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WTI press update

World Tribunal on Iraq*

* *

*Istanbul, 26^th June 2005 -  *Witnesses of the ongoing atrocities in
Iraq testified before the Jury of Conscience at the World Tribunal on
Iraq on the second day of the Tribunal. Their exposure of the impact of
this war on Iraqis revealed a country that is facing worse conditions
than under Saddam Hussein. In the words of Amal Sawadi, an Iraqi lawyer
working for the defenceless in Iraq, ' Atrocities existed under Saddam
Hussein but, unfortunately, things are now much worse.'

Further testimonies to the human rights violations occuring in Iraq on a
daily basis were also given by writer and journalist Hana Ibrahim, Eman
Khammas who is a human rights activist based in Baghdad and journalist
Fadhil Al Bedrani who witnessed the last assault on Fallujah.

They spoke about the illegal detention of citizens, tens of thousands of
Iraqi people who are missing, the ongoing torture in prisons, the
kidnapping and raping of women and the constant fear that now forms part
of the daily life of Iraqi people.

'Snipers hunt people in the streets. People attempting to go to health
centers are shot at. There are many crippled children. There are
thousands of widows and orphans. There are no police for security and
there are no courts. Even hospitals are occupied and bombed and burned.
In Falluja and other places American troops intentionally burnt down the
hospitals,' said Eman Khammas.

Tim Goodrich who was deployed to Saudi Arabia with U.S. troops  until he
joined the ranks of anti war protesters gave the Tribunal detailed
insight into how the U.S. military functions: 'To summarize, despite the
war being illegal under international law and being based on lies, there
are many other factors which contribute to military misconduct in Iraq.
Among these are poor intelligence, lack of training, the stress of
fighting in a guerilla war, and finally, the lack of a mission and
clearly defined goals after the fall of Baghdad. Coupled with the fact
that military culture already has many problems with racism, ignorance,
stereotypes, and dehumanization, this clearly shows that the best
solution is an immediate withdrawal of American troops from Iraqi soil.'

In an emotional protest yesterday, the people from Iraq attending the
Tribunal unfolded a banner with the faces of children who have been
killed in Iraq. A father of one of these children was among those
present. Iraqi artists are also  exhibiting paintings on Abu Ghraib
prison at Darphane-i Amire, Topkap? Palace Grounds, where the World
Tribunal on Iraq is in its final day of hearings (1).

At a press conference to be held tomorrow at 11 am at the Hotel Armada,
the Jury of Conscience will be announcing the conclusions of the World
Tribunal on Iraq. Renowned author and activist Arundathi Roy who is
chairing the Jury will be one of the main speakers.


1. Artists: Abdulkareem Khalil, Salam Omar, Salem Al-Dabbagh, Nadia
Mohammed Yass, Fadia Mohammed Yass

*For more information:*

Please visit the WTI web site (www.worldtribunal.org
<http://www.worldtribunal.org/>) for updates and the full speeches of
participants attending the Tribunal. Photos are also available


Tolga Temuge, International Media Coordinator, on +(90) 533 644 4687 or
tolga.temuge at worldtribunal.org <mailto:tolga.temuge at worldtribunal.org>