20 March 2009
20 March 2009
Occupation Year 7
What future for Iraq?
The BRussells Tribunal in the
European Parliament and Belgian Parliament
On March 18 and March 19, 2009, six years after the illegal US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq, The BRussells Tribunal and its partners entered the European Parliament and the Belgian Parliament to bring the forgotten catastrophe in Iraq back to the fore.
The BRussells Tribunal, composed of intellectuals, artists and activists who denounce the logic of permanent war promoted by US governments and their allies, holds firm that all that derives from the US invasion and occupation of Iraq remains illegal and illegitimate and cannot gain legitimacy.
Panels composed of prominent Iraqi experts exposed the reality about Iraq under occupation as opposed to agenda driven propaganda.
In the European Parliament, Vice-President Luisa Morgantini hosted a BRussells Tribunal information session. In the Belgian Parliament, parliamentary Vice-President Dirk Van Der Maelen hosted an informal discussion session attended by other parliamentary members.
Panel speakers were: Abdul Ilah Albayaty, geopolitical analyst and expert on Arab national movements; Dr Omar Al-Kubaisy, Iraq’s most renowned cardiologist and expert on the breakdown on public health in Iraq under occupation; Dr Falah Al-Khayat, former director general of the Iraqi Oil Ministry prior to the US invasion and an expert on the issue of the Iraqi oil industry; Dr Hassan Aydinli, EU Turkmen representative and expert on the fate of minorities under the sectarian governments promoted by the US occupation; and Shannon Meehan, International Rescue Committee director of advocacy and expert in refugee protection. Hana Al Bayaty, coordinator of the Iraqi International Initiative on Refugees and member of The BRussells Tribunal, moderated the sessions.
The main points asserted and concluded were:
• By its geopolitical position and its rich resources, the stability of Iraq is not only in the interest of its people, but also of its neighbours and the world.
• The US project of division in and of Iraq has failed. In number, by culture and by interest, the Iraqi people overwhelmingly reject the US occupation. By terror it created the largest refugee crisis in the world today, displacing a fifth of the population.
• The sectarian political process of the occupation created chaos, a failed state characterized by the complete collapse of all public services, and systematic violations of all aspects of human rights, including the right to life. It cannot be reformed.
• The humanitarian tragedy particularly affects women and children, exposed to all forms of violence and exploitation.
• The occupation intentionally forced the Iraqi educated and professional class to flee, resulting in the inability to build a functioning state, and in regional destabilization.
• Displaced Iraqis have the individual right to return, but as long as stability and security is absent, the conditions for return are absent.
• The occupation and its apparatus is the perpetrator of violence. Security can only be achieved by the unconditional withdrawal of all foreign occupying forces from Iraq.
• Only a state of its equal citizens after the departure of all foreign forces can ensure peace, stability and democracy for Iraq and its people.
• A sovereign Iraq would not only refuse to surrender its main source of wealth — oil — to foreign companies, but is entitled to claim reparations for all losses endured since 2003.
• The Iraqi resistance in all its expression is the only force capable, both objectively and legitimately, to secure a path towards peace, stability, wellbeing and democracy in Iraq.
On the eve of Occupation Year 7, The BRussells Tribunal felt it imperative to assert these truths in official forums. Rejection of the US occupation and all that derived from it must become an official position.
These institutional events are being followed by public sessions in key cultural institutions in Brussels: LES HALLES DE SCHAERBEEK and BEURSSCHOUWBURG.
The occupation of Iraq is intolerable. As the occupation enters its seventh year, the time is now to set a different agenda.
The BRussells Tribunal
For the programme of events:
For press interviews contact:
Hana Al Bayaty, email@example.com, +32 (0)488871408
Event speakers can give interviews in Arabic and English. Abdul Ilah Albayaty and Hassan Aydinli also speak French.