Yanar Mohammed, President and co-founder of the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq (OWFI), released this statement and urgent call to action in response to the thousands of Iraqi children born with serious birth defects caused by the humanitarian crisis created by the US military when they withdrew, and is calling for accountability, reparations and responsibility by the US Government.
Dear Friends in the global women’s movement, human rights groups, and political activists,
Thousands of Iraqi children who are less than 10 years in age have birth defects of the same kinds. Some young Iraqi mothers have more than one disabled child, especially if they live in the hot zones of battles with the US troops, or around the US military bases.
Our fact-finding mission in 2011 found more than 350 children and babies with the same defects in the town of Hawija. After we publicized the news, other Hawija families contacted us, and the number has gone to over 600-disabled children- all limbs are paralyzed and the brains underdeveloped.
Medical reports show a similar number of birth defects in the southern city of Basra, but with an opening in the heart. While more recent statistics show that city as suffering from epidemic numbers of cancer.
We in the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq are in dismay because the US military have dumped all nuclear and chemical material in Iraq, leaving thousands of children in inhumane situations with no life support for them or for their mothers. Neither is the Iraqi government expressing any desire to compensate the victims of contaminated areas in Iraq.
The US invasion ended in 2011 and the military withdrew, leaving big parts of Iraq contaminated, full of humanitarian crises, and moreover, the US administration did not express any regret for having devastated lives of a considerable part of the Iraqi population.
We demand the Right To Heal for the Iraqi people from all the wrongdoings of the US invasion of Iraq. firstname.lastname@example.org
We know that the American people were not supportive of this war, and we heard voices of solidarity and support from freedom loving friends in the US. It is for that reason that we responded to the Call of the Center of Constitutional Rights and the Iraq Veterans of War to raise charges against the US government for their wrongdoings in Iraq and also against the Iraq veterans of war.
The CCR filed the complaint at the Inter American Commission for Human Rights to demand a hearing. We are currently waiting for their response for the complaint and we need to show them that the world supports us in demanding the following:
Please help support our claim at the IACHR and lend us your signature on the petition, which our friends in the IVAW have thankfully prepared on the links listed below.
We need you to stand by us, and if we succeed, it may be one step towards a future with more peace and less wars.
Please do not delay your signature…it will take one minute, but will improve lives of thousands of Iraqi children.
Organization of Women’s freedom in Iraq, president
We need your help:
1) We are asking individuals and organizations to sign on to a letter to the IACHR to demonstrate support for our IACHR hearing request. View the letter below.
2) Please share our recently released short video Demanding the Right to Heal: US Veterans and Iraqis Unite. You can join the conversation on Twitter by using the #RighttoHeal hashtag.
Thank you for supporting the Right to Heal!