mardi 30 mars 2010
lundi 29 mars 2010
Elected from a list of the pro-American former Prime Minister Allawi’s Iraqiya coalition, Salihi said the ITF believes they will retain all their rights no matter what kind of government is formed. “We will not allow any negotiation to take place over the Turkmen presence,” he told the Cihan news agency in Kirkuk, adding that every group in the country should believe in democracy and respect the election results.
Allawi, who led the Iraqiya coalition, won 91 seats to 89 for incumbent Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s bloc. But both groups fell far short of the 163-seat majority needed to form a government alone, leaving a Shiite coalition including anti-American Muqtada al-Sadr known as the Iraqi National Alliance and US-allied Kurds as likely kingmakers. Allawi is now in search of partners to form a coalition where he will be the head of the executive branch again after almost five years. He had been the prime minister of the country during the term of an interim government, which was in power for less than a year until April 2005.
Al-Maliki’s bloc, on the other hand, has demanded a recount, claiming fraud. His supporters have also vowed to fight the results. The ITF has managed to win two seats in Kirkuk and three seats in Mosul, two of the cities with the largest Turkmen population in Iraq.
“We are not concerned in any way with Allawi’s talks with Kurdish officials because we have a main strategy which has its own dignity and borders. We want to sit with everyone. We can talk with every group, but there will be no negotiation over the Kirkuk issue and the Turkmen presence there. We believe we have chosen the right path,” he said. There has been a dispute over Kirkuk between the Turkmens and the Kurds focusing on which community has the majority in the oil-rich province.
Turkmens previously claimed that Kurds had been bringing Kurds from other cities to tilt the balance in their favor, planning for a possible referendum on the fate of the city.
dimanche 28 mars 2010
By SAM DAGHER
March 28, 2010
KIRKUK, Iraq — “Amazing” and “surprising” were some of the words exchanged Saturday by many jubilant Arab and Turkmen residents of this hotly disputed northern Iraqi city.
It was a sentiment echoed by members of Saddam Hussein’s outlawed Baath Party operating clandestinely in the city.
All celebrated the stronger than expected showing in the national elections by the Iraqiya slate headed by former prime minister Ayad Allawi. Mr. Allawi’s slate swept 6 of the 12 seats that were up for grabs in Tamim, a province that includes Kirkuk, according to results announced by Iraq’s electoral commission on Friday.
A coalition of the two ruling Kurdish parties, which is determined to annex the oil-rich province to the semiautonomous Kurdistan region, took the remainder of the seats.
Sunni Arabs, including Baathists and former insurgents who boycotted the previous elections in 2005, came out this time to vote for Mr. Allawi’s slate.
They were joined by Sunni Turkmens and more significantly Shiite Turkmens, who voted according to sectarian considerations last time.
Most saw in Mr. Allawi the appeal of a nonsectarian leader who could perhaps achieve a so-far elusive reconciliation with the brutal and bloody past. Many Sunni Arabs in Kirkuk have yet to come to terms with Iraq’s new realities.
“We are counting on Ayad Allawi and other patriots to alleviate the harm that befell our party,” said a Sunni Arab man from Kirkuk who identified himself as an active member of the Baath Party, but wished to remain anonymous for his own safety.
One other crucial factor that played to Mr. Allawi’s advantage in places like Kirkuk was the perception that he and other staunch nationalists on his slate would dial back the influence of Kurds and make sure Kirkuk and other disputed areas remained under the control of the central government. The slate received almost 40 percent of the vote, according to the results announced Friday.
Arabs and Turkmens accuse Kurds of having significantly altered Kirkuk’s demography since 2003 by moving tens of thousands of Kurds into the area, controlling entire neighborhoods and the local government. Kurds insist they are only reversing the impact of Mr. Hussein’s “Arabization” drive in past decades.
The Kurdish coalition, which was confident that it had received more than 50 percent of the votes and secured at least seven to eight of the seats in Kirkuk, ended up with 5,000 fewer votes than Mr. Allawi’s slate. One of the parties in the coalition, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, blamed this on “clear deficiencies in the voting process” in Kirkuk and other disputed territories, and said it would retain the right to contest the results.
But a senior Kurdish leader acknowledged that the coalition was harmed in Kirkuk by the loss of Kurdish votes to the new movement known as Gorran, or “change,” and to Kurdish Islamist parties and others.
“If we were together we would have gotten at least one more seat in Kirkuk,” said Fuad Hussein, chief of staff of the president of the Kurdistan region – Massoud Barzani.
For reaction in Baghdad see Tim Arango’s tour of the capital’s varied neighborhoods: ‘Celebrations and Protests’. In the rest of the country, our Iraqi correspondents have sampled opinions from around the regions.
samedi 27 mars 2010
Throughout the election, Kurds in Iraq have maintained their irregularities which they initiated before the elections. It is possible to say that this situation, which the world public opinion does not want to see or hear about, can darken more the future of Iraq.
Lots of Kurds in Kirkuk who did not possess election IDs stipulated by the Independent Higher Election Board of Iraq, have voted with their KDP or PUK party IDs. Whereas, voter logs had to be abided by. Moreover, there are reports that people of a child’s age have cast votes. Turkmens and Arabs who tried to record these irregularities were thwarted by the officials of the Higher Election Board by resorting to force. After casting votes in their own constituencies, Kurdish voters were transported to the other polling stations with the vehicles provided by the KDP and the PUK which made them vote again.
According to the available information, in the special poll held in Kirkuk on March 5, 2010, fifteen thousand fake and repeated votes were cast. These votes were mostly cast by peshmerga and Kurdish public security elements. After the end of the special poll, ballot boxes that were gathered at the National Relations Consultation Bureau under the PUK were broken and pre-marked ballot papers were put inside them. Moreover, many Kurdish public security officers, army members and peshmergas re-cast their votes in civilian clothes in the regions that are mostly populated by Kurds, primarily in Kirkuk on 7th March. In a workplace located in Rahimava, 30 thousand fake ballot papers that had been marked for Kurdish Alliance List were seized.
