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“We need international support”

Den irakiska journalisten Eman Ahmed Khammas intervjuas av den brittiska forskaren Sarah Meyer.

Eman Khamas is a journalist, author and human rights advocate. She is passionate about her work; driven by and dedicated to injustice.

Eman says
With every dead man, woman and child, Iraq is killed anew. The bombing continues to this minute. The US bombs hospitals, and bury the people under the rubble. Schools are bombed and destroyed. Every time, all Iraqi’s rights are violated.

It is criminal to kill thousands of people because there are a few individual criminals. Almost 300,000 Iraqis have been killed in the last 3 years. 1,400 Iraqi civilians were killed in the last month.

Students cannot go to school. Professors cannot go to school. Many girls do not go to school. It is dangerous for girls. The roads are closed, or there is a curfew, or bombs, or suicide bombing. People have to walk for miles to get to their school. For some, it is a two-hour, dangerous walk ... We had a demonstration under the window of the dean of a university. He wouldn’t look out the window …

We have never had this phenomena in the past – only since the occupation. 224 (health professionals) have been killed. 1000 are in exile. The only thing these people have in common is that they are Iraqi and intellectual. If they are in jail, they are tortured, released, and then they disappear … People are assassinated by Americans and insurgents.
We don’t know who they are. There are lists on the wall of people who are going to be killed – so these people leave Iraq. They are afraid of retaliation. People are threatened either by being accused by the occupation or by those who are giving information to the occupation. If one talks about the occupation, one is fired. It is dangerous to talk about the occupation.

The United States and the United Kingdom have programmes. There is collaboration. They are only interested in scientists with certain qualifications. They want to ensure those scientists stay in the country, and not to go to the ‘Axis of Evil’ countries. They say, ‘come attend a workshop in Jordan,’ for example. There are ‘trainers.’
They might organise something for environmental health, for example, in Oman.

There is no information from any institution. They are not allowed to give information to journalists …

What is the future of Iraq under occupation?
The killing is done by the militias – political militias, using the religious emotions of the Iraqi people to gain power. The US know they can do this and get away with it. There are no official Iraqi investigations. The people in government are behind this killing …

What about the families of those who have been assassinated?
Displacement, too, is a problem because of the bombing and fear. These people need everything. They cannot wait. They need help NOW. There are widows, orphans. They have no financial help. Their husbands have been killed or are in jail. There are homeless families, living in tents or in unsafe structures. There is a problem with a shortage of medicines. The US apologises for bombing hospitals, but this means nothing.

We need to work to educate people. It is the right of any people to resist occupation. Iraqis have resisted because of the killing of civilians – the bombing of cities. Mainstream Media does not understand the urgency …
The US and Mainstream Media concentrate on political success, elections, democracy.
All of this is irrelevant to the Iraqi people.

The occupation is responsible for everything that happens. What happens are the symptoms. The occupation is the disease. The occupation works on division. The issue they are working on now is civil war. We have never had civil war in our history. Because the occupation is in Iraq, there is violence. The US says that Iraqis are not capable. This is a lie. There are many Iraqis who are capable, given a chance.

We need international support for the Iraqi intellectuals …
I have a recommendation … to call for Spanish universities and then to the International Federation of World Universities and the Association of Arab Universities, and ask them to raise the issue in regular meetings … Scientists are national treasures.

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