At the invitation of Lord Maginnis of Drumglass and Lord Clarke of Hampstead, a conference was held at the Westminster Parliament on 10 June 2014 to discuss the major concerns in Iraq including the situation of human rights, the lack of security, absence of social developments and Iraq’s international obligations.
Participants in the conference included His Eminance Shaikh Dr. Abdulhakim Al Saadi of the Iraqi Muslim Scholars, Mr Sabah Al Mukhtar, President of the Arab Lawyers Association (UK) and Legal Consultant in UK, Dr Isam Al Chalabi, Former Iraqi Oil Minister, Prof. Saad Naji Jawad, Professor of Political Science and visiting professor at LSE, Dr Subhi Toma, Expert on Minorities and Immigrants, His Excellency Sid Ahmed Al Ghozali, former Prime Minister of Algeria, and Messrs Denis Halliday and Hans von Sponeck, former Assistant Secretary Generals at the UN.
The political circumstances in Iraq as well as future prospects and challenges to the development in the country were addressed by the panellists who represented years of legal and international experience at UN level, different Iraqi political movements and religious groups struggling for human rights and democracy in Iraq.
They added that “post US withdrawal, Iran has filled the power vacuum in Iraq. Therefore, the support of Western governments, especially that of the United States for Maliki is shameful and tantamount to participation on the murder and slaughter of innocent Iraqi people.”
While condemning human right abuses and the unprecedented number of executions in Iraq, the Iraqi participants called for an end to US and Russian arms being supplied to Maliki to help him suppress the popular uprising, which Maliki falsely claims is being led by ISIS and Al Qaeda.
In his speech, Lord Maginnis of Drumglass said “... with 1,000 people being killed each month in Iraq and another 4,000 injured, it is very hard to believe that the West's intervention could have produced such chaos. But, it is even more difficult to comprehend, why our Government - why the Western governments in general - are not even talking about it. Is this silence the result of our guilty conscience? Following the West's expedition into Iraq we were led to believe it would produce something worthwhile but sadly it has only produced the very dubious, dangerous and oppressive Al-Maleki, totally in thrall to the Iranian mullahs.”
Sabah Al-Mukhtar said “the 2003 invasion to create “Democracy and Rule of Law” with the aim to make Iraq the model for the Middle East have resulted in a new dictatorship aliened to Iran. Instead of the secular state, Iraq is now a theocratic state where no one is safe and the marriage of nine year old girls or even younger is being legalised … The United States and Iran have come together to give Iraq a new prime minister, possibly a third term for Maliki, violating even the US designed constitution of Iraq and creating a new dictatorship!”
Dr. Shaikh Abdulhakim Al Saadi explained that “claim that what is going on in Iraq is a fight between Shiite and Sunni is not true. Anbar province is the Governorate that fought Al-Qaeda. Anbar had peaceful demonstration for one year now Maliki is requesting US drones and planes to bomb its civilians from the air.”
The prominent Iraqi speakers expressed the hope that both Houses of Parliament would take action to demand accountability and an end to impunity for the crimes committed against the Iraqi people and pressure the Iraqi authorities to end the corruption that puts the country as the fourth from the bottom of the list of Transparency International.
The conference also called on the British government and the FCO to act to ensure that Iraq’s Judiciary be reformed and rid it of bias and political influence by linking relation between the UK and Iraq.
They also urged the FCO to take appropriate measures in the UN and in coordination with its international allies to support the appointment of a Special Human Rights Rappoteur for Iraq and cessation of military support to the Baghdad regime, which Maliki will use to suppress the legitimate demands of the Iraqi people for prosperity, pursue of happiness and the respect of basic rights.