The irregularities identified in Kirkuk are innumerous. In Kirkuk High School, a Kurdish military officer of Major rank did not permit the migrants to cast their votes except for the ones who voted for the Kurdish Alliance; in Dabak School located in Hurriyet neighborhood, persons brought by the Kurdish Alliance voted for the uncast votes; in Sorta High School, three ballot boxes were removed around 15.30 pm and they were replaced by other sealed ballot boxes that were brought in. These incidences can be indicated as examples of the mentioned irregularities.
On the other hand, many actions were staged in areas populated by Arabs, Shebeks and Yezidis in Mosul during the voting day, aiming at exerting pressure and intimidation. It was noteworthy that the US forces turned a blind eye to the endeavors of Kurdish peshmergas to prevent participation in the elections. Creating intense fear in Bartilla where Shebeks live, peshmergas injured a person who is a member of the Democratic Shebek Community. The acts of violence did not cease during the election day in Diyala/Baquba, Baladrus and Saidiyah that are mostly populated by Arabs. As is known, Diyala is a region that remains under a permanent intervention by Kurds and Iran. Therefore, it is a common view that the blasts were realized by Kurds.
When we look at the developments before and after the elections, it seems quite difficult for Iraq to found its future on a sound basis after a tainted election.
Ireland’s President Mary McAleese sparked a debate after she said during a visit to Turkey that the history of an Irish port town was linked with the Ottoman Empire.
Irish media have called her comments a “myth,” while Turkish archives partially confirm the Irish president’s statements.
Speaking in Ankara on Tuesday, McAleese said the Ottoman Empire had helped Ireland during a famine in the 19th century by sending ships carrying food to the eastern town of Drogheda, paving the way for a decision later by people of Drogheda to include the star and crescent in the town’s coat of arms. McAleese said: “During that famine, Turkey’s then-leader Sultan Abdulmecid sent three ships loaded with food to Ireland. The cargo was unloaded in a port called Drogheda and since then, at the insistence of the people, the star and crescent of your country forms part of the town’s coat of arms.”
But Irish media said there was no historical record confirming the president’s remarks. Instead, experts said the star and crescent could be traced back to 1210, when the British governor of Ireland, King John, granted the town its first charter. And McAleese’s spokeswoman, Sheila Clarke, said the reference was included in the speech in good faith. “While included in good faith on information supplied, it is now accepted that the reference ... would not appear to be based on sound historical fact,” she was quoted as saying by The Irish Times.
A plaque hanging on the wall of a hotel in Drogheda, which is said to have hosted Ottoman sailors who brought food to the town, honors the generosity of Turkey toward Ireland during the famine.
Turkish archives, on the other hand, show the Ottoman Empire did help the Irish people during the time of the Great Famine but it did so by sending money, not ships loaded with food. In 2004, then-Foreign Minister Abdullah Gül said in response to a formal question in Parliament that copies of documents confirming the donation had been sent to the National Library of Ireland and the Drogheda Municipality. One of these documents contained expressions of gratitude and thanks for the financial aid offered by Sultan Abdulmecid and was signed by local Irish authorities, according to Gül’s statement in 2004.
Gül further said that there was no record of ships carrying wheat and other food items being sent to Ireland. But Taner Baytok, a former Turkish ambassador to Ireland, said in remarks published yesterday that the story of Ottoman ships carrying food aid to Drogheda was a fact passed from one generation to another in Ireland.
A plaque currently hangs on the walls of a hotel in Drogheda, next to the room where Ottoman sailors were said to have stayed after delivering food to the town, reading: “The Great Irish Famine of 1847 -- In remembrance and recognition of the generosity of the People of Turkey towards the People of Ireland.” It was unveiled by Ambassador Baytok and Alderman William Frank Godfrey, mayor of Drogheda, in 1995.
The Great Irish Famine lasted from 1845 to 1852, during which time the island’s population dropped by between 20 and 25 percent. Approximately 1 million people died, and a million more emigrated from Ireland.
Irak Seçimlerinde ülke genelinde Parti ve Koalisyonların Aldıkları Toplam Oylar Ve Şehirlere göre dağılımı
27 Mart 2010, Cumartesi.
Irak'ta 7 Mart'ta yapılan genel seçimleri İyad Allavi'nin kazandığı açıklandı. Başbakan Nuri El Maliki ise seçim sonuçlarını kabul etmediğini açıkladı.
Seçim Komisyonundan yapılan resmi açıklamada, Başbakan Nuri El Maliki'nin rakibi olan ve oyların sayılması döneminde Maliki ile dirsek dirseğe yarışı götürdüğü görülen laik Allavi'nin, genel seçimin galibi olduğu kaydedildi.
Açıklamada, Allavi'nin, Parlamentoda 91 sandalye kazandığı, Maliki'nin ise 89 sandalyede kaldığı belirtildi.
Irak Bağımsız Yüksek Seçim Kurulu'nun açıkladığı nihai sonuçlara göre eski Başbakan İyad Allavi'nin lideri olduğu Irakiye Koalisyonunun, 91 sandalye elde ederek genel seçimlerin galibi olduğu bildirildi.
Irak Bağımsız Yüksek Seçim Kurulu, başkent Bağdat'taki yeşil bölgedeki El Reşid otelinde düzenlediği basın toplantısında, 325 sandalyeli parlamento için 7 mart 2010 tarihinde yapılan genel seçimlerin nihai sonuçlarını açıkladı.
Buna göre, eski başbakan İyad Allavi başkanlığındaki Irakiye Koalisyonu 91, Başbakan Nuri El Maliki başkanlığındaki Hukuk Devleti Koalisyonu 89, Şii olan Irak Milli İttifakı 70, Kürt Koalisyonu 42, Sünni olan Irak Uzlaşma Cephesi 6, İçişleri Bakanı Cevad Bolani'nin başkanı olduğu Irak Birliği Koalisyonu 4, Kürt Değişiklik Hareketi 8, Kürt İslam Birliği 4 ve Kürdistan İslami Cemaati 2 sandalye elde etti.
