The government of Iraq, installed under occupation and maintained after the US retreat, has committed a new massacre against peaceful protesters in the town of Hawija. The forces used and the way it was achieved reminds us of the Fallujah massacre at the beginning of the occupation.
Although towns in six departments are protesting in the same way, the government chose to attack this town, to make it an example for other larger cities. They attack it because the peaceful protests are a success.
At dawn, protesters in Hawija were encircled by forces in great number, ground and air, their tents burnt while they were unarmed inside. Those who tried to escape were fired at or crushed by military vehicles. There is news that even the wounded are being killed. A wave of solidarity is mounting in reaction while armed resistance movements, in support of the peaceful protests until now, are moving to block a government escalation of violence.
The reasons of the protest are well known: 10 years of targeted discrimination and oppression of every kind. Their peaceful protest has been ongoing since four months without an answer to their human rights demands. The government chose the second day after local elections to punish in cold blood the protesters, announcing it will continue its policies whatever the result of the election would be.
This massacre is not only a crime against humanity; it is genocide. It is neither a civil conflict nor a sectarian one. It is a crime of a government against a national group, the Sunnis, who would vote against its politicsand who demand to stop hangings, campaigns of mass arrests, systematic torture, unfair justice and false accusations, to stop the discrimination in jobs, in education, in services, making their regions and cities large prisons encircled by military checkpoints and towering walls.
We are in solidarity with the peaceful protesters and their just demands. We call on all governments and human rights organisations to condemn this massacre and to unite efforts to bring Nouri Al-Maliki and all those responsible before international justice, not only to punish individually, but to stop the state terrorism and to prevent a larger violence — like that used in Syria — that would endanger peace in the whole region and entail very heavy civilian losses.
We join calls for the end of the fascist Maliki regime; the immediate departure of the head of the army command, the minister of interior, Maliki, his government, and the fascist ruling party. The international community, the UN and relevant bodies, should endorse the same end.
We express our support for the Iraqi people struggling against state terror and salute the solidarity of Iraqis with Hawija.
Abdul Ilah Albayaty
Hana Al Bayaty