/article_28096.shtml

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Haifa Zangana's analysis at LSE 26th Nov 2010

Haifa Zangana at London LSE part 1

Haifa Zangana at London LSE part 2

Netanyahu: 'Significant trade' with Iraq

Leaked document reveals prime minister told US senator of 'strong but unpublicized trade' between Haifa port and Iraq via Jordan

Ronen Medzini

Published: 11.30.10, 22:57 / Israel News

Israel has significant trade relations with Iraq, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed about a year and a half ago in a meeting with US Senator Benjamin Cardin, according to a document revealed Tuesday by the WikiLeaks website.


* Click here to read document

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Interesting blog from Iraq

An American-Iranian Ecological Disaster


Layla Anwar blogs (November 26th):  have written before about the ecological disaster that has befallen Iraq following the American occupation in 2003. A multifaceted environmental crisis which has already produced some bitter fruits.

There is of course the million of years life span contamination of Iraqi soil and water with Depleted Uranium, and I suppose by now, the reader is familiar with the effects of D.U on Iraqi people and their health system, with the soaring birth defects, and cancer rates among children not sparing women, men nor the elderly. A quick search on Falluja and Basra will be a good reminder.

Besides D.U there is also the destruction of arable land. The Americans proceeded to burn entire agricultural fields, orchards and palm trees. By way of example, in the past Iraq had 350 different kinds of dates and used to export dates to the whole world, today it imports dates.


So much for a "non-combat" role

CNN report (November 28th): U.S. troops shot and killed an Iraqi man at Baghdad International Airport on Sunday morning, a U.S. military spokesman said. A military convoy attempted to stop the man, who they spotted driving a vehicle at high speed on an airport road, Col. Barry Johnson said.

The driver did not respond to U.S. hand signals before troops opened fire, he said.
Baghdad police said the man was an engineer working at the airport. They did not name him.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

From the abyss of the Iraq War (1): 'Mom ... I have killed a man'

BY KAZUYA MATSUMOTO STAFF WRITER
"On April 18, 2006, I had my first confirmed kill. He was an innocent man. I don't know his name. ... During the incident (as) he walked back to his house, I shot him in front of his friend and father. The first round didn't kill him after I'd hit him in his neck. Afterward, he started screaming and looked right into my eyes. ... I said, 'Well, I can't let that happen.' I took another shot and took him out."

http://www.asahi.com/english/TKY201011210284.html

From the abyss of the Iraq War (2): 'I will die. But I am not sad'

BY KAZUYA MATSUMOTO STAFF WRITER
"Iraqi doctors are saying that more children are contracting leukemia due to the depleted uranium ammunition used since the Gulf War of 1991."


This ammunition uses depleted uranium, a byproduct of the uranium enrichment process for use as fuel in nuclear reactors and weapons. It gives off trace amounts of radiation, and increases the penetrative power of anti-tank rounds.
Kamata consulted with doctors and physicists and was told it is difficult to prove a causal association between low level radiation exposure and damage to health.
"If that's the case, then there is reason for me to become involved," he thought.
http://www.asahi.com/english/TKY201011220289.html

From the abyss of the Iraq War (3): 'As much as I want to, I cannot go home'

BY KAZUYA MATSUMOTO STAFF WRITER
On May 1, U.S. president George W. Bush, 64, declared an end of major combat operations in Iraq.


However, the turmoil was far from over. Armed conflict intensified, the death toll showed no sign of abating, and conditions in Iraq deteriorated into a quagmire.
Iraqis say the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime did nothing to bring stability to their country; on the contrary, it ushered in a storm of disorder and violence.
http://www.asahi.com/english/TKY201011230269.html

From the abyss of the Iraq War (4): Is a good friend one who always says yes?

BY KAZUYA MATSUMOTO STAFF WRITERKawabata says that the Iraq War was a test of Japan's status as an ally.

"For the United States, an ally that can truly be trusted is a country that either does only what it is told, or that only occasionally raises its voice in complaint."
The concerns expressed by Kawabata are reminiscent of the question asked by de Villepin at a news conference for American television in March 2003 on the eve of the Iraq War: "Is a good friend someone who always supports and says yes to the United States.?"
His words still speak to us today.
http://www.asahi.com/english/TKY201011240262.html

Articles on Refugees

Iraqi Kids Struggle on Dangerous Edges

By Rebecca Murray
Growing up is hard for Iraqi children in Syria.
DAMASCUS, Nov 7, 2010 (IPS) - Leila, 17, presses her hijab-clad head against the front door and strains to hear outside. "There's nothing," she says cautiously, turning towards her mother Rawda, the head of the household, in their quiet basement apartment. Along the brocade couch sit her two sisters, Mona, 19, Nadja, 15, and 10-year-old brother Khaled.
read the article in full

Iraqi refugees torn between homesickness and fear

More than 2.5 million Iraqi refugees choosing discomfort over dangerous return.
By Michaela Yule (Dartmouth College) Student Correspondent Corps


Published: November 23, 2010 19:18 ET in Study Abroad
DAMASCUS, Syria — Thirty-eight-year-old Um Mustafa* enters the living room of her Damascus apartment carrying a tray with tea and biscuits for each of her guests. Handing them out, she laughs as she explains that this July day is the third anniversary of her family’s flight from Iraq to Syria.
read article in full
 

Phil Shiner's speech at the Baha Musa Memorial Lecture

Organised by Public Interest Lawyers in cooperation with the Law Society and Solicitors International Human Rights Group (SIHRG).

