By Adnan Al-Jadi
October 05, 2002
WASHINGTON, Oct 5 (KUNA) -- Teary eyed and speaking with broken voices, a group of Iraq women told a sympathetic Washington audience tales of horror from their distant homeland and appealed to the world to join hands in ending the rule of Saddam Hussein.
"Your presence today is a sign of solidarity with millions of suffering Iraqi women in the hands of one of the world's most brutal dictators," said Safia Al Sohail, advocacy director for Middle East and Islamic World at International Alliance for Justice.
Al Souhail, whose father Sheikh Taleb Al Souhail was gunned down by Iraqi intelligence agents in Beirut in 1994, said, "We need your help to bring out our message and the voices of many victims of the Iraqi regime." Praising the world community's efforts in restoring the rights of women in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo and elsewhere, "We call upon everyone to help us to gain our freedom, liberty, and country; also the long during suffering of the Iraqi women deserves to come to an end."
Noting that Iraq under Saddam has become a land of "hopelessness and sadness," Al Souhail said that her country has become a land where people are ethnically cleansed; prisoners are tortured in more than 300 prisons; rapes are systematic; decapitation of women and displaying their heads on the walls and doors of their homes is an ongoing activity by the sons of the dictator.
She said that hundreds of thousands of Iraqi women are still grieving the killing and disappearance of their loved ones as a result of the Anfal campaign against the Kurds and Shiites slaughtered during the march 1991 uprising.
Sabria Mahdie Naama, a Shiite from the southern city of Karbala, told the audience how she and her five children fled to the Iraqi-Saudi border and spending days in the desert without food or cover. "I bitterly left my homeland when it was absolutely unsafe to my kids and my family to stay even one day more," Naama said, as she spoke in Arabic. "Our guilt: We rose (against Saddam) in March 1991 to protest the destruction of our life and the death of two members of our family by Saddam's war of aggression," she said.
Naama said that she and her family only breathed freedom when they arrived in the United States in September 1992.
Peyman Halmat, a former teacher and a Kurdish activist, spoke of the atrocities carried out by Saddam's troops against her homeland during the 1987-1989 Anfal campaign in which thousands of Kurds were executed and abducted, including women and children, and sometimes entire villages. She said that an estimated 182,000 people are still unaccounted for to date as a result of the Anfal campaign.
"It's important not to forget that Saddam and his regime were the first in history to use chemical weapons and biological weapons against civilian population," Halmat said.
She said that while the gassing of Halabja was the most horrific by the Iraqi regime, it was not the first as the central government committed a similar act 11 months earlier.
Hetau Ibrahim Ahmed, another Kurdish activist, said that while the world was shocked by the events of Sept. 11, "The people of Iraqi Kurdistan have experienced their share of terrorism as it affects our global community."Ahmed recalled how a group calling themselves Jund Al-Islam (soldiers of Islam), attacked a Kurdish village in September 2001 and slaughtered 41 embers of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan's (PUK) Peshmarga, by
decapitating them using swords and removing their eyes of the victims after beheading them.
"This tragedy has only added to the plight of the Kurdish woman," she said. "This act of terrorism has robbed families of the murdered Peshmargas of their sons, their children and of their fathers," Ahmed said.
Zakia Ismail Hakki, the first appointed woman judge in Iraq, said that Kurds, a nation whose roots dates back thousands of years, "have been subjected by the successive Iraqi regimes to all sorts of discriminations and numerous atrocities including disappearances, mass killing, executions, torture, and imprisonment."
But Hakki said that despite such oppressions, the Kurds have not halted their struggle against the Iraqi regimes in order to achieve democracy and self-determination for their nation.
Dr. Katrin Michael, an Iraqi Chaldean and Christian, argued that women in Iraq, not only have not been given the opportunity to play a role in building their society, but also have not granted their rights to education. Michael said that nearly 80 percent of Iraqi women are poor because of their dependence on men.
For her part, Nidhal Shaikh Shallal, a woman whose late husban was killed by Iraqi troops, said that "the regime has turned the Iraqi woman into a sad and depressed one all gthe time because of having lost the loved members of her family."
Shallal said that women of dissidents and opposition figured are being tortured, killed and banished.
