Reprieve for 3 condemned Iraqi women
Published Mar 10, 2007 10:29 PM
The top news stories out of Iraq March 5 and 6 showed that the occupation
continues to make Iraq a deadly place for Iraqis and for the U.S. occupation
forces. Nine GIs were killed, six north of Baghdad by a roadside explosion. And
dozens of Iraqis were blown up or burned in explosions or killed by U.S.
Up to two million Iraqis have fled the country, unable to bear the insecurity
that the U.S. occupation has imposed on many areas of Iraq since the March 20,
2003 invasion, killing and maiming hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. U.S.
imperialism is a conquering power that has brought repression and humiliation
to Iraqis without constructing a viable economy or a stable society.
A key event that has captured the attention and activities of the worldwide
solidarity movement with Iraq is the attempt of the Iraqi government to
schedule the execution of three women for their alleged participation in the
The women are 31-year-old Wassan Talib, charged with the killing of five police
officers in an attack on the police; 25-year-old Zainab Fadhil, charged for an
attack on a joint patrol of the Iraqi and U.S. armies in Baghdad; and
26-year-old Liqa Muhammad, charged with the killing of an official in the Green
Zone in the course of a kidnapping.
All are in Baghdad’s Al-Kadhimiya Prison. Two are caring for their small
children, who are with them in prison. The 1-year-old daughter of Liqa Muhammad
was born in prison. All the women deny the charges for which they face death by
Fearing a quick execution on March 3, leading activists in the BRussell’s
Tribunal in Belgium, from the Turkish anti-war movement, from the British
anti-war movement, from the International Action Center in the U.S. and many
others around the world, joined to wage a petition campaign to protest and stop
the impending executions. (brusselstribunal.org)
As a result of the campaign, high officials in Turkey, Britain and the European
Union protested to the Baghdad regime.
According to a March 2 statement signed by Hana Al Bayaty, Ian Douglas, Abdul
Ilah Albayaty, Iman Saadoon, Dirk Adriaensens and Ayse Berktay, the U.N.
Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has stated that “the three Iraqi
women will not be executed until an appeals court has ruled on their
The statement continues: “This assurance came from Iraqi authorities. It
is not enough. We demand to know the charges on which these three Iraqi women
stand convicted. We demand to know the date of their appeal hearings. We demand
that a public statement is made. We demand that they be afforded all due
protections under international human rights and humanitarian law.”
And it makes what is the most powerful point: “If charged with resisting
foreign occupation and aggression, we declare this charge illegal.”
Some 2,000 women are imprisoned in Iraq and classified as “security
detainees.” For most of the world’s people, whoever participates in
acts of resistance against the illegal and criminal occupation are heroes and
heroines who have sacrificed not only for Iraq but for all the oppressed
peoples of the world.
Assault in Basra
In a well-publicized strike in Basra in the South of Iraq, British troops and
Iraqi special forces assaulted the offices of an Iraqi government intelligence
agency. British officials said they discovered about 30 prisoners, some showing
signs of torture, as justification for this strike against the government the
British and U.S. have been supporting.
A more famous example of torture in prisons is that of Abu Ghraib, run by the
U.S. military with guards that come out of the repressive U.S. prison
In a less publicized action on Feb. 23, U.S. forces raided the Baghdad offices
of the Iraq Syndicate of Journalists. The International Federation of
Journalists (IFJ) condemned as “outrageous and inexcusable” the
action of occupation soldiers who carried out the armed raid.
According to the IFJ network, U.S. soldiers “destroyed furniture,
ransacked the offices, arrested state-employed security guards, and confiscated
10 computers and 15 small electricity generators destined for the families of
As of Jan. 1, some 170 journalists had been killed in Iraq since the occupation
began, many of them by U.S. forces.
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