7pm on Tuesday 16 November 2010 at the Law Society, 110-113 Chancery Lane, LONDON WC2A.
Who was Baha Mousa?

Baha Mousa was an Iraqi civilian who died after 36 hours in British custody in Iraq. Baha Mousa was hooded, along with nine other Iraqi civilians, and deprived of sleep and food. A post mortem examination found that he had suffered at least 96 injuries before death. In a landmark ruling in the case of Al Skeini the House of Lords held that there was jurisdiction for the purposes of Article 1 of the European Convention of Human Rights at the place of UK detention and that the Secretary of State for Defence was therefore liable for breaches of the Human Rights Act in refusing to hold a public inquiry into his death. The Government announced the Baha Mousa Inquiry in May 2008 which is due to finish this Autumn and report back later in the year or early 2011. http://www.bahamousainquiry.org/
This lecture series is being held in the memory of Baha Mousa so that his and others’ suffering is not forgotten. The inaugural Baha Mousa lecture in 2009 was given by Professor William Schabas.

The speech given by Phil Shiner on the 16th Nov 2010 can be heard on the link below:

http://blip.tv/file/4400796

Iraq Occupation Focus Newsletter no 160



23rd Nov 2010
http://www.iraqoccupationfocus.org.uk/

Businessmen win £1m in belated arms-to-Iraq payouts

The Guardian
Richard Norton-Taylor

Saturday 20 November 2010

The money was paid to Paul Henderson, former managing director of the Coventry-based machine tool company Matrix Churchill, who provided information to MI6 about Saddam Hussein's nuclear weapons programme, and John Paul Grecian, former managing director of Ordtec, justice ministry figures show.


Henderson was acquitted of breaching trade embargos in 1992 after evidence revealed the government knew about the exports but turned a blind eye to them. It emerged during his trial that he spied for MI6 during his visits to Baghdad.

The trial collapsed after Alan Clark, the former Conservative trade and defence minister, told the court he connived in the exports.
 
Full article

Sunday, 21 November 2010

More evidence of smoke and mirrors...

US scheming to extend Iraq adventure

Asia Times reports (November 17th): A special envoy from President Barack Obama raised the possibility in a secret meeting with senior Iraqi military and civilian officials in Baghdad on September 23 that his administration would leave more than 15,000 combat troops in Iraq after the 2011 deadline for US withdrawal, according to a senior Iraqi intelligence official familiar with the details of the meeting.
But the White House official, Puneet Talwar, special assistant to the president and senior director for the Gulf States, Iran and Iraq on the National Security Council (NSC) staff, said the deployment would have to be handled in a way that was consistent with the president’s pledge to withdraw US troops completely from Iraq under the 2008 agreement, the official said.
Talwar suggested that the combat troops could be placed under the cover of the State Department’s security force, the Iraqi intelligence official told Inter Press Service (IPS).

Sunday, 14 November 2010

From The Guardian

Iraq's disappearing Christians are Bush and Blair's legacy

 

William Dalrymple writes for The Guardian (November 12th): This week saw new levels of violence directed at Iraq's Christians. Eight days after the attack on Baghdad's main Catholic church that left more than 50 worshippers dead, militants detonated more than 14 bombs in Christian suburbs, killing at least four and wounding about 30. 

Of the 800,000 Christians still in Iraq when Dubya unleashed the US army on Saddam for the second time, two thirds have fled the country. In 2006, a priest was kidnapped, then found beheaded and dismembered; 15 churches have been bombed and many other priests killed. Iraqi refugees tell me that Christian women have suffered kidnap and rape, little of which has been reported.


Christians in Iraq living in fear of 'pogrom' after bomb attacks

 

The Guardian reports (November 12th): "It's hard to be accurate about how many of us are left," said Abdullah al-Noufali, the head of Iraq's Christian Endowment Fund. "But we numbered around 1 million before 2003 and are around 500,000 now.
"Things have changed this week," he added. "These days it is hard to find a Christian who will tell you he wants to stay in Iraq. The church attack was the worst [crisis] in our history. For thousands of years we have stood alongside other sects here, fought in wars and endured all types of disasters. And now this."
There is barely an Iraqi Christian family in which some members do not live abroad. 

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Statement: Enough is enough hands of our Christians, hands off our people

We Women of WSIUI are outraged and appalled to see our Christians being singled out and targeted by terrorists, claiming Islam and serving the Zionist agenda in the region.

Our people are foiling the occupiers' plans and despite sixty years of atrocities and aggression, the Palestinians have never given up the fight for their right for independence and self determination.

This is another stage in the plan to fragment Iraq that started with the invasion of 2003. Keeping Iraq unstable and divided prevents it from taking up its role in the region and leaves it an easy target for malevolent forces in the region and beyond.

This is all part of the plan to plunge the whole region into sectarian and religious futile conflicts, in order to guarantee the safety and security of Israel.

