This is a letter from the Brussels Tribunal to Amnesty International:
"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
.“US-led forces in Iraq committed gross human rights violations, including unlawful killings and arbitrary detention, and evidence emerged of torture and ill-treatment. Thousands of Iraqi civilians were killed during armed clashes between US-led forces and Iraqi security forces on the one side, and Iraqi armed groups on the other.
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 USA 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
(emphasis added). 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 .."Open Letter to Amnesty International on the Iraqi Constitution
(English version)October 7, 2005
"The Shiites and Kurds have agreed that the newly elected parliament
after December 15 will reopen negotiations with the Sunni Arabs on the constitution. This step was enough to convince the Iraqi Islamic Party to drop its call for a Sunni Arab rejection fo the constitution in the October 15 referendum. This whole episode strikes me as bizarre, since Iraqis are now voting on a constitution that may be subsequently changed at will! As with the Jan. 30 parliamentary elections, in which they had no idea for whom they were voting for the most part, so in the referendum they will have no idea for what they are voting. ..."
Would you have handy any elastic band, glue or sticking tape?
This is a historic constitution, the only one of its kind.