Geneva International Centre for Justice confirms the Summary executions of wounded protesters by Iraqi forces in Al-Hawija
GICJ calls on the Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions to conduct an in-depth investigation into the unlawful killing of peaceful demonstrators
Following the urgent appeals sent on 23 April and 26 April 2013 regarding the massacre of Al-Hawija, and based on new information received by Geneva International Centre for Justice from local sources confirming that people were executed by Iraqi forces following the storming of the sit-in, a Letter of Allegation has been submitted to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions.
The letter comprises the recorded testimony of Mr. Thamer Hussein Mousa regarding the arbitrary killing of his son, Mohammed Thamer Hussein by Iraqi forces following the raid conducted on the sit-in area of Al-Hawija.
His testimony on the dramatic events that took place on the morning of April 23, 2013 has been recorded in Arabic with English subtitles.*
*The original subtitles have been re-edited in order to provide for clearer understanding; the transcription can be read below.
Transcription of Mr. Thamer Hussein Mousa’s testimony
I am Thamer Hussein Mousa from the village of Mansuriya in the district of Hawija. I am disabled. My left arm was amputated from the shoulder and my left leg amputated from the hip, my right leg is paralyzed due to a sciatic nerve injury, and I have lost sight in my left eye.
I have five daughters and one son. My son’s name is Mohammed Thamer. I am no different to any other Iraqi citizen. I love what is good for my people and would like to see an end to the injustice in my country.
When we heard about the peaceful protests in Al-Hawija, taking place at ‘dignity and honor square’, I began attending with my son to reclaim our usurped rights. We attended the protests every day, but last Friday the area of protest was besieged before my son and I could leave; just like all the other protestors there.
Food and drink were forbidden to be brought into the area….
On the day of the massacre (Tuesday 23 April 2013) we were caught by surprise when Al-Maliki forces started to raid the area. They began by spraying boiling water on the protestors, followed by heavy helicopter shelling. My little son stood beside me. We were both injured due to the shelling.
My son, who stood next to my wheelchair, refused to leave me alone. He told me that he was afraid and that we needed to get out of the area. We tried to leave. My son pushed my wheelchair and all around us, people were falling to the ground.
Shortly after that, two men dressed in military uniforms approached us. One of them spoke to us in Persian; therefore we didn’t understand what he said. His partner then translated. It was nothing but insults and curses. He then asked me “Handicapped, what do you want?” I did not reply. Finally I said to him, “Kill me, but please spare my son”. My son interrupted me and said, “No, kill me but spare my father”. Again I told him “Please, spare my son. His mother is waiting for him and I am just a tired, disabled man. Kill me, but please leave my son”. The man replied “No, I will kill your son first and then you. This will serve you as a lesson.” He then took my son and killed him right in front of my eyes. He fired bullets into his chest and then fired more rounds. I can’t recall anything after that. I lost consciousness and only woke up in the hospital, where I underwent surgery as my intestines were hanging out of my body as a result of the shot.
After all of what has happened to me and my little son – my only son, the son who I was waiting for to grow up so he could help me – after all that, I was surprised to hear Ali Ghaidan (Lieutenant General, Commander of all Iraqi Army Ground Forces) saying on television, “We killed terrorists” and displaying a list of names, among them my name: Thamer Hussein Mousa.
I ask you by the name of God, I appeal to everyone who has a shred of humanity. Is it reasonable to label me a terrorist while I am in this situation, with this arm, and with this paralyzed leg and a blind eye?
I ask you by the name of God, is it reasonable to label me a terrorist? I appeal to all civil society and human rights organizations, the League of Arab States and the Conference of Islamic States to consider my situation; all alone with my five baby daughters, with no one to support us but God. I was waiting for my son to grow up and he was killed in this horrifying way.
I hold Obama responsible for this act because he is the one who gave them these weapons. The weapons and aircrafts they used and fired upon us were American weapons. I also hold the United States of America responsible for this criminal act, above all, Obama.
Q: Do you demand anything? Legal proceedings against these criminals? By whom?
A: Yes, I appeal to all civil society and human rights organizations to investigate this criminal act and to put this miserable government on trial in front of international courts, to the satisfaction of the conscience of humanity.
End of the transcription
Geneva International Centre for Justice considers that this act of terror and inhumanity cannot go unpunished and that what is described above clearly constitutes an act of unlawful killing against peaceful demonstrators by the Iraqi Armed Forces and therefore falls under the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions.
GICJ urged the Special Rapporteur to conduct an in-depth investigation into the arbitrary killing of Mr. Mohammed Thamer Hussein, as well as into the killing of approximately 60 demonstrators that occurred on the same day; and to draw the attention of the High Commissioner and the Human Rights Council on this unacceptable use of force against peaceful demonstrators by including his findings in his future reports to these bodies.
Documenting and reporting human rights violations in Iraq
|Executions||Human Rights Violations in the context of fight against terrorism||Peaceful protests|