We would like to remind people that the first attack on a place of worship in the history of modern Iraq, took place in 1951 on the Baghdad Synagogue. Mossad has already acknowledged responsibility for this act of terrorism.

We hold the occupiers and the ‘very expensive’ and useless occupation government of the ‘Green Zone’ legally and morally responsible for the attacks on our defenceless people.

The only way we can save our people is to resist the occupiers and their plans.

We mourn our martyrs and vow to continue our campaigning in support of the struggle of our people against the imperialist aggression on our country.
 
Women Soldiarity for an Independent and Unified Iraq
http://solidarityiraq.blogspot.com/
Witness testimony re the massacre in the Church of our Lady of Salvation in Baghdad with English translation

Robert Fisk: Only justice can bring peace to this benighted region

Saturday, 6 November 2010

The Indepenmdent
No one in their right mind would think that al-Qa'ida would burn its energies on such a petty – though revolting – act in Lebanon. But al-Qa'ida does exist in Lebanon. We have President Bashar al-Assad's word on that. Indeed, it's interesting to hear what Assad actually said on the subject last week – since his relationship with Shia Hezbollah and Shia Iran makes him no friend of bin Laden's outfit. In an interview with Al-Hayat newspaper, he said "We talk about al-Qa'ida as if it exists as a well-structured, unified organisation. This isn't true. It acts more as a current of thought that calls itself al-Qa'ida. This organisation is the result (of a situation) and not the cause. It is a result of chaos, of weak development. It is a result of political errors and a kind of political direction." To say that this organisation "exists everywhere, in Syria as in all Arab and Islamic countries, does not mean that it is widespread or popular".

Iraq : Destroying a Country: War Crimes and Atrocities - Part II

by Felicity Arbuthnot

Global Research, November 8, 2010

"The abused are only Iraqis", a US General to General Antonio Taguba.

Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the latest, vast cache of documents from Wikileaks, is that anyone was surprised at the revelations. For Iraqis, Afghans and the region, and Iraq and Afghanistan watchers across the globe, countless millions of words have been written and eye witness reports sent since day one of the highly questionable legality of the Afghan invasion the absolute illegality of that of Iraq.

Soldiers have put "trophy" photographs of the dead, mutilated, tortured on the internet. In August the BBC's documentary: "The Wounded Platoon", aired interviews with soldiers who admitted shooting Iraqi civilians and "keeping scores." (1) Abu Ghraib's particular testimony to freedom, democracy and liberation's bounties, will likely remain the mental monument to the U.S., military in Iraq, which will ring down the generations.

Former Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Tareq Aziz and his colleagues await an Inquistitional, mediaeval end on a hangman's noose, under America's watch (with the U.K., since still in coalition.) Charges include crimes against humanity. Yet the perpetrators of nearly seven years of near indescribable crimes against humanity in Iraq - and near a decade in Afghanistan, return home to heroes' welcomes.

Full article
* Part I of this article at http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=21545

Sunday, 7 November 2010

How our taxes are spent by the Ministry of Defence

Iraqi prisoners were abused at 'UK's Abu Ghraib', court hears

The Guardian reports (November 6th): Evidence of the alleged systematic and brutal mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners at a secret British military interrogation centre that is being described as "the UK's Abu Ghraib" emerged during high court proceedings brought by more than 200 former inmates.
The court was told there was evidence that detainees were starved, deprived of sleep, subjected to sensory deprivation and threatened with execution at the shadowy facilities near Basra operated by the Joint Forces Interrogation Team, or JFIT.
It also received allegations that JFIT's prisoners were beaten, forced to kneel in stressful positions for up to 30 hours at a time, and that some were subjected to electric shocks. Some of the prisoners say that they were subject to sexual humiliation by women soldiers, while others allege that they were held for days in cells as small as one metre square.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/nov/06/iraq-prisoner-abuse-court

Friday, 5 November 2010

Oct 2010 stats: Iraq monitor of constitutional feedom and bill of rights

انخفاض باعمال العنف خلال شهر تشرين الاول 2010والحصيلة 279 قتيل و601 مصاب و1405معتقل

A drop in voilence during Oct 2010: 279 killed, 601 injured and 1405 arrested
MRFC calls on the security forces in Iraq to live up to its responsibilites.
1. ضحايا القتل جراء (انفجارات العبوات الناسفة واللاصقة والمفخخات والقنابل ) وصلت إلى وقوع مالا يقل عن ( 279 ) ضحية من المدنيين وكانت أشدها في كل من المحافظـــات (البصرة–- نينوى – بغداد – ديالى –- الانبار ).


