Foreign Press Foundation - fwd.
Open Letter to Amnesty International on the Iraqi Constituti
Sun Oct 9, 2005 10:57

The following letter was composed by members of the Brussels Tribunal <>, one of the groups from the World Tribunal on Iraq. For those interested in international law and the upcoming referendum vote on the Iraqi constitution, this is a must read:

We would like to congratulate Amnesty International on its courageous stand against the massive human rights violations inflicted upon the people of Iraq by the US-led occupation forces, as stated in the Amnesty International annual report of 2005.

"Armed groups committed gross human rights abuses, including targeting civilians, hostage-taking and killing hostages. Women continued to be harassed and threatened amid the mounting daily violence. The death penalty was reinstated in August by the new interim government.”

The recommendations made by Amnesty International's chief Mr. Schulz in the aftermath of this report were very clear:

"If the US government continues to shirk its responsibility, Amnesty International calls on foreign governments to uphold their obligations under international law by investigating all senior US officials involved in the torture scandal," said Schulz, who added that violations of the torture convention, which has been ratified by the United States and some 138 other countries, can be prosecuted in any jurisdiction.”

On August 9, 2005, Amnesty International launched a “Call for a human rights based constitution”. This action alert calls on people to write to Jaafari, asking him to make sure that the constitution is one that respects human rights. Of course, we embrace the idea that Iraqi’s human rights will be much better protected in the future than they are today.

Nevertheless, everyone who cares about human rights should question the validity of a constitution that is written under the current situation. A call we received from a well-know human rights activist from Baghdad, who has strong reservations against Amnesty International’s action alert, should illustrate our concern. For security reasons we can’t reveal the author’s name. We apologize for this, but in our opinion, people in a war zone should still have the right and opportunity to speak out without risking death. It also shows how grievous the situation in Iraq is, and how far the so-called ‘Salvador option’, the state-directed terror against the population, is now in action.

“I hear Amnesty International is campaigning for Human Rights in the new Iraqi draft constitution? How wonderful that they are concerned about our human rights in the future... but what about now? Why doesn’t Amnesty International campaign or at least say something about the hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis who are held for months, years in the American prisons, without the least rights? The known and the unknown prisons inside and outside Iraq?

Why don’t they do something about the hundreds of Iraqis, whose bodies are found every day on the garbage piles, with evidences of horrible torture on their bodies after they had been disappeared for a few days? What about the miserable life the Iraqi government is giving the Iraqis for months now, in every field? Does Amnesty International consider the rewriting of the constitution now a legal process? Obviously it does, but on what bases?

The war and occupation of Iraq are illegal (even Kofi Annan said it). Who wrote the draft? A member of the writing committee admitted that a draft was sent from the US. So, how far is this legal?

I would like to ask Amnesty International one question: why is it so necessary to write a new constitution for Iraq now? All the political parties, the government, the National Assembly, the media ..etc are preoccupied with the (controversial points) in the constitution for months now, and will be for the next few months. Meanwhile, the country is full of problems: the security, the services, the economy, the environment, the corruption, the Human Rights conduct of the Iraqi government... to mention only few ..two days ago I went to a dentist compound, one of the biggest in Baghdad, where at least 50 dentists work. They could not pull out my tooth because they did not have anesthetic...a very common problem in the Iraqi hospitals for months. Too bad for my teeth, but imagine with emergency cases?

In Tallafar families did not get the food ration, neither any other food since the beginning of this year. In many Iraqi towns, the majority, there is no authority, no law, no police, no courts, only the armed militias and their political parties. Racial cleansing has begun in many parts of Iraq. The government in the heavily fortified Green Zone is very busy working on the constitution.

During the last attack on Haditha, for more than two weeks, all the news programs, the dialogue, the forums were focused on the constitution and in the meantime an Iraqi major city was practically slaughtered.

No one said a word about it as if it was happening on the moon. Do you think that this is just a coincidence?

And, by the way, it happened and is happening continuously in other places.


There are so many problems in Iraq now, so many crimes committed daily, where innocent people are killed, arrested, tortured…

Why is it so important to neglect all these crimes and be busy with the constitution? Why is it so urgent?

Saddam did not write the Iraqi constitution, and if there were some changes or resolutions added to it during the last 30 years, they can be cancelled, simple. We can keep our constitution until we have a proper government and national assembly. After we are done with the most urgent problems, we can take our time writing the most humanitarian and progressive constitution in the world!

Maybe more dangerous is the fact that rewriting the constitution now is deepening the divisions between the Iraqis and pushing them to the verge of civil war, because some of them were given guarantees to participate in the political process, which they refused in the beginning, and after they agreed, the guarantees proved to be untrue.

Now these groups are saying that they were deceived, and they reject the draft presented to the National Assembly. All these problems are for what? Just to help Bush look more successful in Iraq, to give him more diplomatic credit?


FPF-Falluja - Url.:

The full version of the conclusions of the Jury of Conscience can be read at - Url.:

These crimes have been and are committed by the occupying forces, the US forces in particular, who are controlling the country of Iraq until now, and by the Iraqi institutions that were established under US supervision.

Wasn’t it the present US government, which threatened to invade the Netherlands in case one of the members of the US government would be prosecuted by the International Criminal Court of The Hague?

[end quote - Full Open Letter text at the link below.]

FPF - The so called "Hague Invasion Act" - Url.:


The Illegality Of Iraq’s Constitution - by Dahr Jamail - Url.:

FPF - The 'New' constitution in Iraq is Illegal - Url.:

FPF - The infamous US 'Lie Factory' -

FPF - Reference guide to the Geneva Conventions - Url.:

More writing, commentary, photography, pictures and images at - Url.:

Editor : Henk Ruyssenaars
The Netherlands


* *The Dutch author this far has worked abroad for international media for more than 4 decades, as a fully independent foreign correspondent, of which 10 years - also during Gulf War I - in the Arab World and the Middle East. Seeing worldwide that every bullet and every bomb breeds more terrorism.

* The Nuremberg principles: "Any person who commits an act which constitutes a crime under international law is responsible therefor and liable to punishment." - Url.:

* 'The war in Iraq is illegal' - BBC: video & text-interview of the United Nation's Secretary General Kofi Annan - Url.:

* MSNBC - Poll: Ninety-four (94) percent believes that George Bush and the neocon media mislead the nation to go to war with Iraq - Url.:

* The leaked 'Downing Street Memos' - Url.: - expose the criminal lies by war criminals like Bush, Blair, Berlusconi(It.) Balkenende(NL) - their collaborating media and other malignant ilk - Url.:

* Help all the troops of whatever nationality to come back from abroad! We need them badly at home in many countries - AND WITH ALL THEIR WEAPONS, WHICH WE PAID FOR BY TAXES - to fight with us against our so called 'governments' and their malignant managers - Url.:

* The World Can't Wait! - Drive out the neocons and their 'Bush Regime' - Mobilize for November 2, 2005! - Url.:

FPF-COPYRIGHT NOTICE - In accordance with Title 17 U. S. C. Section 107 - any copyrighted work in this message is distributed by the Foreign Press Foundation under fair use, without profit or payment, to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the information. Url.:


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