On June 19, 2014, Geneva International Centre for Justice (GICJ) in collaboration with several other organisations held an urgent session to discuss about the current crisis unfolding in Iraq.
The panel agreed that the brutal sanctions, unjustified war and Anglo-American occupation have not only led to the current crisis, it has pushed Iraq towards the brink of destruction. The panel also condemned Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki’s sectarian policies and the atrocious and unnecessary military support from the United States of America to further wage his sectarian war against his political oppositions; whom he claims are "terrorists".
The recent military attacks on several cities and acts of "terrorism" are undoubtedly condemnable. The prolonged suffering, violence, human rights abuses and indiscriminate killings under Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki, which has totalled to a staggering number of approximately tens of thousands of deaths, have triggered deep-rooted repercussions causing sectarian tension in Iraq.
The prolonged psychological build-up has, quite predictably, led to the current situation. The panel has agreed that further violence will not end the suffering; it will only prolong it.
In this regard, all forms of military aid to the Iraqi government must end immediately. Further help towards Al-Maliki’s regime will destroy Iraq, and it will also destabilise the entire Middle East beyond recognition. Solutions to end the violence and divisive policies cannot lie in the hands of Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki. He is incompetent, undemocratic and overly-aggressive against different sects. The panel has agreed that Maliki, along with war-mongering leaders George W Bush and Tony Blaire, must be held accountable for their crimes.
Credible sources on the ground highlighted that civilians in Mousul, Tikrit, Fallujah, Ramadi and other cities, are now afraid of Al-Maliki’s obvious intent to indiscriminately destroy their cities. To this extent, witnesses have testified that their reasons for leaving the cities are not necessarily because of the taking over of their cities by those who opposed the government, but to avoid the indiscriminate bombings and shelling soon to follow across their homes. This is precisely what happened, as we have previously documented, in cities such as Fallujah, Al-Anbar and Mosul, where peaceful demonstrators were killed systematically.
The panel also unanimously agreed that the invasion and occupation of Iraq has led to the current outburst in sectarian violence. Not only was the war illegal, unjustified and unnecessary, it has moulded Iraq into a "war-torn" environment where such conflicts are ripe and bound to occur.
The Iraq war and its aftermath are undoubtedly the greatest travesty and international fiasco of the 21st century. The unprecedented "special" position of the United Kingdom and United States of America has also shattered the jurisprudence of international legal order, and it begs the question whether international law can now withstand such partiality. Across the decades since the Second World War, the international community’s attempt towards consolidating the customary norms of peaceful resolutions is now left in tatters.
The ignorance of the international community towards this matter can no longer be tolerated, and it must end now. The panel and the NGOs that participate in organising the meeting urge the United Nations to appoint a Special Rapporteur for Iraq, and also to pursue deeper investigations regarding human rights abuses by the Iraqi government. It is unfortunate that it is only today, subsequent to the rise of ISIS in the scene, that Iraq has been the focus of the international community. For too long Iraqi civilians have suffered at the hands of our ignorance and lack of concern.
Geneva International Centre for Justice (GICJ) will nevertheless continue our work in enlightening the public about the current situation in Iraq to ensure that Iraq is not "forgotten". Our mission to achieve accountability and justice remains ongoing, and we are working very hard with many different organisations and the United Nations to end this madness. Our full statement on this event will be released soon.