Victims of car bombs, explosions and  bombings: 279 deaths

2. وقوع ( 35 ) ضحية من ( أجهزة الشرطة والجيش ) وكانت أشدها فــي محافظة ( نينوى- بغداد – الانبار – ديالى ) .
35 non civilian deaths (Ninveh, Baghdad, Anbar and Diyala)

3. أما ضحايا القتل ( الجثث المجهولة الهوية ) وصلت إلى مالا يقل عن ( 26 ) جثه مجهولة الهوية وكانت أشدها في (نينوى – بغداد – ديالى )
vicitms of murder (unidentifieed bodies) 26 (Ninveh, Baghdad and Diyalah)

4. وأخيرا ضحايا (الاغتيالات ) وصلت إلى مالا يقل عن ( 19 ) ضحية وكانت أشدها في (نينوى – بغداد - الانبار )
Assassinations : 19 (Ninveh, baghdad and Diyalah)

 وصلت أعداد ضحايا المصابين من (الانفجارات ) إلى وقوع مالا يقل عن ( 563 ) ضحية وكانت أشدها في كل من المحافظات ( نينوى- بغداد - بابل – البصرة – ديالى - صلاح الدين – كركوك )

563 victims of bombs (Ninveh, Baghdad, Babel, Basra, Diyala, Salahidin and Kirkuk)

· وصلت أعداد ضحايا أعمال الخطف إلى وقوع مالا يقل عن ( 18 ) مختطف وتركزت فــــي (بغداد – كركوك- الانبار )
Victims of kidnapping:18 (Baghdad, Kirkuk and Anbar)
· الاعتقالات :
Detention: 1405
استمرار عمليات الاعتقالات مع استمرار أعمال العنف وتزايدها والتي يقع جزء منها بصوره عشوائية وغير قانونيه , وقد وصلت أعداد المعتقلين خلال هذا الشهر إلى ( 1405 ) معتقل في عموم محافظات العراق.

· اما عمليات اطلاق السراح : فقد وصلت إلى إطلاق سراح مالا يقل عن ( 167 ) معتقل في عموم محافظات العراق وتركزت في ( بغداد – نينوى – كركوك – ميسان ) .
Released: 167

· اما احكام الاعدام : صدرخلال هذا الشهر ( 7 ) حكم إعدام وذلك في محافظة (بغداد – صلاح الدين - نينوى )

7 new death sentences: Baghdad, Salahidin and Ninveh)

- اما المداهمات فقد شكلت ارتفاعا ملحوظا خلال هذا الشهر فقد وصل عدد حالات المداهمات الى ما يقارب ( 450 ) مداهمة وتركزت في محافظات ( بغداد _ البصرة – كركوك – ذي قار – ديالى – صلاح الدين – الانبار )
450 house raids higher than last month (Baghdad, Basra, Kirkuk, Thi qar, Diyala, Salahidin and Anbar
http://iraqimrfc.org/innerpage.php?name=taqareer&x=89

Iraqis Want UK 'Torture And Abuse' Probe

SkyNews
5th Nov 2010
Human rights lawyers are at the High Court to push for a full public inquiry into claims more than 140 Iraqi civilians were abused by British troops serving there.
video




It is claimed the detainees were beaten and suffered sexual abuse in camps run by British soldiers between March 2003 and December 2008.

Their lawyers are challenging a refusal by Defence Secretary Liam Fox to order the sort of investigation they say is now necessary "to bring the full facts to light".

The lead claimant is Ali Zaki Mousa, from Basra, who alleges he suffered months of beatings and other abuse in the custody of British soldiers in 2006/07.

http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/UK-News/Iraqi-Abuse-Detainees-Lawyer-Phil-Shiner-At-High-Court-Urges-New-Public-Inquiry-For-Ex-Detainees/Article/201011115795602?lpos=UK_News_Carousel_Region_3&lid=ARTICLE_15795602_Iraqi_Abuse_Detainees%3A_Lawyer_Phil_Shiner_At_High_Court_Urges_New_Public_Inquiry_For_Ex-Detainees

Closing down Al Baghdadiya satellite TV channel

JFOiraq.org
2nd Nov 2010
Iraqi government closed the offices of Baghdadiya TV station (Muntadhar Al Zaidy used to work for) and is actively preventing them from conducting any media work. The statement by JFO considers this decision to be a new blow for the freedom of the press.
JFO condemns this unecplained decision, that came straight after the TV channel established a link with the hostage takers inside the church on Sunday 31st Oct 2010

Mounting evidence of British war crimes

3 November 2010
Chris Marsden
wsws.org

A preliminary high court ruling in July found, “There is an arguable case that the alleged ill-treatment was systemic, and not just at the whim of individual soldiers”. The court was presented with evidence on behalf of 102 Iraqis held as prisoners by the British military in an action by Public Interest Lawyers headed by solicitor Phil Shiner. The evidence lists the cases of 59 Iraqi civilians who say they were hooded by British troops, 11 subjected to electric shocks, 122 alleging that ear muffs were used for sound deprivation, 52 deprived of sleep, 39 who were subjected to enforced nakedness, and 18 forced to watch pornographic

The article in full

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

In a week when 113 Iraqis are killed by bomb attacks....

Iraqi anger at lawmakers' 'lavish' salaries

AP reports (November 2nd): Iraqi lawmakers have collected their £56,000 stipend, they're raking in £14,000 a month in salaries and allowances, and they're spending free nights in Baghdad's finest hotel – and they've only worked about 20 minutes this year, without passing a single law.
As the parliament prepares to hold what will be only its second session since the inconclusive election in March, lawmakers' lavish salaries and privileges are deepening resentment among Iraqis struggling to make ends meet.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

HRW:Iraqi Kurdistan: Journalists Under Threat

Ensure Open, Thorough Investigation Into Killing of Young Reporter


October 29, 2010

(New York) - Journalists in Iraqi Kurdistan who criticize the regional government have faced substantial violence, threats, and lawsuits in recent months, and some have fled the country, Human Rights Watch reported today.


Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government needs to ensure an independent and transparent inquiry into the killing of journalist Sardasht Osman in May 2010, that will lead to the identification and prosecution of all those responsible, Human Rights Watch said. An investigation by an anonymous committee appointed by President Masoud Barzani did not substantiate its findings, Human Rights Watch added.
"This secret investigation into Sardasht Osman's murder is exactly the opposite of what's needed," said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. "The Kurdistan government needs to get to the bottom of this killing with an open and independent inquiry that will include looking into allegations of government involvement."

The anonymous inquiry concluded that an Islamist armed group, Ansar al-Islam, was responsible for Osman's abduction and murder after he wrote articles criticizing government officials, including the regional government's president. The committee's 430-word statement did not substantiate its findings beyond referring to a confession from one of the alleged perpetrators. The identity of the committee members remains secret, and the committee did not interview Osman's family or those close to him. Since the release of the statement on September 15, Osman's family say they have been threatened by government forces and party members after speaking out against the committee's findings.

Read the rest of the press release

Monday, 1 November 2010

Wikileaks Iraq War Logs: Legal Action is Unavoidable

Despite US manoeuvres, the United States administration and the government of Iraq stand equally accused. Neither can be trusted to investigate the facts contained in the classified documents Wikileaks has brought into the public domain. the United States administration and the government of Iraq stand equally accused. Neither can be trusted to investigate the facts contained in the classified documents Wikileaks has brought into the public domainOnly action that invokes the universal jurisdiction of the conventions the US and Iraqi governments have violated in Iraq can be satisfactory and objective. And only by stepping back and reviewing the whole period, from 1990 through until now, can one adequately situate the Wikileaks Iraq War Logs and understand their importance.


Wikileaks has done a tremendous service to truth in times of war, and has placed before us raw evidence that is compelling, undeniable, and that tells — in part — the story of the Iraq war in a way until now untold. We salute Wikileaks and its sources for the courageous act of releasing the classified Iraq War Logs. We call on all lawyers, judges and juridical institutions to display equal courage, and in coalition to work towards the swift prosecution of US and UK war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Iraq. We believe that only by coordinated action can those responsible for grave crimes and rights violations in Iraq be held accountable.

We therefore call for the formation of an international coalition of lawyers, legal specialists and antiwar and anti-occupation progressive forces to realise this obligation.
We are ready to cooperate with and join any effort that aims to ensure redress and reparations for Iraqi victims of US and UK crimes.

There is no excuse now for failing to take legal action everywhere it is feasible, both at the national level — where the universal jurisdiction of international conventions permits — and beyond. But legal action must be informed by an analysis of the nature of the war as a whole, and by the testimony not only of the US Army, but also Arab and international solidarity groups and associations, and foremost the Iraqi people — the victims of the US-led war of aggression on Iraq.

Ad Hoc Committee for Justice for Iraq
We are not taking signatures for this call to action; rather we ask those with requisite skills to commit to building a new coalition to pursue legal action, which we also commit to join. Please inform us of your efforts, in the hope that together we can build towards effective legal action:

info@USgenocide.org
Read the full press release

Sunday, 31 October 2010

It gets worse

UK troops face 90 new claims of abuse in Iraq

The Guardian reports (October 31st): A specialist team appointed by the government to investigate claims of abuse by British troops in Iraq has received 90 complaints involving 128 Iraqi civilians. The files, relating to allegations between March 2003 and July 2009, have been sent to Geoff White, a former head of Staffordshire CID, who heads the Iraq historic allegations team.

White has met Phil Shiner, of Public Interest Lawyers, who will begin a case in the high court on behalf of 142 Iraqis who claim they were abused by British troops in the aftermath of the war to topple Saddam Hussein.

The high court will hear claims that the alleged ill-treatment of Iraqis by British troops was systemic and was not conducted at the whim of rogue soldiers. The case involves multiple claims of ill-treatment contrary tohuman rights law, including hooding or blindfolding, allegations of being forced into prolonged stress positions in solitary confinement, and deprivation of sleep, water and food.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/oct/31/british-troops-sex-torture-allegations

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Tariq Aziz is a man who knows too much

Mark Seddon

 guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 26 October 2010 15.00 BST
The decision by Iraq's high tribunal to pass a death sentence on Tariq Aziz, once the international face of dictator Saddam Hussein's regime, over "the persecution of Islamic parties", has the feel of retribution about it. After all, this sentence follows from the 15-year sentence meted out to Aziz last year for his part in the killing of dozens of merchants in 1992 and a further seven years for his role in the forced displacement of Kurds from northern Iraq during Saddam's rule – quite enough to ensure that he will never leave jail.


Aziz, now aged 74, is a Chaldean Christian, who along with the Assyrian Christians, have suffered largely unreported collateral damage from the war. Aziz's presence as the only Christian in a secular Ba'athist dictatorship was a factor apparently exploited by Saddam, with veiled threats being made periodically to his family.