Allavi, Sünni çoğunluğa sahip olan Ninova (Musul), Kerkük, El Enbar (Ramadi), Diyale (Bakuba) ve Salahaddin illerinde birinci olurken Nuri El Maliki de, şii olan Basra, Babil, Kerbela, Vasıt, Necef ve Musenne de birinci çıktı.
Irak parlamentosundaki 325 sandalye
için 6 bin 200 aday, 167 partiden oluşan 12 koalisyon ve 74 parti yarıştı. Bu arada, Irak illerinin sandalye dağılımı parti ve koalisyonlara göre dağılımı şöyle:
Bağdat 70 (Hukuk Devleti 26, Irakiye 24, Şii olan Irak Milli İttifakı 17, Sünni olan Irak Uzlaşma Cephesi 1, 2 sandalye de kotayla Hristiyanlar ve Sabiiler'e tahsis edildi), Ninova 34 ( Irakiye 20, Kürt İttifakı 8, Irak Uzlaşma Cephesi 1, Irak Milli İttifakı 1, Irak Birliği 1 ve 3 sandalye de kotayla Hristiyanlar, Şebekeler ve Yezidilere tahsisi edildi), El Enbar 14 (Irakiye 11, Irak Uzlaşı Cephesi 2 ve Irak Birliği 1),
Salahaddin 12 (Irakiye 8, Irak Uzlaşı Cephesi 2, Irak Birliği 2), Diyale 13 (Irakiye 8, Hukuk Devleti 1, Irak Milli Birliği 3, Kürt İttifakı 1 ve Kanun Devleti 1), Kerbela 10 (Hukuk Devleti 6, Irak Milli İttifakı 3 ve Irakiye 1), Necef 12 sandalye (Hukuk Devleti 7, Irak Milli İttifakı 5), Babil 16 (Hukuk Devleti 8, Irak Milli İttifakı 5 ve Irakiye 3), Vasıt 11 (Hukuk Devleti 5, Irak Milli İttifakı 4 ve Irakiye 2),
Misan 10 (Hukuk Devleti 4, Irak Milli İttifakı 6), Zikar 18 (Hukuk Devleti 8, Irak Milli İttifakı 9 ve Irakiye 1), El Kadisiye 11 (Hukuk Devleti 4, Irak Milli İttifakı 5 ve Irakiye 2), El Musenne 7 (Hukuk Devleti 4 ve Irak Milli İttifakı 3), Basra 24 (Hukuk Devleti 14, Irak Milli İttifakı 7 ve Irakiye 3), Kerkük 13 (Irakiye 6, Kürt İttifakı 6), Dohuk 11 (Kürt İttifakı 9, Kürt İslam Birliği 1 ve 1 sandalye kotayla Hristiyanlara tahsis edildi),
Erbil 15 (Kürt İttifakı 10, Reform Hareketi 2, Kürt İslam Birliği 1, Kürdistan İslami Cemaati 1 ve 1 sandalye kotayla Hıristiyanlara tahsis edildi) ve Süleymaniye 17 (Kürt İttifakı 8, Değişiklik 6, Kürt İslam Birliği 2 ve Kürdistan İslami Cemaati 1).
Öte yandan, nihai sonuçlar açıklanmadan önce Irak güvenlik güçleri yoğun güvenlik önlemleri aldı.
Başkent Bağdat ve diğer şehirlerin cadde ve sokaklarında kontrol noktalarının arttırıldığı, polis ve askerlerden oluşan güvenlik güçlerinin yoğun bir şekilde yayıldığı gözlemlendi.
Allavi: "Bütün taraflarla çalışacağız"
Seçimlerin galibi İyad Allavi, hükümeti kurmak için bütün taraflarla çalışacağını bildirdi.
Seçim Komisyonunun sonuçları açıklamasından kısa süre sonra Irak televizyonu El Şarkıya'ya açıklamalarda bulunan Allavi, "Kazansın kazanmasın, bütün partilerle, gelecek hükümeti kurmak için çalışacağım. Bu, Irak halkının güvenliği ve istikrarına doğru ilerlemek adına bir isteğin, bir kardeşliğin kanıtıdır" ifadesini kullandı.
Allavi, ayrıca, "Irak bütün komşularıyla, Kuveyt, Suudi Arabistan, Türkiye, Ürdün, Suriye ve İran ile içişlerine karışmadan, olumlu ilişkilerin devamı temelinde, kardeşlikle el sıkışmaya da hazırdır" diye konuştu.
Maliki kabul etmedi
Irak Başbakanı Nuri El Maliki, rakibi İyad Allavi karşısında yenilgiye uğradığının açıklanmasının ardından, bu sonuçların nihai olmadığını belirtti.
Yenilgisini kabul etmeyen Maliki, Seçim Komisyonun sonuçları açıklamasının ardından düzenlediği basın toplantısında, sonuçların nihai olmadığını savundu ve "tabii ki bu sonuçları kabul etmiyoruz" ifadesini kullandı.
BM'nin Irak özel temsilcisi Ad Melkert ise 7 Mart'ta yapılan genel seçimleri inanılır bulduğunu ve ülke için bir başarı anlamına geldiğini kaydetti.
ABD, Irak'taki seçim sürecinin önemli demokratik bir aşama olduğunu bildirdi.
Irak Seçim Komisyonunun, 7 Mart'ta düzenlenen seçimlerin sonuçlarını açıklamasından kısa bir süre sonra ABD Dışişleri Bakanlığından yapılan açıklamada, "Irak'taki seçim süreci, ülkenin demokratik gelişimi bakımından önemli bir aşamadır" denildi.
Bakanlık sözcüsü Philip Crowley, "Irak halkını ve hükümetini kutluyoruz. Bu, Irak'ın demokratik gelişimi bakımından önemli bir aşamadır" ifadesini kullandı.
Öte yandan, ABD'nin Bağdat Büyükelçisi Christopher Hill ve Amerikan birliklerinin Komutanı Orgeneral Ray Odierno, seçimlerde yoğun usulsüzlük yapıldığına dair bir kanıt bulunmadığını söyledi.
