Saturday, June 15, 2013

Ashraf refugees attacked at Camp Liberty

 Alsumaria reports a mortar attack on Camp Liberty which left 4 of the former Camp Ashraf refugees dead and twenty-two people injured (16 were Iranaian and Ashraf refugees, 6 were Iraqi).

 Approximately 3,400 people were at Camp Ashraf when the US invaded Iraq in 2003.  They were Iranian dissidents who were given asylum by Saddam Hussein decades ago.  The US government authorized the US military to negotiate with the residents.  The US military was able to get the residents to agree to disarm and they became protected persons under Geneva and under international law.  When Bully Boy Bush was in office, they were protected and remained at Camp Ashraf.  That all changed when Barack Obama was sworn in as US President in January 2009.

Since then there have been four major attacks on the residents counting today's attack.    July 28, 2009 Nouri launched an attack (while then-US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates was on the ground in Iraq). In a report released this summer entitled "Iraqi government must respect and protect rights of Camp Ashraf residents," Amnesty International described this assault, "Barely a month later, on 28-29 July 2009, Iraqi security forces stormed into the camp; at least nine residents were killed and many more were injured. Thirty-six residents who were detained were allegedly tortured and beaten. They were eventually released on 7 October 2009; by then they were in poor health after going on hunger strike." April 8, 2011, Nouri again ordered an assault on Camp Ashraf (then-US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates was again on the ground in Iraq when the assault took place). Amnesty International described the assault this way, "Earlier this year, on 8 April, Iraqi troops took up positions within the camp using excessive, including lethal, force against residents who tried to resist them. Troops used live ammunition and by the end of the operation some 36 residents, including eight women, were dead and more than 300 others had been wounded. Following international and other protests, the Iraqi government announced that it had appointed a committee to investigate the attack and the killings; however, as on other occasions when the government has announced investigations into allegations of serious human rights violations by its forces, the authorities have yet to disclose the outcome, prompting questions whether any investigation was, in fact, carried out."  Since then they've been moved to Camp Liberty which hasn't offered any additional protection.  In addition to today's attack, February 9, 2013, they were attacked with as many as 10 dead and fifty injured.

Today, the US State Dept issued the following:

Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
June 15, 2013
The United States strongly condemns today’s brutal, senseless, and utterly unacceptable rocket attack on Camp Hurriya that killed and injured camp residents.
At the highest levels, we have personally urged the Government of Iraq to render all possible medical assistance to the victims and ensure the safety of the camp’s residents, consistent with its commitments and obligations. We’ve also called on the Government of Iraq to investigate this attack and bring the terrorists responsible to justice.
We are consulting with the Government of Iraq and the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) to ascertain the full extent of this unprovoked terrorist attack.
No matter the circumstances, on this point we remain absolute: the United States remains committed to assisting the Government of Iraq and UNAMI in implementing the December 25, 2011 agreement to quickly relocate the residents of Camp Hurriya outside Iraq. We must find a permanent and long term solution that ensures their safety.

That wasn't the only violence in Iraq today.  National Iraqi News Agency reports 1 military officer was shot dead in Mosul (his rank was Captain), 1 Lieutenant Major was shot dead in Mosul, a Tikrit roadside bombing killed 2 federal police officers and left three more injured, a bomb placed in a squad car in Shiqat killed 1 police officer, a sticky bomb placed on a mosque preacher's car in Ramadi killed the preacher, and a  Mosul roadside bombing claimed the lives of 2 Iraqi soldiers and 1 civilian while leaving another civilian injuredAll Iraq News adds that 1 person was shot dead in front of his Mosul home (Gazaer neighborhood) and another civilian was shot dead in Mosul (Mesherfa area), a Beji sticky bombing left one police officer injured, and a roadside bombing in Salman village claimed the lives of 3 Sahwa.  Alsumaria reports a mortar attack on Camp Liberty which left 4 of the former Camp Ashraf refugees dead and twenty-two people injured (16 were Iranaian and Ashraf refugees, 6 were Iraqi), 1 Iraqi soldier was stabbed to death in a Baghdad attack, 1 construction worker was shot dead in Mosul, a mortar attack on Baghdad International Airport left four people injured, and a Samarra roadside bombing left 1 police officer dead and another injured.  That's 21 reported dead and 32 reported injured.  Through Friday, Iraq Body Count counts 198 violent deaths in Iraq so far this month.

In other violence?  Alsumaria is reporting that the President of the Football Federation in Wasit Province, Nassif Jassem, is dead following an altercation with the Referees Committee chair and secretary.