WikiLeaks revelations come as little surprise to many Iraqis

Jane Arraf, The Christian Science Monitor/McClatchy

The Christian Science Monitor/

Read more: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/10/23/102493/wikileaks-revelations-come-as.html#ixzz13qEoBRK0

The statement said the documentation of killings by private U.S. security contractors such as Blackwater, accused of a shooting spree that killed 17 civilians in 2007 in an incident that became a symbol of American brutality, could be used in court cases against the company, now called Xe Services.


"We stress once again the necessity of taking these documents into consideration to achieve justice for our citizens who might have been the victims of their unbridled aggression," it read.

Maliki's office said it would examine politically explosive allegations of torture and killings by Iraqi security forces as accusations "that must be looked into cautiously and investigated."

Maliki's main rival, the Iraqiya coalition, said the reports reinforced the need to curb his powers. His own Shiite partners have called for changes that would restrict his power to act unilaterally — a main complaint of his former allies.

The documents, which were released too late to be in Saturday newspapers in Iraq, attracted less attention than expected among ordinary Iraqis, with many of them saying they're unsurprised by any accounts of abuse by either Americans or Iraqis

Read more: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/10/23/102493/wikileaks-revelations-come-as.html#ixzz13qEJcmBB

Azzaman articles

One million cubic tons of garbage dumped in Tigris river

http://www.azzaman.com/

The Tigris River which bisects Baghdad and several other major Iraqi cities has about one billion cubic meters of polluted materials dumped into it, according to a senior environment expert.



Internally displaced Iraqis have nowhere to go

www.azzaman.com

Population movement is currently most visible in the so-called disputed areas where Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen claim them for their own.



U.S. troops come under attack in Iraq’s Mousel

www.azzaman.com

Two explosive devices planted on the side of the road went off when as the patrol was driving in the Sinaa Neighborhood, an anti-U.S. garrison in Mosul

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Humiliate, strip, threaten: UK military interrogation manuals discovered

Exclusive: Methods devised in secret in recent years may breach international law

* Ian Cobain * guardian.co.uk, Monday 25 October 2010 21.30 BST
One PowerPoint training aid created in September 2005 tells trainee military interrogators that prisoners should be stripped before they are questioned. "Get them naked," it says. "Keep them naked if they do not follow commands." Another manual prepared around the same time advises the use of blindfolds to put prisoners under pressure.


A manual prepared in April 2008 suggests that "Cpers" – captured personnel – be kept in conditions of physical discomfort and intimidated. Sensory deprivation is lawful, it adds, if there are "valid operational reasons". It also urges enforced nakedness.

More recent training material says blindfolds, earmuffs and plastic handcuffs are essential equipment for military interrogators, and says that while prisoners should be allowed to sleep or rest for eight hours in each 24, they need be permitted only four hours unbroken sleep. It also suggests that interrogators tell prisoners they will be held incommunicado unless they answer questions.
 
Full article

Monday, 25 October 2010

They Fled Away "Like Gangsters": Murder and Greed in Baghdad

Friday 22 October 2010

by: H.P. Albarelli Jr., t r u t h o u t | Report


The contractors don't seem to care about the people they kill. It's just a part of their business. These kinds of incidents occur on a regular basis, but no one seems to be concerned. -Paul Wolf, attorney

It is nearly two hours past noon, a sunny, warm day on October 9, 2007. The creaky old Oldsmobile, containing a driver and three people returning home from church, is lumbering along at about 15 miles per hour. As it begins to cross a busy intersection in the bustling Karada neighborhood of Baghdad, several rounds of copper-jacketed 5.56mm rounds tear into its windshield sending glass everywhere.

A second volley of rounds, traveling in excess of the speed of sound, sprays the car's engine hood and dashboard sounding like hard hammer strikes. Two of the rounds puncture wide holes in the Oldsmobile's radiator, which begins to spray heated engine coolant and steam. At least nine rounds strike and kill the female driver and hit the woman seated in the front passenger seat in the neck. The woman's head drops and a growing mandala of blood blossoms across the dress she wears.

A third volley of shots lifts her head away from her neck and body and parts of it fly into the backseat. There, two wide-eyed people, a young woman and a 13-year old boy, sit. They begin to scream at the sight of the woman's crumpled, headless body. The boy's face has shards of glass protruding from it. The young woman wipes blood and pieces of flesh from her face. She sits as if frozen in place and begins to make a prolonged, otherworldly, wailing sound. The vehicle rolls to a slow stop as another volley of rounds is released.

Everyone on the busy street instinctively runs for cover. A woman on the sidewalk holding the hands of two children grabs both of them drawing them tight to her body, which she turns protectively toward the direction from which the shots come. She huddles like this, shaking as bullets whine off the concrete street. She tells the petrified children everything will be O.K. over and over and over. Above her voice, the children hear the wailing sound coming from the Oldsmobile, and then a man yells loudly in accented English, "All right, all right, let's get the hell out of here. Hit it, now, go."
Read the full article

The Secret Iraq Files

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Video: Iraq files 'not surprising'


AlJazeera.net
For the past 10 weeks, working with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism in London, Al Jazeera has analysed tens of thousands of documents, sourced through WikiLeaks, which cover six years of war - in the biggest leak of US military secrets in history.
The secret files reveal extensive abuse at Iraqi police stations, army bases and prisons.
According to the files, coalition troops reported the allegations to their superiors on more than 1,300 occasions.
Sabah al-Mukhtar, lawyer and president of the Arab Lawyers Association in London, spoke to Al Jazeera about the allegations of "torture", and said Iraqis will not be surprised by the findings.