Allavi'nin seçimin galibi ilan edilmesinin hemen ardından gelen bu yazılı açıklamada da, "Seçimlerin geneline güven duyduğunu bildiren bağımsız uluslararası ve Iraklı gözlemcilerin sonuçlarını destekliyoruz" denildi.
Açıklamada, bütün siyasi partiler, Iraklı yetkili merciler tarafından doğrulanan sonuçları kabul etmeye de davet edildi.
BM'nin Irak özel temsilcisi Ad Melkert ise 7 Mart'ta yapılan genel seçimleri inanılır bulduğunu ve ülke için bir başarı anlamına geldiğini kaydetti.
Irak'ın başkenti Bağdat'ta açıklamalarda bulunan Melkert, farklı adayları, seçim sonuçlarını kabul etmeye de çağırdı ve "BM'nin fikri seçimlerin inanılır olduğu yönünde, Irak halkını bu başarısından dolayı kutluyoruz" ifadesini kullandı.
BM, Irak seçimlerini geçerli saydı
Üst düzey Birleşmiş Milletler (BM) yetkilisi Ad Melkert, BM'nin 7 Mart'ta yapılan Irak seçimlerini güvenilir olarak kabul ettiğini bildirdi.
Başkent Bağdat'ta bugün akşam saatlerinden bir basın toplantısında seçimlerin geçerli olduğunu söyleyen Melker, bütün taraflara sonuçları kabul etmesi çağrısında bulundu.
Bu arada seçim sonuçlarının açıklanmasına saatler kala Bağdat kuzeyindeki bir kentte meydana gelen iki ayrı bombalı saldırıda 40 kişinin öldüğü bildirildi.
Irak polis sözcüsü Galipb al-Karkhi, başkentin 80 kilometre kuzeyindeki Khalis kentinde meydana gelen patlamalarda 40 kişinin öldüğünü ifade etti. Ayrıca onlarca yaralının olduğu kaydediliyor.
Başkan bir polis yetkilisi Salah Mohammed ise patlamalardan birinin bomba yüklü araçla, diğerinin ise intihar bombacısı tarafında yapıldığını belirtti.
Ülkede seçim sonuçlarının açıklanmasında sonra başlayacak süreçte şiddetin artmasından endişe ediliyor.
Seçimlerde Kerkük sürprizi; İrakiye koalisyonu birincilik koltuğuna otururkan,Kürtler geri düştü
Irak’ta Mart ayı başında yapılan genel seçimlerin resmi olmayan sonuçlarına göre, Kerkük'te en fazla oyu Arap ve Türkmen ittifakı aldı.
Sonucun Kerkük'ü bölgesel Kürt yönetimine katmaya çalışan Kürtlere ağır bir darbe olduğu yorumları yapılıyor.
7 Mart'ta yapılan seçimlerin resmi olmayan sonuçlarına göre, Kerkük'te eski Başbakan Allavi'nin başkanlığındaki Irak Ulusal Hareketi, Kürt ittifakından 3 bin kadar fazla oy aldı.
Ülke genelindeyse başbakan El Maliki ile Allavi bloğu arasında kıyasıya mücadele yaşanıyor. Sonuçların netleşmesinin ardından ülkede sıkı bir koalisyon pazarlığının başlaması bekleniyor.Bu arada sonuçlar açıklanır açıklanmaz Kerkük te Türkmen ve Araplar sokaklara dökülüp sevinç gösterisinde bulunurkan ,araçlarda konvuy eşliğinde korna çalarak caddeleri gezdi ve evlerdense yoğun bir şekilde mermi atışı sesleri yükseldi .
vendredi 26 mars 2010
The Uyghur American Association (UAA) expresses its gratitude to Swiss authorities following the March 23 arrival of Bahtiyar Mahmud and Arkin Mahmud to Switzerland. The two brothers, who were held without charge at the Guantanamo Bay detention center since 2002, will be resettled in the Swiss canton of Jura. The two men were reportedly welcomed by high-level Swiss officials during a ceremony at the Zurich airport.
“Today is a great day for the Uyghur people. We celebrate the resettlement of Bahtiyar and Arkin Mahmud, and thank the government of Switzerland for generously providing a home and refugee services to these two men,” said Uyghur democracy leader and UAA president Rebiya Kadeer. “We also thank the government of the United States for resettling Bahtiyar and Arkin in a free and democratic country, where they will be able to live the rest of their lives in peace.”
The Swiss Federal Council said in an official statement on February 3 that it had decided to accept the two men based on humanitarian reasons. Palau authorities had offered Bahtiyar Mahmud the opportunity to settle in Palau together with a group of other Uyghur detainees in 2009, but Bahtiyar rejected the offer. He opted to stay behind to look after his older brother Arkin, who has suffered from mental illness since arriving in Guantanamo and who was not given the choice of settling in Palau. Arkin had originally traveled to Afghanistan to search for his younger brother at the request of their mother. Bahtiyar had earlier gone to Afghanistan after fleeing a harsh crackdown in East Turkestan (also known as Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in northwest China.)
U.S. authorities have acknowledged for years that none of the Uyghurs held at Guantanamo pose a security threat and that all are non-enemy combatants. As early as 2003, most of the Uyghurs in Guantanamo were cleared for release. In 2008, U.S. congressional representatives from both sides of the aisle called for the release of the Guantanamo Uyghurs to the United States.
On March 25, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang expressed anger toward both American and Swiss authorities for “sheltering” Bahtiyar and Arkin Mahmud, saying that Chinese officials had “sent strong representations” to these countries. Earlier, China’s Foreign Ministry had issued stern warnings to the Swiss government not to accept Bahtiyar and Arkin, saying that a decision to accept the two men would damage Sino-Swiss relations.
Five other Uyghurs remain at Guantanamo Bay, following the transfer of six Uyghurs to Palau in November 2009 and four Uyghurs to Bermuda in June 2009. The Uyghur men in Palau have been pursuing language and vocational training, and those in Bermuda have been employed since shortly after their arrival in Bermuda. Bahtiyar and Arkin have indicated their commitment to learning French and seeking employment in Switzerland.