She added that women are also being forced to join the military and engage in combat. "
Iraqi-American Council (IAC)
Web site: http://www.iraqiamericans.org, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 20, 2003 Contact: Aziz Al-Taee
IAC Calls for Saddam Hussein To be Tried as War Criminal
WASHINGTON--The Iraqi-American Council (IAC) called for Saddam Hussein to be tried as a war criminal before an international tribunal for crimes against humanity. IAC members called for Saddam's ouster during their participation in this past weekend's anti-war activities in Washington, DC.
Aziz Al-Taee, chairman of the Iraqi-American Council, charged that the peace movement and anti-war demonstrators are unwitting pawns in Saddam's dangerous political game. He cited news reports of Saddam hailing worldwide anti-war demonstrations as proof of his "international support."
Calling Saddam Hussein "the Supreme Master of Biological, Chemical and Nuclear Terror," Al-Taee issued a scathing statement detailing Saddam Hussein's atrocities crimes against humanity.
He cited personal examples of Saddam's crimes, including a chilling account of the death of his cousin, who was brought to his aunt's house "in a plastic bag, cut up into little pieces." Iraqi officials charged Al-Taee's aunt for the price of the bullets used to kill her son.
"Saddam's evil genius lies in dispensing death,"stated Al-Taee, who cited as examples the executions of prominent Iraqi citizens, such as Dr. Abdul Majeed Hakki and Dr. Salawa Al-Bahrani, and the thousands of others who were beaten, tortured and poisoned. He said others perished melted in acid baths or were burned to death by Saddam's chemical weapons, like the thousands of Kurds in Halabja and Anfal.
"HALABJA... ANFAL...these names will join AUSCHWITZ and DACHAU as part of the lexicon of genocide."
Al-Taee stated that human rights groups have well documented that Saddam's sons have institutionalized the rape and public beheading of women as a means of political coercion.
"Saddam has upset the balance of nature by destroying the environment by torching the oil fields of Kuwait... by draining the marshlands of Iraq and displacing thousands of marsh Arabs lost without their historical habitat, " added Al-Taee.
"He is violating all of the human rights agreements by his campaigns of ethnic cleansing against the Kurds and his racist discrimination against the Shii'a Muslims, Christians, Jews, Chaldeans, Assyrians, marsh Arabs and other ethnic minorities."
"The UN weapons inspectors need look no further than Saddam," charged Al-Taee. "Saddam is the real Weapon of Mass Destruction."
He said that Saddam Hussein is "in daily 'material breach' of the United Nations Security Council Resolutions protecting the human and civil rights of the Iraqi people."
Al-Taee reiterated the Iraqi-American Council's position that the world community has a MORAL AND LEGAL OBLIGATION "to free the Iraqi People from the Butcher of Baghdad.
"We must help them establish a democracy under United-Nations-sponsored elections, based on UN Security Council Resolutions 688 and 1441."
He stressed that, in a post-Saddam Iraq, only a democratic government, and not another dictatorship, can prevent terrorists from acquiring Weapons of Mass Destruction and using them against the American people.
The Iraqi-American Council demands that Saddam and his lieutenants must be brought to justice before an international tribunal for war crimes and crimes committed against humanity, just like Slobodan Milosevic of Yugoslavia.
"If Saddam imposes a war on us, this war must be a war of Liberation and NOT Occupation," confirmed Al-Taee.
"This will not be a war between two nations," he added, but, rather, a war of Humanity against Brutality, a war of the free world against the forces of darkness."
saddam's own daughters defected in the mid 1990s- a fact curiously ignored by the media. a lot of the information available on what saddam and his sons have done that's so awful( dipping people in acid, attaching wires to their genitals and killing them for being Chaldean or a Jew somehow seems worse then accidentally blowing up a jeep.) comes from his own fucking flesh and blood who didn't even themselves feel safe from the butcher of baghdad.
saddam cried in public when he was told his girls fled, although many other members of his immediate family had done the same- really he's just misunderstood cream puff but bush is the real nazi...right?
now they are digging up sufi saints and destroying their remains.
we, it seems, are heretics.
"via any means necessary." - malcolm x