The 2003 unlawful Anglo-American led invasion of Iraq began what was to become a period of catastrophic destruction and violations, turning Iraq into an unrecognizable state.
The physical destruction resulting from the invasion, its ensuing occupation and the installation of a puppet government is but a minute part of the overall destruction committed. Large portions of Iraq’s physical infrastructure were obliterated, but the most damaging and enduring destruction came in the near annihilation of Iraq’s once praised educational and health systems, as well as its economic, social, legal and judicial infrastructure. During the invasion and occupation, summary executions, torture, disappearances and arbitrary arrests were widespread practices. After the withdrawal of US forces, , these practices were perfected by Al Maliki, the Coalition’s hand-picked prime minister, and his secterian government, which govern under a merciless, unjust policy and constitution that violate countless basic human rights and international law.
Since the occupation and under the successive puppet governments, execution rates in Iraq have reached record numbers. Mass campaigns of arbitrary arrests are the norm; this is particularly true under the guise of “fighting terrorism”. Peaceful demonstrators are called terrorists and are arrested, beat and killed; disappearances continue to rise; secret prisons continue in use; tens of thousands continue to sit in prisons in dire, inhumane conditions, including torture, without being charged, and thousands more are sitting on death row awaiting execution, most of which have been sentenced without ever having access to legal representation or a fair trial, or under forced confessions, making these sentences and execution extrajudicial, arbitrary and unlawful. These and many more atrocities are occurring every single day and they do so under impunity and under direction of the government’s leaders.
Naji Haraj, Former Iraqi diplomat, human rights defender, living in Switzerland.