In 2006, five Uyghur men from Guantanamo were sent to Albania, where four of them have remained. One of the original group of five, Adel Hakimjan, traveled to Sweden, where his sister lives, in 2007, and he was later granted asylum by Swedish authorities. Before fleeing to Afghanistan, Hakimjan was imprisoned and tortured by Chinese authorities in East Turkestan. Among the four men remaining in Albania’s capital, Tirana, two have entered the restaurant business, and one has pursued an education in computer science at an American-funded university.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesmen have repeatedly reiterated the Chinese government’s opposition to the settlement of the Uyghur detainees in other countries, and have urged their repatriation to the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The U.S. government has refused to send any Uyghurs from Guantanamo to the PRC, however, due to fears of execution, torture or other ill treatment at the hands of Chinese authorities. The PRC government has in recent years carried out a campaign of brutal persecution against the Uyghur population in East Turkestan in the name of the “war on terror”, regularly jailing and executing Uyghurs accused of acts of “terrorism, separatism and extremism” without providing evidence of their alleged crimes. PRC authorities have widely used accusations of terrorism to brand even peaceful Uyghurs who have expressed disagreement with government policies in East Turkestan.
PRC assurances regarding treatment of the Guantanamo Uyghurs cannot be taken seriously, as torture is rampant in Chinese prisons. Uyghurs in Chinese government custody often suffer from physical abuse and other maltreatment. The U.S. State Department and human rights organizations have documented the extensive use of torture on prisoners and detainees in the PRC, as well as a lack of any independent judicial or legal mechanisms that could provide oversight or redress. Following a visit to the PRC in late 2005, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Manfred Nowak reported that torture and ill-treatment remained widespread throughout the PRC, and stated that Uyghurs and Tibetans, among other groups, were among those most frequently subjected to torture.
Swiss accept 2 Uighurs held by U.S. at Guantanamo
China opposes US move to relocate Uighur prisoners
Media Advisory: Concern over the use of the inaccurate term "Chinese Muslim" to refer to Uyghurs
Swiss government accepts Uyghur brothers from Guantanamo
Attorney Discusses Uighur Brothers Detained at Guantanamo
mercredi 24 mars 2010
Posted on March 23, 2010 by realistic bird
By David Cronin
BRUSSELS, Mar 22, 2010 (IPS) – Diplomats representing the European Union (EU) have drawn up a new plan for strengthening their relations with Israel despite the expansion of illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Spain, the current holder of the EU’s rotating presidency, is eager that work proceeds on formally upgrading the Union’s political and commercial ties with Israel over the next few months.
Although both the EU and Israel had agreed in 2008 to undertake steps designed to integrate Israel into the Union’s economy, work on this dossier has partly stalled because of the subsequent war in Gaza. But a confidential paper written by Spanish officials suggests that fresh discussions should soon be opened with Israel so that the upgrading process can regain its momentum.
The paper, seen by IPS, is dated Mar. 9, the same day that Israel was heavily criticised internationally for using the occasion of a visit by U.S. vice-president Joe Biden to announce that it would be building 1,600 new homes in Ramat Shlomo, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem. A day earlier Israel’s defence ministry had published plans for 112 apartments in Beitar Illit, a settlement in the West Bank.
The paper was originally intended for approval at a formal meeting between Avigdor Lieberman, Israeli foreign minister, and his EU counterparts on Mar. 23. Yet that meeting has been called off at short notice.
Brussels officials have sought to downplay the significance of the cancellation and say that the meeting would be rescheduled for April or May. A source close to Catherine Ashton, the EU’s foreign policy chief, noted that she had met Lieberman during her trip to the Middle East the previous week. “We do not want a duplication” of the talks held then, the source said, insisting that the cancellation was “not a diplomatic reaction” to the growth of Israeli settlements.
Although Ashton has described settlements in East Jerusalem as “illegal”, the Spanish paper refers to them as “unhelpful”, echoing the mild language that Hillary Clinton, U.S. secretary of state, has sometimes used when addressing this issue. The Spanish document also “notes positively” the investigations that Israel has carried out into the behaviour of its troops during their attacks on Gaza in late 2008 and early last year.
By contrast, numerous human rights organisations have complained that those investigations did not comply with the terms of a resolution passed by the United Nations General Assembly in November last year. Whereas the assembly demanded that the investigations into the war, which left more than 1,400 Palestinians dead, should be independent and credible, Israel has so far only prosecuted one soldier over the theft of a credit card.
Earlier this month, the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, a “people’s court” set up by an alliance of political activists, concluded that the EU had not honoured its obligations under international law to hold Israel to account for atrocities committed by its troops in Gaza. Frank Barat, a coordinator of the tribunal, said that the investigations by Israel had “been pretty much a whitewash”.
He underscored that the association agreement between the EU and Israel that came into effect in 2000 requires that both sides respect human rights. So far the EU has refused to suspend the agreement or revoke the trade preferences it has granted to Israel in protest at the cruelty meted out to the Palestinians. “The impunity enjoyed by Israel is mindboggling,” Barat added.
Maysa Zorob, a spokeswoman for the Palestinian human rights group Al Haq, said that Spain’s willingness to approve Israeli investigations into the war on Gaza was “very dangerous for the EU’s credibility and commitment to human rights”.
“Spain is very keen about putting the upgrade [in EU-Israel relations] back on the table,” she added. “Why Spain is so keen is really something incomprehensible for me. I cannot even imagine the motivation behind this.”
Some observers feel that once the upgrade is completed, Israel would be a de facto member state of the EU. In a farewell visit to the Middle East before stepping down as the EU’s first foreign policy chief last year, Javier Solana said that Israel enjoys closer relations with the Union than any other country outside the European continent. Israel already participates in a wide variety of EU programmes, ranging from archaeology to satellite navigation.
Raji Sourani, director of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights in Gaza, called on the EU to rethink its policy of responding to Israel’s violations of international law with what he termed “quiet diplomacy”.
In a letter sent to Ashton over the past week, Sourani wrote: “It is perhaps appropriate to paraphrase an old proverb: ‘insanity is doing the same thing in the same way and expecting different results’. The time for a new approach has come. This approach must be firmly grounded in the rule of international law.
