Disturbing news: Dr Hussain Abid Mohammed Al Khafaji, a lecturer of chemistry in Babylon University- Iraq, arrested by the Scorpion Special Forces Unit


Press release 01 December 2006

We want to alert you of the arrest of yet another Iraqi academic: Dr Hussain Al Kafaji, lecturer of chemistry in Babylon University- Iraq, in a joint operation by the US/ Scorpion unit - Iraqi special forces. The Arabic link http://www.radiodijla.com/news/index.shtml [item no 3] from the Iraqi Radio Dijla website, cites finding Cadmium Oxide in a factory that belongs to Dr Al Khafaji. This Chemical is widely used in commercial applications.

We are deeply concerned not in the least because of the notorious reputation of the Scorpion special forces unit. Their detainees rarely ever resurface unharmed if not killed and mutilated bodies dumped in the rubbish tips. This unit seems to operate with complete impunity, just like the occupying forces. Please read: For Iraq, "The Salvador Option" Becomes Reality (02 June 2005) at http://globalresearch.ca/articles/FUL506A.html

There is a concerted ongoing campaign against Iraqi Academics and Lecturers, of threats, abuse detention and assassinations that started, with the war and occupation of Iraq. For more information about this campaign please refer to: http://www.brusselstribunal.org/Academics.htm and http://www.nodo50.org/iraq/2006/agenda/seminario_docentes.html .

The arrest has taken place in the aftermath of a mass ‘kidnapping’, which was in reality an operation of illegal mass arrest of 150 people from the offices of the ministry of higher Education in Baghdad’s Karadah district, only one kilometer from the fortified Green Zone. While Iraqi government sources claim all the victims have been released, the ex detainees, report torture and even murder of senior academics. For more information on this particular incident please refer to: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/6153316.stm and  Action Needed Over Detention of Iraqi Education Ministry Officials at http://www.brusselstribunal.org/PressRelease221106.htm

We would urge and/or your organization to speak up on behalf of Dr Khafaji. Below are addresses and emails of people you might want to lobby for the release of Dr Hussain al Khafaji.

We demand that Dr Khafaji is given immediate independent legal counsel, as is his right under humanitarian law (including Article 113 of the 4th Geneva Convention) and international human rights law (e.g. Article 14, paragraph 3, section b of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights).

We remind those who hold detainees, that holding detainees in an unsafe location is a violation of Article 85 of the 4th Geneva Convention. We also remind them that Dr Khafaji and his family, have inalienable rights under many relevant instruments of binding international law.

Under International law, the occupiers are obliged to ensure and protect the civilian population's welfare.

Contact info:

Haifa Zangana,

President, Iraqi Committee for National Media and Culture ( ICNMC)

London-UK  - haifa_zangana@yahoo.co.uk  

* The commissioner for Human Rights in the Council of Europe: commissioner@coe.int

* Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights United Nations Office at Geneva, 1211 Geneva 10, SwitzerlandFax: + 41 22 917 9022 E-mail: tb-petitions@ohchr.org

* Kofi Annan the Secretary General of the UN via: http://www.un.org/geninfo/faq/piucontact2.asp

* or send a message to: enquiries@un.org

* Contact Tony Blair via: http://www.number-10.gov.uk/output/page821.asp ⇒

* Dick Cheney : Vice President Richard Cheney: vice_president@whitehouse.gov

* You also have the option of contacting members of the 'puppet government of Iraq'.

 * Iraqi president: Jalal Al Talabani - questions@iraqipresidency.net  Website:http://www.iraqipresidency.net and iraqigov@yahoo.com

* Higher Education Minister: Dr. Abed Thiab Al Aajaili: ministeryofficecitizens@mohesr.gov.iq  or wakeelelmi_wta@mohesr.gov.iq  

* Justice minister : Mr. Hashim Al Shibli : head-minister@iraqi-justice.org

* Interior Minister – Mr. Jawad Al Boulani

* Interior ministry website: http://www.iraq-moi.com/test/index.htm  No email address available, try info@iraq-moi.com

* Iraqi embassies in the UK: Phone: (020) 7581 2264 Fax: (020) 7589 3356 in Paris : paris@emassyiraq.com in Belgium: iraqyia@swing.be

* ICRC delegation P.O. Box 3317 Al Alwiyah post office BAGHDAD Tel.: (+964) 1 718 23 08 Fax: (+873) 600 343 366 In Amman Tel: (+962) 65 523 994 Fax: (+962) 65 523 954 iraq.iqs@icrc.org

The US occupation forces

* General email address: 16thMPBDE@conus.army.mil

* Army Maj. Gen. William Brandenburg Commanding General Taskforce 134 (Detainee Operations) Multi-National Force-Iraq, Baghdad, Iraq

* Army Col. Bill Ivey Deputy Commander Taskforce 134 (Detainee Operations) Multi-National Force-Iraq, Baghdad, Iraq

* Lt. Col. Keir Kevin Curry, Media Spokesperson Taskforce 134(Detainee Operations) Multi-National Force-Iraq, Baghdad, Iraq

* Captain Tracy Giles, Media Spokesperson Taskforce 134?(Detainee Operations) Multi-National Force-Iraq, Baghdad, Iraq WILLIAM.BRANDENBURG@IRAQ.CENTCOM.MIL