Aswat al-Iraq reports journalist Zamil Ghanam was assassinated on Sunday in Baghdad and that the Iraqi Association for Defending Journalists' Rights is calling for disclosure on the details.  Meanwhile Al Arabiya notes that Iraqi journalists Mohammed Fuad and Afdhal Jumaa have been held by security forces for ten days after being accused of stealing Saadun al-Dulaimi's notepad.  Who?  They call him the Minister of Defense.  He's not.  The position remains vacant.  Nouri's never nominated anyone for that position in his second term.  al-Dulaimi is Nouri's puppet.  The outlet states the notebook was found after a conference and handed over to an official.

Today, the US State Dept issued the following:

Readout of Secretary Kerry's Call With Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
June 15, 2013

Yesterday Secretary Kerry called Iraqi Foreign Minister Zebari to discuss recent developments in Iraq and the region. The Secretary thanked the Foreign Minister for his efforts to help organize a unity meeting of Iraq’s political and religious leaders at the end of May and the meeting between Prime Minister Maliki and KRG President Barzani on June 9. He noted that he was encouraged by the positive tone of these meetings and urged Iraqi leaders to build on these steps by continuing direct dialogue and taking concrete action to address political differences. The two agreed on the importance of a unified approach against violence and the need to address legitimate grievances peacefully and in a manner consistent with the Iraqi constitution.
The Secretary and Foreign Minister also discussed Iraq-Kuwait relations and the Secretary noted that he was impressed by the recent progress the two nations have made toward resolving remaining UN Chapter VII issues. The Secretary stated that this was a clear example of determined and persistent diplomacy paying off. He assured the Foreign Minister that the United States would continue to work to help Iraq improve relations with other neighbors in the region.
The Secretary and the Foreign Minister also discussed the situation in Syria. The Secretary reaffirmed that the United States continues to work aggressively for a political solution with the goal of a second Geneva meeting, but that the use of chemical weapons and increasing involvement of Hizballah demonstrates the regime’s lack of commitment to negotiations and threatens to put a political settlement out of reach. The Secretary expressed our concern about the increasingly sectarian nature of the Syrian conflict on both sides, including atrocities committed in recent days in Qusayr and in Deir EzZor. In that light, the Secretary noted his appreciation for the Foreign Minister’s statement on June 11 discouraging Iraqis from joining the fight in Syria. The Secretary further urged that Iraq take every possible measure to help end the military resupply of the Assad regime and thereby increase the pressure that will be necessary to advance a political solution.
The Secretary mentioned that he looks forward to seeing the Foreign Minister in Washington under the auspices of the Joint Coordinating Committee established by the Strategic Framework Agreement. We will work with the Government of Iraq to find a date for this important meeting to take place in the coming months.

Syria?  You may remember that the so-called 'rebels' include al Qaeda in Iraq -- one of many groups that killed Americans but now are 'rebels' in Syria. 

Supposedly, they were kicked out of the 'rebels' earlier this week.  From Tuesday's snapshot, "The 'damage' has been that Jabhat al-Nusra has had 'funding' issues.  Governments wanting to support them -- the UK, the US -- are faced with questions by their citizens of why is the government supporting people who tried to kill US and UK service members in Iraq? [. . .] So if outrage wasn't alive over the assassination of a child and if funds weren't at risk, the Islamic State of Iraq would be as welcome in the 'rebel' camp as it was last week and the week before and the week before that and . . . "

Adam Schreck (AP) reports today that al Qaeda in Iraq issued a statement today noting that they were still part of the coalition of 'rebels' in Syria.  Which means Barack is now arming people who targeted, wounded and killed Americans in Iraq.  Barack is now arming people the US government has declared are terrorists.

The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley, PRI,, Dissident Voice, Tavis Smiley, Pacifica Evening News, Chocolate City, Adam Kokesh, ACLU, Ms. magazine's blog,  and Cindy Sheehan -- updated last night and this morning:



Feminist News Digest provides a Weekly Feminist News Digest like the latest edition which includes a number of important stories from the week, the list that follows is not a complete list from the weekly digest, just a sample:

Weekly Feminist News Digest -  06/10/2013 - 06/14/2013
The Weekly Feminist News Digest is a service of the Feminist Majority Foundation, made possible through the support of individuals like you. Your contribution is vital to the continued success of our empowering work. 

Jun 14 2013
Women of Senate Vow to Continue Fight Against Military Sexual Assault
Jun 14 2013
Teacher Fired for Being a Survivor of Domestic Violence
Jun 13 2013
WI Senate Advances Transvaginal Ultrasound, TRAP Bill
Jun 13 2013
Russian Lower Parliament Approves Ban On "Gay Propaganda"
Jun 12 2013
Planned Parenthood, ACLU File Lawsuit Against AL TRAP Law
Jun 12 2013
Women's Rights Advocate Wins Virginia Primary
Jun 11 2013
Afghan Police Accused of Violence Against Women
Jun 11 2013
Challenges to Unlawful Single-Sex Education Programs Advance
Jun 10 2013
Immigration Bills in the Works in Congress
Jun 10 2013

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