“If the EU’s international standing is to be preserved, the Union can no longer continue to exude a double standard when it comes to the state of Israel. This double standard is not only in violation of the Union’s own obligations, by its inaction the EU also becomes complicit in Israel’s policy of disregard for fundamental human rights and its violations of international law.”
dimanche 21 mars 2010
The demand from President Jalal Talabani came a day after Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki appeared to back the idea by calling on the election commission overseeing the counting to quickly respond to requests from political blocs for a recount.
The demands are the latest twist to an election that will determine who will govern the country as U.S. troops go home. Counting since the March 7 vote has been slow and plagued with confusion and disarray, fueling claims of fraud, though international observers had said the vote and count have been fair.
Talabani, in a statement on his Web site Sunday, demanded an immediate recount to "preclude any doubt and misunderstanding" in the results.
"As the president of the state, authorized to preserve the constitution and to ensure justice and absolute transparency, I demand the Independent High Electoral Commission recount the ballots manually starting from Sunday, March 21," Talabani said.
Al-Maliki, whose bloc is among those seeking a recount, issued a statement late Saturday calling on the commission to respond to the demands, saying that doing so quickly would "protect the democratic experiment and maintain the credibility of elections."
"Because there are demands from many political blocs to repeat the counting," al-Maliki said he was urging the election commission "to respond urgently to these demands in order to preserve the political stability and avoid the deterioration of security ... and a return to violence."
The latest partial results, released Saturday, showed al-Maliki's secular Shiite challenger, former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, leading by a slim margin over the prime minister's coalition in the overall tally.
However, al-Maliki is winning in seven of Iraq's 18 provinces, which is significant because parliament seats are allotted based on the outcome of voting in each province.
Both Allawi's Iraqiya list and al-Maliki's State of Law coalition have alleged fraud in the counting -- though many blocs' claims have sometimes appeared to reflect how well they are doing in the tally.
This is the first time Talabani, a Kurd, has weighed in on the counting process. His party, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, has been under heavy pressure from a new political party on the Kurdish scene, Gorran, which has been making inroads in the Kurdish province, Sulamaniyah. That province has been considered the PUK's stronghold.
Moreover, results so far have shown that the Kurdish Alliance, composed of the PUK and the other main Kurdish political party, is narrowly losing to Iraqiya in Tamim province in the north. The province is home to the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, which is claimed by both Arabs and Kurds. A win for Iraqiya would be a blow for Kurdish claims on the city.
Al-Maliki's bloc earlier this week accused the electoral commission's counting center of doctoring the numbers and demanded a re-count.
The calls for a recount appear to be stirring tensions. In the city of Najaf in Iraq's Shiite-dominated south, hundreds of residents protested outside the local government office demanding a manual recount of the elections, carrying banners that said "No to stealing our votes."
The rally was taking place as several governors from the southern provinces were meeting inside the building.
samedi 20 mars 2010
By Dr. Souad N. Al-Azzawi
BRussels Tribunal - 2010-03-01
I pride myself in being a scientist and a researcher. I built my academic career on theories and numbers. As a teacher, I teach my students that everything is based in science – everything has a reason. That is why, I am always frustrated with myself when I find I am overwhelmed with feelings on specific topics.
One such topic is the occupation of my country, Iraq. On this subject I find that I cannot always be dispassionate. I cannot be the researcher and observer and discuss it without feelings or emotions as I am sometimes expected to do. I find myself doing research on the damages caused by the war and occupation, and my head buzzes with anger, my eyes burn with tears of desperation at the state of my country.
I decided, I would view it as a scientist. I would not attack the subject with emotion. I would let the numbers speak for themselves. This year I will sit back and play the part of the analyst- the researcher- on the topic that is closest to my heart.
We will show that the American occupation violated children’s rights on all levels, including health care, education, social security, family unity and non separation of children from their parents through detention, imprisonment and exile
For two decades, Iraqi children, along with all other elements of Iraqi society, have been subjected to grave violations of human rights.
The American occupation forces, and the occupation-assigned Iraqi government, grossly failed to fulfill their most basic duties towards the children of Iraq in accordance with the UN/CRC Convention on the Rights of the Child, Resolution 25/ Session 44, November 1989. The convention was ratified by 194 United Nations countries, except the USA and Somalia.
Principals of the CRC emphasized the need to protect children’s rights’ to life and physical, mental, moral, and spiritual development in a safe environment.
Numerous violations of Iraqi children’s rights have systematically and continuously been committed under the American occupation of Iraq.
We will show that the American occupation violated children’s rights on all levels, including health care, education, social security, family unity and the non separation of children from their parents through detention, imprisonment and exile.
1.Iraqi Children under the Economic Sanctions (1990-2003)
During the economic sanctions imposed on Iraq, the country was denied the right to import equipment, medicine, educational items, health care requirements, etc. The economic sanctions were imposed by US/UK administrations and enforced by UN resolution 661 in 1990. The sanctions committee in the UN was dominated by the USA and UK, who insisted on blocking most essentials related to human rights
2.Status of Iraqi Children under the Anglo-American Occupation of Iraq
Thirteen years of suffering and the death of more than half a million children under five as a result of economic sanctions ended with the American invasion of Iraq in 2003. Iraqi people, and children have had to face the excessive use of power, shock and awe techniques, raids, the destruction of infrastructure, burning and looting of the civil services and cultural centers of Iraq, damage to health care centers and hospitals, and sectarian killing staged by occupation intelligence. Numerous violations of Iraqi children’s rights have continuously and systematically been committed under the Anglo- American occupation of Iraq.
■ Direct killing during the military invasion operations where civilians were targeted directly. Additional casualties amongst children have resulted from unexploded ordinances along military engagement routes.
■ The direct killing and abuse of children during American troop raids on civilian areas like Fallujah, Haditha, Mahmodia, Telafer, Anbar, Mosul, and most of the other Iraqi cities. The Massacre of the children in Haditha in 2005 is a good example of "collateral damage" among civilians.
■ Daily car bombs casualties, explosion of buildings and other terrorist attacks on civilians.
