Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Freedom and Order in northern Iraq

There's a meeting tonight in Westminster hosted by Labour MP John McDonnel to discuss what's to be done about the British government sending people back to Iraq against their wishes.

On Saturday 19th November 2005, 15 Iraqi Kurds were forcibly deported from the United Kingdom. All of those removed were in Colnbrook camp at the time. A number of them said they were taken from Colnbrook and forced onto a bus and driven to an unknown airport.

Some alleged that they were beaten, put into handcuffs, and forced onto an aeroplane. That once they were secured, they were told that they were going back to a safe environment, they would be looked after, and they would be given a house. The plane made a stop-over at Cyprus, where the men say they were forced to change from their clothes into British army uniforms, including helmets and flak jackets. A second aeroplane took them to Arbil in Northern Iraq.

This sounds like something that wants looking into, as well as protesting, and though I can't make the meeting I'll try to keep in touch. Meanwhile, here's a not unrelated story from northern Iraq.

Kirkuk citizen’s group takes legal action against US troops and Iraqi police for Jan. 1 massacre

The League for Defending People's Demands in Kirkuk (LDPDK) has brought a lawsuit against the US military and the Iraqi police forces. We in the League accuse these forces of committing the massacre of January 1, 2006 after provoking people and opening fire on their peaceful march. The incident resulted in four deaths with many injured. A number of private homes and a considerable amount of property were damaged.

We take this legal action as a means of expressing our anger and condemnation at this revolting crime committed against defenseless people. We want those responsible for giving the order to open fire brought to justice.
We call on all freedom-loving people, human rights organizations, legal organizations and law experts in Iraq and worldwide to stand with us and support our campaign against the ongoing and blatant violations of human rights in Iraq.

We seek to prevent the oppressive American and governmental Iraqi forces from committing more crimes like this. We seek to compel them to respect the right of the people to demonstrate, strike, hold sit-ins and engage in other civil methods of protest and struggle to achieve their demands.
We call on all relatives and friends of the victims and those people who sustained damage as a result of this crime to contact us. We need a record of what you saw the US troops and the Iraqi police do.

The following is the text of the lawsuit lodged on January 4, 2006 in the Kirkuk Investigation Court.
For more information contact; Mohammad Aziz on 009647701325656 or Ramthan Saber on 009647701324181
Mohammed Aziz
League for Defending People's Demands in Kirkuk.
January 6, 2006
To the head of Kirkuk Investigation Court;
Re; Lodging a lawsuit
Dear Sir,
On January 1, 2006 the masses of people in Rahimawa, a suburb of the city of Kirkuk organized a peaceful demonstration against the huge rice of fuel prices. However due to the provocations by the US troops and Iraqi police the demonstration organized for fair demands turned violent and the US troops opened fire on demonstrators. We demand that you investigate this case, reveal the identity of those who opened fire on demonstrators and prosecute them and compensate the victims and their families. We will provide witnesses who incriminate the US troops and Iraqi police for committing this massacre.
Mohammed Aziz
League for Defending People's Demands in Kirkuk.

Supporters of the Worker-communist Party of Iraq have called a demonstration in London:

Join our protest outside the US embassy in London
Time: 12-2.30pm, Friday 13 January
On January 1, thousands of outraged people in the Iraqi city of Kirkuk demonstrated on the streets against their appalling living conditions, against the suffering caused by the US-backed Iraqi government’s failure to restore basic services and against a recent dramatic increase in the price of fuel.
Instead of responding by fulfilling the protesters’ basic needs, the US occupying forces fired on the unarmed demonstration, killing two people. Then, on January 4, Iraqi police fired on a demonstration of the unemployed, killing four protesters and injuring 40 others. Mass protests of this sort are the result of the chaos and social breakdown caused by three years of occupation.
The Worker-communist Party of Iraq stands wholeheartedly with the workers’ and people’s demands for a decent standard of living, as well as an end to the occupation.
Therefore we call on all labour movement, social justice and anti-war activists to join our protest in London in front of US embassy, or write letters of protest to the US government.
Worker-communist Party of Iraq (UK organisation)
The address of the US embassy is 24 Grosvenor Square, London W1A 1AE.
The nearest Tube station is Bond Street on the Jubilee line

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