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Archive | Human Rights

Iraqi Doctors Call Depleted Uranium Use “Genocide”

Published on Truthout, 14 October 2014.

Contamination from depleted uranium (DU) munitions is causing sharp rises in congenital birth defects, cancer cases and other illnesses throughout much of Iraq, according to numerous Iraqi doctors.

Iraqi doctors and prominent scientists believe that DU contamination is also connected to the emergence of diseases that were not previously seen in Iraq, such as new illnesses in the kidney, lungs and liver, as well as total immune system collapse. DU contamination may also be connected to the steep rise in leukaemia, renal and anaemia cases, especially among children, being reported throughout many Iraqi governorates.

There has also been a dramatic jump in miscarriages and premature births among Iraqi women, particularly in areas where heavy US military operations occurred, such as Fallujah during 2004, and Basra during the 1991 US war on Iraq.

It is estimated that the United States used 350 tons of DU munitions in Iraq during the 1991 war, and 1,200 tons during its 2003 invasion and subsequent occupation.

Official Iraqi government statistics show that, prior to the outbreak of the first Gulf War in 1991, the country’s rate of cancer cases was 40 out of 100,000 people. By 1995, it had increased to 800 out of 100,000 people, and, by 2005, it had doubled to at least 1,600 out of 100,000 people. Current estimates show the trend continuing.

The actual rate of cancer and other diseases is likely to be much higher than even these figures suggest, due to a lack of adequate documentation, research and reporting of cases.

“Cancer statistics are hard to come by, since only 50 percent of the health care in Iraq is public,” Dr. Salah Haddad of the Iraqi Society for Health Administration and Promotion told Truthout. “The other half of our health care is provided by the private sector, and that sector is deficient in their reporting of statistics. Hence, all of our statistics in Iraq must be multiplied by two. Any official numbers are likely only half of the real number.”

“Genocide”

“The world should know that Iraqi people were the victims of the aggression inflicted by the use of DU munitions by the American and British troops during these wars, and this is genocide,” Dr. Jawad al-Ali, a consultant physician and oncologist, told Truthout.

Continue reading the full story at Truthout.

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Tortured and Raped by Israel, Persecuted by the United States

Rasmea Odeh (Photo: Arab American Action Network)

Rasmea Odeh (Photo: Arab American Action Network)


Twenty-two-year-old Rasmea Odeh, along with 500 other Palestinians, was arrested in 1969 by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) during a massive security sweep following the 1967 war and occupation of the West Bank.

At the time, as now, Palestinians who were detained by the IDF were later charged with crimes they did not commit in order to justify their detention.

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On Bringing War Criminals to Justice

President George W. Bush, right, and British Prime Minister Tony Blair arrive for a joint news conference in the East Room at the White House on Tuesday, June 7, 2005. (Photo: Doug Mills / The New York Times)

President George W. Bush, right, and British Prime Minister Tony Blair arrive for a joint news conference in the East Room at the White House on Tuesday, June 7, 2005. (Photo: Doug Mills / The New York Times)

This is part II of a series on Dahr Jamail’s trip to the Iraq Commission conference in Brussels. Also see Part I: International Lawyers Seek Justice for Iraqis.

Narmeen Saleh and her husband Shawki were detained by US military forces during a violent 2004 raid of their home in Baghdad.
Saleh spent 16 days in prison, where “the interrogations didn’t stop for one minute.” She was beaten, electrocuted and threatened with rape if she didn’t “confess.”

“They [US soldiers] tortured and beat me a lot, and when they found out that I was pregnant they told me they would kill the baby in my womb,” she was quoted, as her testimony was read at the Iraq Commission conference in Brussels recently. “They then concentrated their beating and electricity on my abdomen area.”

Her daughter, who is now 8 years old, has cerebral palsy, and her husband remains in custody of the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for the bogus charge of “illegally entering Iraq.”

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International Lawyers Seek Justice for Iraqis

International lawyers and activists converged at a conference titled The Iraq Commission, in Brussels, Belgium, April 16 and 17, with the primary aim of bringing to justice government officials who are guilty of war crimes in Iraq.

Ross Caputi served in the US military from 2003 to 2006 and participated in the massive military siege of Fallujah in November 2004. (Photo: Dahr Jamail)

Ross Caputi served in the US military from 2003 to 2006 and participated in the massive military siege of Fallujah in November 2004. (Photo: Dahr Jamail)

“Within a few days of this, a lawless atmosphere developed within my unit,” Ross Caputi, a former marine who took part in the brutal November 2004 siege of Fallujah told the Iraq Commission. “There was a lot of looting going on. I saw people searching the pockets of the dead resistance fighters for money. Some people were mutilating corpses.”

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