■ Detention and torture of Iraqi children in American and Iraqi governmental prisons. While in detention, the children are being brutalized, raped, and tortured. American guards videotaped these brutal crimes in Abu Graib and other prisons.
■ Poverty due to economic collapse and corruption caused acute malnutrition among Iraqi children. As was reported by Oxfam in July 2007, up to eight million Iraqis required immediate emergency aid, with nearly half the population living in "absolute poverty".
■ Starving whole cities as collective punishment by blocking the delivery of food, aid, and sustenance before raiding them increased the suffering of the young children and added more casualties among them.
■ Microbial pollution and lack of sanitation including drinking water shortages for up to 70% of the population caused the death of "one in eight Iraqi children" before their fifth birthday. Death of young children in Iraq has been attributed to water borne diseases such as diarrhea, cholera, typhoid, hepatitis, etc .
■ Contaminating and exposing other heavily populated cities to chemically toxic and radioactive ammunitions. Weapons like cluster bombs, Napalm, white phosphorous, and Depleted Uranium all caused drastic increases of cancer incidences, deformations in children, multiple malignancies and child leukemia. Children in areas like Basrah, Baghdad, Nasriya, Samawa, Fallujah, Dewania and other cities have been having multifold increases of such diseases. Over 24% of all children born in Fallujah in October 2009 had birth defects.The Minister of Environment in Iraq called upon the international community to help Iraqi authorities in facing the huge increase of cancer cases in Iraq.
■ The deterioration of the health care system and the intentional assassination of medical doctors have resulted in an increased number of casualties amongst children. It has been estimated that the mortality rate amongst the population of Iraq reached 650,000 from 2003 to 2006. Another survey indicated that the total number of dead for the period of 2003-2007 is about one million. Among other cases, the failures of the health care system were specified as one of the major causes.
■ Damage to the educational system. By 2004, it was estimated that two out of every three Iraqi children were dropping out of school. Statistics released by the Ministry of Education in October 2006 indicated that only 30% of the 3.5 million students were actually attending schools. Prior to the US invasion, UNESCO indicated that school attendance was nearly 100%. Assassination of educators and academics in Iraq drove their colleagues to leave the country. This brain drain and the intended destruction of schools and the educational system is part of the well planned cultural cleansing of the Iraqi society and identity.
■ Total collapse of Iraq's economy, the sectarian violence, American troop raids on civilians, the killing of a dear family member have all deprived the children in Iraq of an innocent, carefree childhood that is the right of any child. They have to deal with family breakdowns, poverty, and a complete and total lack of security. Iraqi children are being forced to assume income generating roles because their families are suffering from hunger and poverty. They are leaving schools and having to deal with adult problems such as unemployment, manual labor, etc. This situation exposes them to hardship, and many forms of abuse. Exposure to violence on a daily basis has affected their psychological development and behavior as well.
■ The drastic increase in the number of orphans in Iraq. The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs estimated the number of Iraqi orphans to be around 4.5 million. Other estimates put them at around 5 million. About 500,000 of those orphans live on the streets without any home or family or specialized institutions to take care of them. Among these orphans, 700 are in Iraqi prisons and another 100 in American prisons.
■ The problems of families who were forced to migrate and the impact on their children. Since the invasion of Iraq, there have been about 2.2 million internally displaced people who were forced to migrate due to sectarian violence, American violence, etc. Well over two million other Iraqis were driven out of Iraq. On November 20, 2007 UNESCO reports indicated that the number of Iraqi children taking refuge in Syria alone was around 300,000. The problems of children who have been forced to migrate represent a real humanitarian crisis where a large number of families have no shelter, no finances, no health care, no education, and no security of any kind.
3.Deterioration of Living Conditions of Displaced Iraqi Children
This case study was conducted by the author with the help of the Iraqi Women Will body (IWW), an Iraqi NGO fighting for Iraqi women’s rights inside and outside of Iraq.
In October 2009, around 300 copies of the questionnaire were distributed to Iraqi families within the Yarmouk refugee area of Damascus, Syria. The researchers visited these families to ensure the accuracy of the answers and to conduct personal interviews.
You can read the case study and the conclusions on the website of The BRussells Tribunal here.
Jassim al-Azzawi interviews Juan Cole and Juergen Todenhoefer
samedi 13 mars 2010
jeudi 11 mars 2010
Thu, Mar 11, 2010
IRAQ’S ELECTION commission announced yesterday a second postponement of the release of preliminary results of Sunday’s national parliamentary election.
The election commission and the UN mission in Iraq said initial figures will be released today.
Projections made by party observers who monitored both voting and counting put the moderate sectarian Shia “State of Law” coalition of incumbent prime minister Nuri al-Maliki ahead of the secular Iraqiya list, headed by former premier Iyad Allawi.
Mr Maliki’s coalition is said to have won about 90 seats in the 325-seat assembly, and Mr Allawi’s party a slightly lower number.
Third place is expected to be taken, once again, by the Kurds, who, according to sources in the three main Kurdish parties, could take 60-65 seats. The Shia religious faction list dominated by the pro-Iranian Supreme Iraqi Islamic Council and the party of radical Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has, reportedly, come in fourth.
If this estimate is correct, it would seem many Iraqis have turned away from frankly sectarian parties with a fundamentalist agenda and Iranian connections.
If the Kurds come in third they could be the kingmakers in the new parliament, as they were in the old. Salam Abdullah, Sulai-maniya director of the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP), told The Irish Times that the Kurdish parties could be expected to act as a bloc on issues of primary interest to the Kurdish community. The KDP is also committed to the re-election of current President Jalal Talabani, head of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK).
Once the results are declared, the election commission will have to deal with a flurry of complaints. More than 100 have already been registered in Basra, while two key races are already generating tension and could precipitate violence.
The victory of the PUK/KDP alliance in Kirkuk (Tamim) province, which lies outside the Kurdish autonomous region, has already produced a flurry of official complaints from the Kurdish opposition Goran or “Change” party, and from Turkoman and Arab parties, which argue that the PUK/KDP bloc could not have won eight out of the province’s 12 seats.
