Saturday, July 05, 2008

AbdulMahdi's statement

Here are the opening paragraphs of the statement of vice-president of Iraq Adel AbdulMahdi on the subject of lawlessness by government forces in general, and the recent events in Amara in particular.

The important accomplishments of our armed forces and our security forces in establishing law and order, and the major sacrifices that have been made by their officers and men, ought not to be besmirched by the actions of certain units or certain constituents of [meaning: under the] patronage of authorities or individuals, or of the multinational forces.

We have been told repeatedly of offenses against the rights of citizens during the circulation of [local] forces and [local] authorities, and during the circulation of citizens in their daily affairs while waiting their turn at fuel stations and at government offices and other daily activities. Similarly we have news of attacks against innocent people during search and arrest operations, and of threats to the security of families of women and children and old people, and of illegalities during arrest and thereafter. And of torture carried out at some prisons and by some units. And many incidents have been recorded by various human rights agencies, and ministries, and by the human rights committee of parliament, and by political parties, and national and international centers of observation and information.

And we have [now] learned that the search of the home of the Governor of Maysan, Mr Adel Mahaudar, and the arrest of the president of the Council of the Province of Maysan, Mr Abdel Jabbar Wahid and his associates, were carried out in a way inconsistent with respect for their rights as citizens, not to mention their rights as important authorities in the province.

All of that is unacceptable, and cannot be justified. Serious and strict investigations must be undertaken and those outside the law must be punished. The constitution protects the rights of citizens, and Iraqi law prohibits these operations and considers them crimes no less than the crimes crimes against law and order by [ordinary] criminals and suspects.
AbdulMahdi continues by noting that both the Presidency Council, and Maliki himself, have spoken out against official lawlessness, but to no avail, because
Because in spite of that we see the continuation from time to time of these offenses and excesses and illegalities on the part of those entrusted with law and order. This must stop. And those who are undertaking this must know that they will be held absolutely no less responsible than [ordinary] accused persons.
AbdulMahdi has more to say about the importance of respect for law by the authorities, and his remarks include this:
We will absolutely not permit the return of the dark days of arbitrary arrests and attacks on citizens and torture, and the justification of this lawlessness and abuse of human rights by the arguments that this is for the defense of [certain] authorities or of the regime, or any other excuses, whose result will be the collapse of the situation and a betrayal of the care that we have been charged with.


More particularly on the question of the "collapse of the situation" that AdelMahdi is talking about, compare the remarks of a Sadrist leader quoted in AlHayat this morning:
Nasar alRubiae said in a press statement: "The Sadrist current is convinced that the aim behind the arrest of the president of the Maysan provincial council is the realization of certain political aims: First and foremost the attempt to provoke members of the Sadrist movement to [get them to] spread the appearance of the collapse of security in the province", referring to the fact that "certain political forces are trying to draw the Sadrists into military confrontation with the security forces engaged in the "harbingers of peace" operation."