Monday, September 24, 2012

Iraqi 'justice'

Call it 'Iraqi justice.'  Saturday news emerged that the early morning hours saw a raid on Bashar Mustafa's home and the arrest of the Deputy President of Iraq's Olympic Committee.  He was detained for several hours before he was released.  Al Mada reported yesterday that little is still known about the arrest but that the military forces who arrested Mustafa were for the Office of the Prime Minister and Nouri's spokesperson Ali al-Dabbagh, when the story became a public relations embarrassment, rushed out Sunay morning to declare that Nouri ordered his release.  And did Nouri also, as it appears, order his arrest?  Never ask that question.

And never act surprised by the long delay in the still-not-passed amnesty law.  Al Mada reports today the latest hiccup is counterfeiting.  Should counterfeiters be covered?  It's time to 'debate' and 'explore.  More likely it's time to think of another excuse to derail the position.  A member of Parliament's Integrity Commission who speaks to Al Mada about the bill currently not including counterfeiting quickly launches into a conversation about how people must not be released quickly because there's no rehabilitation in Iraq -- which most likely means no process such as probation and parole and the MP is not insisting that Iraqis lack the ability to learn from actions.

The amnesty bill was supposed to have become a law long, long ago.  Al Mada noted on Sunday that the current bill's being in 'process' since 2008. As the broken down process remains stagnant, Alsumaria reports Iraqiya is stating the very least the government can do is start releasing those people who are innocent from the prisons.

In other 'justice' nws, Mohammad Sabah (Al Mada) reports that the the Nouri al-Maliki controlled juciary is calling on Parliament to lift the immunity of three Iraqiya deputies.  Why?  They want to prosecute them for terrorism.  Strange that they need the immunity to be lifted -- that didn't trouble them when it came to Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi who must be the only sitting vice president in the world who has been sentenced to execution -- yes, Tareq remains a Vice President.  He's not been removed from office. Kitabat notes that there are currently arrest warrants which haven't been served (yet) for MPs, governors, professors and more. Dar Addustour reports its 24 arrest warrants in all.

It's really had to take Iraqi 'justice' seriously when it seems to be little more than a system abused by various officials working out their political grudges.

Al Mada notes that on International Peace Day (Friday), Iraq's Peace and Solidarity Council declared the Iraqi government was responsible for the deterioration in security throughout Iraq.  And why not when government is more focused on devising a new flag and new national anthem? In other 'justice,' All Iraq News reports the Ministry of Electricity has announced that those who do not pay the electric bill within 7 days after September 30th will have their electriticy turned off.  Interesting how electricity is delivered irregularly but payment must be on time.

Earlier this month, Oras Hassem offered "Secret marriages rising in Iraq: and women and children are the losers" (Niqash):

Anecdotal evidence suggests certain types of informal marriage are on the rise in sexually conservative Iraq. Unwilling to enter more formal marriages, young Iraqi couples are entering secret relationships that some critics describe as no better than prostitution. 

Informal marriages – some call them “secret marriages” - have been becoming more popular in Iraq ever since 2003, when US-led forces toppled the regime of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

In Iraq marriage comes in three basic forms. Firstly the regular, or official, kind of marriage which happens in a more standard way – the husband and wife are seen as a couple in the eyes of the law. The man is also seen as being responsible for his wife and any children they may have and the relationship is ongoing.

Up until 1959, Iraqi family law was governed by religion and tradition. After this, a new, more secular law – albeit based upon religious law and legal precedents – was established in Iraq.   

As the US State Department describes it, as part of information on how to spot a forced marriage (as opposed to an arranged one): “Iraqi law provides two legitimate bases for marriage – mutual life and procreation. There are several necessary conditions that must be fulfilled in order to validate a marriage: offer and acceptance; mutual understanding of the marriage intention; verification of two witnesses; and draft of a condition-free contract.”

And then there are the more controversial, informal forms of marriage. One is called the “mutah” marriage and another is the “misyar” marriage.
While, in practical terms, the various conditions of these informal arrangements are potentially very similar, in reality they are perceived very differently.

The mutah marriage also involves a contract between a man and a woman, with certain conditions set in the contract. A mutah, or pleasure, marriage can last for half an hour or for several years. When the contract ends, so does the marriage. No witnesses, officials or family members need to get involved.

Bonnie reminds that Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "The Hollow Man" went up last night.  On this week's Law and Disorder Radio,  an hour long program that airs Monday mornings at 9:00 a.m. EST on WBAI and around the country throughout the week, hosted by attorneys Heidi Boghosian, Michael S. Smith and Michael Ratner (Center for Constitutional Rights) topics addressed include
the NDAA, Palestine (guests are Alice Walker and Dennis Banks) and Debby Pope discusses the Chicago teachers' strike. 

The e-mail address for this site is


law and disorder radio
michael s. smith
heidi boghosian
michael ratner