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Archive for the ‘US-led occupation (2003-?)’ Category

New Amnesty report accuses authorities of failing to protect civilians

In Refugees, US-led occupation (2003-?) on April 27, 2010 at 10:47 am

UK among countries defying UN over returning refused asylum-seekers despite violence

Amnesty International has today called on the Iraqi authorities to urgently step up the protection of civilians amid a recent surge of violence in the country.

Groups like religious and ethnic minorities, journalists, women and girls, and men perceived to be gay have particularly been targeted, said Amnesty, as it published a 28-page report – Iraq: civilians under fire – accusing the Iraqi authorities of failing to protect those at risk.

Ongoing uncertainty over when a new Iraqi government will be formed has led to a recent spike in attacks, with more than 100 civilian deaths in the first week of April alone.

The report also points out that the UK is among several European countries defying current United Nations guidelines over not returning refused asylum-seekers to extremely dangerous parts of Iraq. For example, in October the UK forcibly removed 44 Iraqis to Baghdad. In the event this led to a reported stand-off with Iraqi soldiers boarding the plane on arrival; 34 of the group were eventually flown back to the UK.

Fallujah: The Real Story

In Mass graves, Massacre of Fallujah April/November 2004, US-led occupation (2003-?) on April 21, 2010 at 12:11 am

“It was billed as a resounding military success. Over 1,200 insurgents were meant to have been killed and another 2,000 trapped inside Fallujah. But now this version of events is being challenged. Far from being crushed, rebels claim they left the city in an organised withdrawal. “It was a tactical move,” explains insurgent leader Alazaim Abuthe. “The fighters decided to redeploy to Amiriya.” Before they left, fighters booby-trapped many bodies. People are too scared to move them so the corpses lie rotting all over the city. Rabid dogs feed off them and then attack returning residents. Far from stabilising Iraq in preparation for this month’s election, the assault on Falluja has fanned the flames of civil war. Today Fallujans are too busy trying to stay alive in freezing refugee camps to worry about ballot papers that haven’t arrived for an election they have no intention of voting in. As one resident comments, ‘We’re not interested in this sort of democracy.'”

Quote of the day

In Mass graves, Secret prisons, US-led occupation (2003-?) on April 6, 2010 at 12:02 pm

‘In Iraq, we are helping the long-suffering people of that country to build a decent and democratic society at the center of the Middle East.  Together we are transforming a place of torture chambers and mass graves into a nation of laws and free institutions’, so declared President George W. Bush on 7 September 2003, six months into the occupation of Iraq. And yet, on 26 March 2010, the Iraqi Ministry of Human Rights has announced that that it unearthed 84 post-Saddam mass graves in the past year alone. Also, Human Rights Watch stated in a report published just over a year ago that ‘[a]buse in detention, typically with the aim of extracting confessions, appears common’ in the new Iraq. In 2009, the US State Department itself reported that it found ‘credible reports of torture, some resulting in death’ in the Iraqi penal system.”

Zaid Al-Ali, on openDemocracy.net

UN report on US secret prisons names six in Iraq

In Secret prisons, US-led occupation (2003-?) on April 6, 2010 at 9:26 am

In its most extensive study of secret detention practices to date, the UN released a 222-page report on the practice of secret detention in dozens of countries. The report was to be presented to the Human Rights Council in March but the Council has agreed to postpone the discussion until June. The detailed study conducted by four independent UN human rights experts accuses the Bush administration of utilizing practices in severe violation of international law.

Read the full post @ Amnesty’s Human Rights Now blog here.