War Crimes in Fallujah

The deliberate killing of civilians was a daily practice of  American forces. Many children had to watch their parents being shot to death in front of them, or men who had to watch their children and their wives being killed.”

Report on the current situation in the city of Fallujah

Presented to the 61st session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights For the period of 1  January to 25th March 2005

Studies Center of Human Rights and Democracy

BRussells Tribunal

The city of Fallujah was subjected to a genocide war by the American forces. The military machinery destroyed almost 70 per cent of the city, from civilian houses to medical center and general services facilities especially water, electricity. This war resulted in killing thousands of innocent civilians and sending almost a half million refugee. It is well known that the American forces and their puppet government prevented any medical or humanitarian relief agency to enter the city throughout its siege to the city.

Since the beginning of this year, the citizens are increasingly returning to the city, driven by the very bad living conditions in the places where they took refuge and the will to try the reconstruction of their houses and shops. Except for the few who found their houses still standing, the majority lived on the ruins whether by using tents or other means. In this bad living condition, the American occupation forces continue to commit grave violations to the basics principles of human rights and international law.

In order to give the international community a clear image of what is happening, we present this short report:

1 – Following the two reports that our center issued in mid January 2005 and the other facts that came to the knowledge of the UN, the human rights office of UNAMI and the Iraq office of WHO have – in two occasion- officially requested to enter the city of Fallujah in order to examine the situation there but the American occupation authority did not respond to these requests until now on the pretext of the dangerous security situation. Here we must ask, if the security situation is still dangerous, then how are families and children allowed to return to the city? Are the lives of the UN officials more precious than those of the Fallujah citizens? Or is it that there are crimes that the international bodies are not allowed to examine.

2 – The citizens of Fallujah are suffering of many sorts of humiliations when entering or leaving the city. In their daily life, they go through many sorts of harassments and threats by the American occupation forces which consider them as terrorists simply because they refuse the occupation. Not to mention the continuous random killing in all part of the city that does not exclude children or elder people, men or women. In a dangerous step of racism and freedoms limiting, the American occupation authority issued special ID cards for the citizens of Fallujah, preventing visitors from other cities to enter it. This step isolates the city Fallujah from its surroundings and the rest of the country and so turning it into a huge prison.

3 – Until the issuing of this report the effort to find the corpses of the victims of November 2004 comprehensive attack on the city still going on. The specialized burier teams have found about 700 corpses and we definitely think that the number of martyrs is greater than that. The American occupation forces itself announced that they have killed about 1300 individuals but no one knows where those bodies were buried. This assures that there are mass graves in the city, the American continual refusing to allow the UN representatives to enter the city, confirm this assessment. Furthermore, the medical authorities and the citizens could not find the burial ground of 450 bodies of the citizens of Fallujah that the American occupation forces have photographed and buried in a place that is still unknown.

4 – There are hundreds of missing personnel from Fallujah, but afraid of arrest and intimidation by the American forces, the families still hesitate to register the names of their missing with the official committee for registering the missing. That is why the registered number is less than the actual one. 5- The detainees from the Fallujah citizens are suffering of inhuman and bad treatment in both Abu Graib and Basra prisons. There is no reason behind keeping those detainees in the prisons. Unfortunately, there is no legal or official Iraqi authority that handles the issue of those detainees, it left to two mosque in the city.

6- As a measure of collective punishment, the American occupation forces and the National guards continue to use some schools inside the city as compounds, depriving students from pursuing their education without offering substitutes.

7 – There are deliberate delay by the interim government and the American occupation authority in reconstructing the city of Fallujah even in restoring the basic services. What are being announced about the reconstruction are mere lies uncovered by the fact that the people who are working in Fallujah are only those governmental employees in the city, indeed their number does not match the size of destruction that the city suffered. The American themselves admitted that more than 90000 houses have been demolished. We wonder about the difference between the destruction that Fallujah has suffered and the destruction of the areas which devastated by Tsunami. Both are devastated areas but the difference is that Fallujah is not announced officially as a devastated place in order to cover the crimes perpetrated on its soil.

7 – Despite that there is an Iraqi official committee for reconstruction, the occupation forces give out contracts without knowledge or coordination with that committee. For example one contract to build a school cost One million US dollar for each school, while the official committee estimates the cost between 200 000 and 300 000 US dollars. No local or official committee is supervising these money transactions.

8 – It was not allowed until now for any body to examine the environmental pollution that affected Fallujah due to the usage of prohibited and dangerous weapons, except for analyzing the recently established processed water. Some cases are appearing now of feats deformation for some of the newborns that is taking place in the city. As an example the case of the child Mina Jabbar Mahmood Aljumaili that was recently born and is 3 months now in addition to another child in the same neighborhood that was born in a short period after in Al’andulus neighborhood.

9 – The civilians who stayed in the city during the American offensive have gone through numerous tragic stories and inhuman treatment by the occupation forces and the Iraq so-called National Guards. The deliberate killing of civilians was the daily practice of the American forces. Many children had to watch their parents being shot to death in front of them, or men who had to watch their children and their wives being killed. Almost every family who stayed in Fallujah has to bury a victim in their garden. As example, Hamid Abdulrazzak Sultan, a citizen from Fallujah, witnessed the killing of his pregnant wife along with his 4 sons during an American attack on 9 Nov 2004. Four members of Fawzi Hussein Salman al-Aisawi family where deliberately killed in their house by the American forces in front of their daughter on the morning of 9 November 2005.

10 – Until now, the citizens and the sick people are not allowed to cross the bridge which connects the city to the main hospital a matter that causes a great suffering. The city has no mean of communication to be used to report the urgent health cases during the curfew hours which force the sick to stay at home until dawn to be able to go to hospital. Many cases happened of appendicitis, labour, death due to clots which need immediate health care. Not to mention to war phobia in thousands of women and children which warns of a permanent psychological disaster that will be difficult to cure since it is becoming a chronic case.

11 – Not allowing issuing death certificates that explain the real causes of death and their numbers that occur due the crimes of the occupation forces because there are no clear instructions until now. The crime of bombing cities with so much brutality and destruction is the biggest evidence of disrespect for the lives of the unarmed civilians that were in the first year of occupation more that 100 000 citizens.

12- The puppet government is deliberately ignoring the crimes and the grave violation of the human rights happening every day in Iraq by the American forces and continued to talk about an old allegation of violations that allegedly happened years ago. These allegations were tackled by the commission in details, whether by reports of special rapporteur or by the several decisions it had adopted and accordingly some measures which were implemented aggressively against Iraq in unprecedented way.

What more tragedies that international bodies are waiting for in order to raise their voices demanding to stop the massacres and mass killings of the civilians. Is what happened to Fallujah and its citizens is just an accident while the entire world is on alert if a western citizen is killed in Iraq forgetting that all that is because of the hated occupation. We call upon all countries and organizations both governmental and non governmental which taking part in the meetings of the 61st session of the UN Human Rights Commission to raise their voices and denounce those violations and exercise pressures to dispatch an investigation team to visit the city of Fallujah to examine the facts and the tragic situation that its citizens are going through. We demand the commission to nominate a special rapporteur to the human rights situation in Iraq during the occupation. We hope that this report will be distributed as among the documents of the session.

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