Fisk in The Independent


The shaming of America

Robert Fisk reports for The Independent (October  24th):If this vast treasury of secret reports had proved that the body count was much lower than trumpeted by the press, that US soldiers never tolerated Iraqi police torture, rarely shot civilians at checkpoints and always brought killer mercenaries to account, US generals would be handing these files out to journalists free of charge on the steps of the Pentagon. They are furious not because secrecy has been breached, or because blood may be spilt, but because they have been caught out telling the lies we always knew they told.
US official documents detail extraordinary scale of wrongdoing
WikiLeaks released on its website some 391,832 US military messages documenting actions and reports in Iraq over the period 2004-2009. Here are the main points:
Prisoners abused, raped and murdered
Hundreds of incidents of abuse and torture of prisoners by Iraqi security services, up to and including rape and murder. Since these are itemised in US reports, American authorities now face accusations of failing to investigate them. UN leaders and campaigners are calling for an official investigation.

The shooting of men trying to surrender
In February 2007, an Apache helicopter killed two Iraqis, suspected of firing mortars, as they tried to surrender. A military lawyer is quoted as saying: "They cannot surrender to aircraft and are still valid targets."
Hundreds of civilians killed at checkpoints
Out of the 832 deaths recorded at checkpoints in Iraq between 2004 and 2009, analysis by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism suggests 681 were civilians. Fifty families were shot at and 30 children killed. Only 120 insurgents were killed in checkpoint incidents.

They do know but shamelessly don't tell

Free Iraq
Dr. Imad Khadduri's blog
http://abutamam.blogspot.com/

Reference the previous posting "Do they know, or don't they?" Aug 3, 2010


"Although US generals have claimed their army does not carry out body counts and British ministers still say no official statistics exist, the war logs show these claims are untrue. The field reports purport to identify all civilian and insurgent casualties, as well as numbers of coalition forces wounded and killed in action. They give a total of more than 109,000 violent deaths from all causes between 2004 and the end of 2009.

This includes 66,081 civilians, 23,984 people classed as "enemy" and 15,196 members of the Iraqi security forces. Another 3,771 dead US and allied soldiers complete the body count.

However, the US figures appear to be unreliable in respect of civilian deaths caused by their own military activities. For example, in Falluja, the site of two major urban battles in 2004, no civilian deaths are recorded. Yet Iraq Body Count monitors identified more than 1,200 civilians who died during the fighting. "

Iraq war logs: secret files show how US ignored torture October 22, 2010


Update:

Wikileaks Iraq: data journalism maps every death October 23, 2010


Not Every Death Mapped
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Iraq Occupation Focus Newsletter no 158

Iraq Occupation Focus Newsletter no 158
20th October 2010

Common Ills: Nouri Touring

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Among the issues Melkert was raising with al-Sistani was the political stalemate. March 7th, Iraq concluded Parliamentary elections. The Guardian's editorial board noted in August, "These elections were hailed prematurely by Mr Obama as a success, but everything that has happened since has surely doused that optimism in a cold shower of reality." 163 seats are needed to form the executive government (prime minister and council of ministers). When no single slate wins 163 seats (or possibly higher -- 163 is the number today but the Parliament added seats this election and, in four more years, they may add more which could increase the number of seats needed to form the executive government), power-sharing coalitions must be formed with other slates, parties and/or individual candidates. (Eight Parliament seats were awarded, for example, to minority candidates who represent various religious minorities in Iraq.) Ayad Allawi is the head of Iraqiya which won 91 seats in the Parliament making it the biggest seat holder. Second place went to State Of Law which Nouri al-Maliki, the current prime minister, heads. They won 89 seats. Nouri made a big show of lodging complaints and issuing allegations to distract and delay the certification of the initial results while he formed a power-sharing coalition with third place winner Iraqi National Alliance -- this coalition still does not give them 163 seats. They are claiming they have the right to form the government. In 2005, Iraq took four months and seven days to pick a prime minister. It's seven months and thirteen days and counting.


Read the full article
http://thecommonills.blogspot.com/

Though the coverage fades for many, the violence continues on in Iraq. Xinhua reports bombings in Diyala Province today have claimed at least 8 lives following the bombing of a police officer Major Qaid al-Rashid's home in Tikrit. So far the only known survivor is a six-month-old infant. Police Lt Col Khalid al-Baiyati's home was also bombed leaving two family members injured (the lieutenant wasn't home during the bombing), a Samarra roadside bombing claimed the lives of 2 police officers (four people left injured) and a Baiji bombing injured one Sahwa member. Reuters raised the death toll from 8 to 11. Reuters adds a Baghdad sticky bombing injured eight Iranian pilgrims and a second Baghdad roadside bombing wounded six Iranian pilgrims. Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad roadside bombing injured two people and another one claimed the life of 1 Sahwa with four more injured and a Najaf roadside bombing targeted  the United Nations Special Representative to Iraq Ad Melkert. Alsumaria TV reports that Melkert was in Najaf to visit Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Al Sistani at his home.  Jane Arraf (Christian Science Monitor) explains, "Mr. Melkert [. . .] is one of the few Western officials with whome Ayatollah Sistani meets. The cleric, who does not appear in public, has played an influential role in Iraq."  Ernesto Londono (Washington Post) notes the bombing claimed the life of 1 Iraqi police officer with two more injured while Ad Mlkert was not harmed.  Londono adds, "Investigators suspect that the militant Shiite group Asaib Ahl-al-Haq carried out the attack, possibly assuming that the convoy included US military officials".

