Iraqi Judiciary Opens Hawija Investigation

Sunni MP Mohammed al-Khalidi revealed that the Parliamentary Legal Committee is considering the possibility of submitting the Hawija events to a parliamentary vote to be considered “a massacre.”

Khalidi said in a press conference, attended by Al-Monitor’s correspondent, that the “parliamentary committee on human rights gave the report on the events in Hawija to international organizations to be examined; however it has not yet spoken to international courts competent to judge in crimes of genocide.”

In contrast, a political source said that “the House of Representatives’ report on the events of Hawija included testimonies by MPs who attended negotiations between the Iraqi military and protesters there, in addition to videos taken by Iraqi soldiers while filming the protest square after the attack.”

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said in a statement to Al-Monitor that “the Iraqi judiciary found a lot of information that must be submitted to investigators in the province of Kirkuk in the report.”

YouTube videos — which their owners said had been leaked from soldiers who filmed the protest square after the attack — showed corpses of dead protesters who had been carrying sticks, and others still alive.

It appeared that the videos were recorded with a mobile phone camera belonging to a soldier involved in the attack. One of the videos showed another soldier beating the head of a body lying on the floor with his shoe.

Maysoon al-Damluji, an MP from Ayad Allawi’s Iraqiya bloc, said that it is hard to know what happened in the town of Hawija, except through videos leaked by soldiers to social networking sites.

Damluji explained in her lecture on the freedom of the press in Baghdad, which was attended by Al-Monitor’s correspondent, that “the authorities controlled the information associated with the Hawija incidents, and tried to restrict them to Iraqi journalists.”

In the same town where the attack took place, the residents are prepared to file complaints to the Iraqi judiciary in the province of Kirkuk. Sunni MP Ahmed al-Masari — in a statement over the phone to Al-Monitor’s correspondent — called on the residents to file their complaints with the inquiry commission set up by the prosecution, and warned of any interference by the military or political forces in the work of the judiciary.

Ali Abel Sadah is a Baghdad-based writer for both Iraqi and Arab media. He has been a managing editor for local newspapers as well as a political and cultural reporter for more than 10 years.

Tags: ,
Comments are closed.