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Human rights violations in Iraq

Countless reports of human rights violations have emerged from Iraq, notwithstanding the Saddam Hussein Iraqi government prohibiting the establishment of independent human rights organizations within the country and rarely permitted foreign human rights watchers inside.

Table of contents
1 Saddam Hussein 1979-2003
2 British Occupation of Iraq
3 External Links

Saddam Hussein 1979-2003

Human rights organizations have documented government approved executions, acts of torture, and rape for decades since Saddam Hussein came to power in 1979 until his fall in 2003.

In 2002, a resolution sponsored by the European Union was adopted by the Commission for Human Rights, which stated that there had been no improvement in the human rights crisis in Iraq. The statement condemned President Saddam Hussein's government for its "systematic, widespread and extremely grave violations of human rights and international humanitarian law". The resolution demanded that Iraq immediately put an end to its "summary and arbitrary executions... the use of rape as a political tool and all enforced and involuntary disappearances".

Two years earlier, two human rights orgainizations, the International Federation of Human Rights League and the Coalition for Justice in Iraq released a joint report, accusing the Saddam Hussein regime of committing "massive and systematic" human rights violations, particularly against women. The report spoke of public beheadings of women who were accused of being prostitutes, which took place in front of family members, including children. The heads of the victims were publicly displayed near signs reading, "For the honor of Iraq." The report documented 130 women who had been killed in this way, but stated that the actual number was probably much higher. The report also describes Human rights violations directed against children. The report states that children, as young as 5 years old, are recruited into the "Ashbal Saddam," or "Saddam's Cubs," and indoctrinated to adulate Saddam Hussein and denounce their own family members. The children are also subjected to military training, which includes cruelty to animals. The report also describes how parents of children are executed if they object to this treatment, and in some cases, the children themselves are imprisoned.

Other Documented Violations

British Occupation of Iraq

Critics of the war in 2003 point out that in the 1920s, when Britain held a mandate from the League of Nations (predecessor of the United Nations), British occupational forces, under the command of Arthur Harris, used mustard gas and delayed action bombing to suppress Iraqi resistance to British rule, leading to numerous civilian casualties.

External Links