Wednesday, July 09, 2003

WMD Retraction Fuels Probe Calls: "The White House's withdrawal of its claim that Iraq had tried to buy uranium from Africa is leading Democrats here, and opposition lawmakers in Britain and Australia, to call for deeper inquiries into prewar intelligence."

In CBS News: Iraq Crisis

Coalition still struggles, three months after fall of Baghdad: "US-led coalition forces marked three months since they captured Baghdad, struggling to restore services in the face of continued attacks from guerrilla bands. (AFP)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

U.S. Troops Seize Large Weapons Cache Near Baghdad: "U.S. forces have seized a large cacheof rocket-propelled grenades (RPG), the weapon of choice foranti-American guerrillas in Iraq, near a flashpoint town westof Baghdad, the U.S. military said on Wednesday. (Reuters)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

As George Bush tours Africa US Congress set to slash Africa aid (9 July 03) in Radio Free USA

White House 'warned over Iraq claim' (9 July 03) in Radio Free USA

Vehicle crash caused Lynch's 'horrific injuries' (9 July 03) in Radio Free USA

UN rules out mass repatriation of Iraqi refugees this year: "The UN refugee agency said that it was ruling out the mass repatriation of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi refugees this year because of growing insecurity in the country. (AFP)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

Iraq Democracy Watch: "Parallel Justice Systems (Sound familiar?)
Back at the end of June, Amnesty International filed a news release calling for the US to "give hundreds of Iraqis detained since the beginning of the occupation the right to meet families and lawyers and to have a judicial review of their detention."  AI is also calling for investigations into allegations of "ill-treatment, torture, and death in custody."
The UK Times OnLine today paints a vivid portrait of the issue of the detainees, including children "accused of petty offences including writing anti-American graffiti." 
There are two primary detention camps, one outside of the Baghdad Airport called, "Camp Cropper," and another outside Hussein's old Abu Ghraib prison, to the west of Baghdad.
In an unrelated article portraying a small town's council leader, the NYT gave another glimpse into how the detentions are affecting daily life. 

Mr. Dari said he received 10 to 12 complaints a day about weapons, cars or relatives taken by the Americans. One man came to report that American soldiers had taken away his deaf relative a month ago for having a picture of Saddam Hussein in his house, and that he had not been seen since.

According to the LA Times ,

Across Iraq, about 3,000 men are being held without formal charges in high-security facilities sealed off from public scrutiny...The Iraqi legal system, which could process those arrested for crimes covered by local penal codes, is barely functioning.

This has, apparently, created a parallel justice system, according to Amnesty:

some detainees fall into the "black hole" detention center at the airport; their family has no news of them and they are only entitled to a review of their detention within three weeks by a US military lawyer. Others arrested for similar offences are taken to Iraqi police stations and receive the protection of the procedures in the 1971 Criminal Procedure Code: their files are brought before an Iraqi examining magistrate within 24 hours. They are entitled to release if there is insufficient evidence against them.

The Coalition authorities contend that "acknowledge they face 'serious short-term problems' " in putting the trappings of a valid justice system into effect says the LA Times.
The situation is close to impossible, with the tremendous demands for security in order to ensure everything from rebuilding to the effective distribution of food and other humanitarian aid.
But it must be possible at the very least to allow visitors, provide humane conditions, not to arrest children (or at least keep them in a separate facility), to keep prisoners of war separate from suspected criminals, and to avoid arrests over trivial issues...until the justice system can be brought up to speed. 


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