Mr Allawi is also disputing election eve disqualifications of 55 candidates, 30 of whom are members of his list. If even a few of his winners are excluded, his coalition could lose its second place in the race.
The committee which banned his candidates – on the basis of accusations that they are members of the outlawed Baath party – is headed by former US favourite Ahmad Chalabi, who ran on the lagging Shia fundamentalist list. If Mr Allawi’s list suffers losses, he has threatened to charge fraud on the part of the government, which supports the banning of alleged Baathists.
Mr Chalabi’s panel, which has no legal status, earlier barred 511 candidates from standing for election, the majority secular persons. Reidar Visser, an expert on Iraq, said a fresh round of disqualifications could “create a major problem for the whole process” since it could undermine the legitimacy of the entire election.
© 2010 The Irish Times
Iraq went to the polls on March 7 to elect its 325-seat parliament. There were 6,200 candidates running for parliament, and Iraqis cast their votes at 52,000 polling stations in 10,000 polling centers between 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
The reason why there were so many polling stations and about 400 voters assigned to each station was to minimize election fraud. Before the elections on March 7, it was suggested that all ballot boxes were collected in a center without being opened and that the counting should be conducted at that center. But, at 9:00 p.m. on March 7, it was decided that votes should be counted at city centers. Voting had actually started on March 4, when members of the military, police officers, prison inmates, patients and physicians cast their votes. On March 5, 6 and 7, Iraqis living in 21countries cast their votes. In Turkey, one polling center was established in Ankara and three polling centers were set up in İstanbul, and about 7,000 Iraqis cast their votes in these centers.
Seventy percent of the votes were allegedly counted in Iraq. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is the leading politician in 9 out of 18 provinces. Given the fact that three provinces are in the Kurdish-controlled region, it can be said that Prime Minister Maliki --i.e., the State of Law Coalition -- has taken nine of the 15 provinces, while Iyad Allawi -- al-Iraqiya -- is in the lead in six. It is said that Maliki secured 40 percent and Allawi 28 percent of the national vote while the Iraqi National Alliance of the Shiites had a share of 17 percent. If the final breakdown of the votes ended up this way, a coalition led by al-Iraqiya and the Iraqi National Alliance can be established. The Kurdish Alliance is in the has the most votes in Kirkuk. It is followed by al-Iraqiya and then by the State of Law Coalition. The province of Ambar was won by Allawi by securing 79 percent of the votes. Maliki obtained 70 percent of the votes in Sadr City, the most crowded Shiite neighborhood in Baghdad. In this way, he undermined the progress of Allavi in Baghdad, which will produce 68 seats.
As for the performance of the Turkmen in Iraq, Erşad Salihi obtained 28,000 votes in Kirkuk and Ali Haşimi 12,000 votes in Salahaddin, and both of them managed to enter parliament. It seems likely that the Turkmen will be able to send three candidates to parliament, including İzettin Dele and Nebil Harbo from Mosul. Women candidate Müdriki Ahmet, running from Mosul, exhibited a surprising performance, and she is expected to enter parliament. The election of Nermin Al-Mufti from Baghdad and Jala Naftaji from Kirkuk is still risky.
Violence has been on the rise since March 4. A further increase in violence was expected. On the night of March 6, US facilities in Kirkuk received mortar fire all through the night. Mortar fire went into the green zone, and there were clashes. However, violence largely stalled on election day. Violence has become a daily part of life in Iraq, and people start to consider the death of 50-100 people every day normal. The faces of the people who went to the polls in Baghdad and Kirkuk on March 7 did not show any uneasiness. The elderly people with wheelchairs and parents carrying their nicely dressed children had come to cast their votes.
Although vehicles were banned on election day, this rule was lifted at 11:00 p.m. Young Kurds continued to form convoys carrying the Goran and Kurdish flags in the settlement located between Tuzhurmatu and Kirkuk. Actually, the Kurdish presence showed itself starting from Tuzhurmatu with flags decorating every pole and street. It is claimed that Kurds have been carrying Kurdish voters from the northern parts of the country to Kirkuk via Altunköprü, where they showed them how to vote in the stands set up for this purpose.
Indeed, even on election day, buses continued to arrive in Kirkuk, and the 12th division of the Iraqi army, located in Kirkuk, finally stopped the buses and did not allow them to enter the city.
Kirkuk is a very important city for Turkmen. Beyond being just a city, it is the symbol of national existence. The Turkmen presence was also felt with their flags and election posters from Tuzhurmatu to Kirkuk. While Kurds only promote the Kurdish identity, Turkmen tend to promote their identity with reference to the integrity of Iraq. Thus, their flags are accompanied by Iraqi flags.
Iraq has adopted and loves democracy. The existence of violence does not lend support to anti-democratic options. The awareness of belonging to Iraq, the idea of integrity and unity of the country and strengthening the center without promoting a dictatorship are gaining ground. The fact that it is now fashionable among members of the military and intellectuals to wear brass badges showing the Iraqi geography with an inscription “Iraq” on them is the best proof of the rising awareness of being Iraqi.
mercredi 10 mars 2010
lundi 1 mars 2010
ITC Başkanı Ergeç'in, Musul Temasları - VIDEO
01 Mart 2010, Pazartesi.
Irak Türkmen Cephesi Başkanı ve Türkmen Milletvekili Dr. Sadettin Ergeç, Kara Koyun, Şerihan ve Şenef Bölgelerinden Halka Seçim Mesajı Verdi.
Irak Türkmen Cephesi Başkanı ve Türkmen Milletvekili Dr. Sadettin Ergeç, Musul, Telafer ve bölge köylerini ziyaret etti. Milletvekili Dr. Ergeç, Musul valisi Etil ElNüceyfi ve vali yardımcısı Hasan Mahmut ile bir araya geldi.İLGİLİ VİDEO AŞAĞIDADIR.
28th February 2010 -Antwerp, Belgium
Iraqis living outside Iraq who wish to vote must be able to do so at the Iraqi Embassy or General Consulate in the country where they live and reside and they should not have to travel to another foreign country to cast their vote.