Read the full article

UNHCR poll indicates Iraqi refugees regret returning home

News Stories, 19 October 2010


© UNHCR/B.Heger

GENEVA, October 19 (UNHCR) – A UNHCR poll of Iraqis who have returned to Baghdad from neighbouring countries found that physical insecurity, economic hardship and a lack of basic public services has led the majority to regret their decision to return to Iraq.



UNHCR's chief spokesperson, Melissa Fleming, presenting the survey findings to journalists in Geneva on Tuesday, said it also found that 34 per cent of returnees were uncertain whether they would stay permanently in Iraq and would consider seeking asylum in neighbouring countries once again if conditions do not improve.



The survey of 2,353 Iraqis, or 537 families, who returned to the Baghdad districts of Resafa and Karkh between 2007 and 2008, was conducted by UNHCR staff from April to September this year in person and by phone. Future surveys will cover the conditions of returnees to other parts of Iraq such as Kirkuk, Mosul, Anbar and Diyala.



"During the course of these interviews, UNHCR staff were informed by returnees of numerous instances of explosions, harassment, military operations and kidnapping occurring in their areas of return," Fleming said.



Many interviewees said they were obliged to return to Iraq because they could no longer afford the high cost of living in asylum states. "In this context, UNHCR continues to remain concerned by occurrences of forcible deportations of Iraqi refugees from their countries of asylum to Iraq," the UNHCR spokesperson stressed.



The survey found that 61 per cent of those interviewed regretted returning to Iraq from their country of asylum, with 60 per cent of this number stating that this was mainly due to insecurity and personal safety concerns.



Almost 80 per cent of those that returned to Karkh and Resafa said they did not go to their original place of residence, either due to the general insecurity or because they still feared direct persecution. A total 11 per cent cited poor economic conditions and unemployment as reasons for not returning to their former homes and neighbourhoods.



Most Iraqi returnees who did not return to their original homes live with relatives, and in some cases stay with friends or have rented other accommodation. The majority, 87 per cent, said their current income was insufficient to cover their families' needs in Iraq.



One of the principal challenges for Iraqi returnees is finding regular employment. Inadequate access to public services, including health care, combined with infrequent electricity supply in many parts of the country, add to the hardship facing returnees.



A similar survey on the Syrian and Jordanian borders was released last week by UNHCR. It indicated that the majority of Iraqi refugees living in Syria and Jordan were not considering returning permanently to Iraq in the near future due to continuing political uncertainty and security instability.



"UNHCR does not envisage widescale returns to Iraq in the short term," Fleming said, adding: "While UNHCR does not promote returns to Iraq, it continues to assist refugees who voluntarily express their wish to return, in close coordination with the Iraqi authorities."



This assistance covers 100 per cent of transportation as well as a small cash grant. More than 2,960 Iraqis voluntarily returned to Iraq from neighbouring states with UNHCR help during 2007 and the first 10 months of 2008.



According to Iraqi government statistics, 18,240 Iraqi refugees returned from countries of asylum in the first eight months of this year, while 89,700 people displaced inside Iraq returned home in the same period. UNHCR is spending some US$100 million in Iraq this year to alleviate conditions of the internally displaced and to support the reintegration of destitute returnees.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

AMSI:September 2010 stats

http://www.iraq-amsi.com/Portal/news.php?action=view&id=47397&9d6a2d26bb41dca7bee47fb491859922
Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq (AMSI) statement number 732 dated 9th October 2010
Number of official raids in Sep 2010 : 375 up and down Iraq resulting in the arrests of 1681 persons
Baghdad 322, Ninevh 296, Salah Din 260, Dhiala 259, Kirkuk 169, Anbar 142, Karbala 83, Basra 80, Babil (hilla) 25, muthana (samawa) 18, Wasit (Kut) 10, Thi Qar (Nassiriyah) 8, Najaf 5, Qaddisiya (Diwaniya)3, Missan (amarra) one arrest.

These figures are based on official figures of the Defence and intyerior ministries and do no include figures of the so called ministry of national security, offices of so called anti terrorism, arrests carried out by forces belonging to the office of prime minster, official militias such as the peshmerga, awakenings and 'unofficial' militias such as bader brigade and kurdish Assaiysh, in the kurdish areas and in the so called 'disputed territories.
http://www.iraq-amsi.com/Portal/news.php?action=view&id=47300&334fd7ba80434d6b8ed2d49dc5cefdf0


AMSI monitored 94 violations of the SOFA agreement during September 2010 by US forces. They were spotted 94 times in the streets of Iraqi towns and cities unaccompanied by Iraqi government forces