February 22 2006
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British troops videoed ‘beating Iraqis’
Outrage Spreads over New Images
After footage of British troops beating young Iraqis with fists and batons was aired earlier, the Governorate of Basra announced it has severed ties to the British military. This included cancellation of joint security patrols.
“Iraqis suffered a lot during the past 35 years, but now they are tortured by foreigners who invaded our country,” said Al-Joubori, who was a city councillor in Basra for 40 years. “We can’t accept having them any more.” Far from cooperating, people in Basra are now prepared to fight the occupation forces, he said.
Video fallout hits UK Iraq troops
The council in Basra, which has already frozen ties, has now warned its employees they will be fired if they have any involvement with the British forces.
Both councils are also demanding an immediate handover of powers from the British. The governor of Maysan told the BBC he intended to pursue the soldiers responsible for the apparent beatings through the British civil courts, if no criminal charges were brought by the UK authorities.
New inquiry urged over Abu Ghraib
Australian TV aired previously unseen images of apparent prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib in 2003. The images on SBS TV are thought to be from the same source as those that caused an outcry around the world. The new images show “homicide, torture and sexual humiliation”, SBS said.
Abu Ghraib leaked report reveals full extent of abuse
It said the material, gathered by the army’s criminal investigation division, included 1,325 photographs and 93 video clips of suspected abuse of detainees, 546 photographs of suspected dead Iraqi detainees, as well as 660 images of adult pornography, and 29 pictures of US troops engaged in simulated sex acts. Based on date stamps, all were recorded between October 18 and December 30 2003, the same timeframe as the original scandal.
Activists call on army, police to respect women’s rights
The WRA has also registered nearly 90 reports of mistreatment of former female detainees. WRA spokeswoman Sarah Muthulak noted that most cases involved sexual harassment or violence, including beatings.
War and security
Iraq Has Become the Deadliest Place for Journalists, Report Says
Children’s mental health affected by insecurity, say specialists
“Children in Iraq are seriously suffering psychologically with all the insecurity, especially with the fear of kidnapping and explosions,” said API spokesman Maruan Abdullah. “In some cases, they’re found to be suffering extreme stress.”
According to Abdullah, the survey was undertaken after a noticeable increase in the number of children seeking psychological counselling, many of whom were found to have learning difficulties.
“It was incredible how strong the results were,” said Abdullah. “The only things they have on their minds are guns, bullets, death and a fear of the US occupation.”
Iraqis probe apparent death squad
Last June, Knight Ridder documented several instances in which Sunni men who’d been detained by uniformed men in police vehicles later were found dead. The Interior Ministry denied any involvement. Although there’s never been any proof that Interior Ministry forces were involved, suspicions ran high, in part because the interior minister, Bayan Jabr, is a leading member of the Shiite-led Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, which has close ties to the Badr Organization, a prominent Shiite militia group that’s linked to Iran.
More belt-tightening in store for Iraqis
Fuel prices will have to be raised to levels comparable to those in neighbouring countries, according to the deal. Any further hikes in fuel rates are bound to backfire on the new government and are very likely to lead to large-scale rioting. But the scrapping of food rations will have far graver consequences as millions of Iraqis will find it almost impossible to make ends meet without them.
About half of all Iraqis unemployed
The official, who is in the Iraqi planning and development ministry and asked not to be identified by name for security reasons, said more than 60 percent of the country’s population depends on government rations to survive.
Occupation increasing poverty
“A study conducted by the ministry in coordination with the International Monetary Fund and the United Nations Development Program [UNDP] shows that 20% of the population is affected by poverty”, Leila Kazem, director-general of the department of social affairs at the labour ministry, told Agence France-Presse. “Some 2 million Iraqi families live under the poverty line, as defined by international criteria, which is fixed at one [US] dollar per day per person.”
The decline in living standards is caused by “the rise in unemployment, violence, and the decline in public sector and civil service jobs”, Kazem added.
Politics and economics
Influential Iraqi cleric Sadr rejects constitution
Sadr, a rebel leader turned political kingmaker, said the charter was unacceptable, complicating efforts to form a government more than two months after parliamentary elections. If there is a democratic government in Iraq, nobody has the right to call for the establishment of federalism anywhere in Iraq whether it is the south, north, middle or any other part of Iraq,” said Sadr.
US fast-tracks Iraq into WTO
The US has been able to push Iraq’s accession so successfully that the members of the WTO and the secretariat itself overlooked the fact that Iraq does not even pass the first requirement of accession.
The US says it’s the way to fight terrorism. However, what they’re not saying is what’s in it for them and their corporations. The real winners of this will be the US oil giants, who have been eyeing Iraq’s sea of oil even before the invasion.
After Killing Families, U.S. Bars Iraqi Women from Visiting
“It’s appalling that the US military killed these women’s families and then the US government rejects their visas on the grounds that they have no family to return to in Iraq,” Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin said.
Code Pink member Jodi Evans said she met Jawad in a 2004 visit to Baghdad, a year after US troops killed the woman’s husband and three of her children as the family drove down a Baghdad street. In Mati’s case, US tank fire took the lives of her children and husband as the family fled the shelling of her neighbourhood. She said she has received no compensation for the killings from the US.
Japan to withdraw troops from Iraq
The Japanese troops are tasked with helping reconstruction efforts while British and Australian forces maintain security in the area. Their deployment has been controversial at home, since Japan’s pacifist constitution adopted after World War II bans the use of military force to settle international disputes.
U.S. religious group condemns Iraq war
“We lament with special anguish the war in Iraq, launched in deception and violating global norms of justice and human rights,” the Conference said in an emotional letter released during the World Council of Churches Assembly in Porto Alegre, Brazil. The World Council of Churches represents Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox and other Christian churches in more than 100 countries.
Iraq War a Mistake for 55% of Americans
23 FEB, MERSEYSIDE: PUBLIC MEETING with Chris Byworth, previous Cannon of St Helens, Bruce Kent, Alice Mahon MP and Lindsey German.
24 FEBRUARY, BRISTOL: PUBLIC MEETING with Tony Benn, Kamil Mahdi (Iraqi Democrat & peace campaigner) and Lindsey German.
28 February 2006 (7.30pm) LONDON: Lambeth Stop the War Coalition public meeting. Speakers include Jeremy Corbyn MP. A speaker from Justice for Jean Campaign has been invited.
1 MARCH, TYNESIDE: REPORT FROM THE INTERNATIONAL PEACE CONFERENCE with John Rees (Socialist Workers Party). Contact Debbie 01661 836793.
2 MARCH, BRENT: PUBLIC MEETING with Jeremy Corbyn MP, Haifa Zangana and Peter Brierley (Military Families Against War).
3 MARCH, YORK: TROOPS HOME, NO ATTACK ON IRAN. Public meeting with John Rees (Socialist Workers Party) and others.
4 MARCH, LONDON: STREET THEATRE WORKSHOP FOR THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF READINGS OF ELIOT WEINBERGER’S “WHAT I HEARD ABOUT IRAQ.”
10 MARCH, SOUTHPORT: SCREENINGS OF “TESTIMONIES FROM FALLUJAH” AND “EMPIRE AND OIL” presented by John Pugh MP.
18 MARCH, LONDON: NATIONAL MARCH AGAINST THE OCCUPATION OF IRAQ.