dubiz mass grave

 گۆری بە کۆمەلی قەزای دبس – کرکوک  روفاتی ( 104   )   منالی کورد و دوو ئافرەتی تێدا دۆزرایەوە ،دەگەرێتەوە بۆ شالاوەکانی ئەنفال کە رژێمی بەعسی دەرهەق بە گەلی کورد ئەنجامی دا کە زیاتر لە   (  180000)  کەسی بێ سەر وشوێن کرد و ( 4000 ) گوندی خاۆور و وێرانکرد و لەگەل زەوی راست کران ، روفاتەکانی ئەم گۆرە بە کۆمەلە گواسترانەوە بۆ مۆنۆمێنتی چەمچەمال و بە خاک سپێردران .

Three mass graves were discovered in the sub district of Dubiz in Kirkuk, the remains of 104 Kurdish children and two women from a mass grave,The remains of these anfaled victims discovered recently in a mass grave ,These are the victims of Anfal Campaigns waged by Saddam Hussein on 1980s against Kurds. It is estimated that 180,000 Kurdish men, women and children abducted during anfal campaigns and buried alive

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Topzawa Mass grave

Topzawa Mass grave
Topzawa Popular Army camp which was the first holding centre during Anfal where they gathered the Anfals before the men, women and elderly were separated from each other and [women and children] were sent to Dibs, [the elderly to] Nugra Salman and [the men and some families were sent] to the mass graves. The remains of 34 Kurds killed in a military campaign in the 1991.
تۆبزاوە
سەربازگەی تۆبزاوە دەكەوێتە 15 كیلۆمەتری باشووری رۆئاوای كەركووك و لە پرۆسەكانی ئەنفالدا رێژیمی پێشوو كردبوویە گرتیگەیەكی گەورە و خەڵكی سڤیلی تێدا كۆ كردبووەوە و هەر گرتییەك لەوێ بمردایە، لە گۆڕەپانی سەربازگەكەدا دەنێژرا، ئەم گۆرە بەكۆمەڵە لە ئەیلوول/سێپتێمبەری 2009دا لەلایەن پسپۆڕانەوە هەڵ درایەوە و دەركەوت پرووسكی دەیان كەسی تێدایە لە سێ گۆری بە کۆمەل کە ٣٤ روفاتی تێدابوو کە لە فەرمانگەی توب عەدلی کەرکوک هەلگیراون ..
بۆ بەرز ڕاگرتن و یادكردنەوەی ئەم قوربانییانە،وابریارە کە مۆنۆمێنتێكیش دروست بكرێ لەم ناوچەیە.

Mass Grave Sites in iraq

Mass graves in Iraq are characterized as unmarked sites containing at least six bodies,Most of the graves discovered to date correspond to one of five major atrocities perpetrated by the regime,about 85% of the mass graves in Iraq contain Iraqi Kurds, who were killed in a genocidal act just because of their ethnicity.

 Ministry of Martyrs and Anfal affairs

Red label: the mass graves of Kurds
Mark Green: Mass Graves of the Arabs
Blue Label: mass graves mixed

Digital-Image Management at Mass Gravesites

Written by Kristi Mayo

SKELETONIZED REMAINS that were carefully unearthed from the desert sands of Iraq tell their own story: the bones of an adult, still dressed in a woman’s apparel, lie supine. The skull is perforated by a bullet hole. Tucked in the space between the ribs and the left humerus is a much smaller skeleton, bones in the skull un-fused, and the fully clothed body partially swaddled in a blanket.

Digital-Image Management at Mass Gravesites

Digital-Image Management at Mass Gravesites

All around this pair lie other human remains, piled one on top of the other. Some are blindfolded, others have their hands bound. They have been excavated from one of the documented mass graves in the Iraqi desert, the result of Saddam Hussein’s attempt to wipe out the Kurdish people during the 1980s and 1990s

Collecting evidence of genocide

Collecting evidence of genocide

 

In the fall of 2004, the Mass Graves Investigation Team (MGIT)—a group of archaeologists, anthropologists, and other forensic experts—came together under the leadership of Dr. Michael K. Trimble of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Their mission was to recover evidence of genocide—evidence that would subsequently be used by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Regime Crimes Liaison Office (RCLO) in the trials against Hussein and other members of the former Iraqi regime.

Before beginning this historic project, the team leaders realized the importance of the evidence that they would be recovering and handling. All of the human remains, cultural objects, and other associated evidence—plus the actual exhumation, processing, and chain of custody of that evidence—would need to be thoroughly documented with photographs. There were multiple questions confronting the team leaders: How would they capture those images? How should they protect the integrity of those images? How could they organize them in such a way that they could be presented in trial?

Digital photography appeared to be the obvious solution to the team’s immediate needs, but concerns still existed about the ability to defend the integrity of the digital images in court. So Trimble made a phone call to an expert who had spent his career defend-ing the technology of digital imaging, David Knoerlein

mass grave

mass grave

As the team unearthed human remains from mass graves in Iraq, each body was assigned its own case number. Back at the laboratory, anthropologists and other experts worked side-by-side with photographers to capture precise images of the remains, showing trauma and other significant features. All of the images—including digital x-rays—were then loaded into a secure database, where notes, codes, and keywords could be assigned to aid in sifting through more than 90,000 different photos.

As the team unearthed human remains from mass graves in Iraq, each body was assigned its own case number. Back at the laboratory, anthropologists and other experts worked side-by-side with photographers to capture precise images of the remains, showing trauma and other significant features. All of the images—including digital x-rays—were then loaded into a secure database, where notes, codes, and keywords could be assigned to aid in sifting through more than 90,000 different photos.

The mission of a lifetime

During the time he spent working as the forensic analyst in the digital-imaging lab at Broward County (Florida) Sheriff’s Office, Knoerlein had the opportunity to defend digital-image enhancement in important cases such as State of Florida v. Victor Reyes (see ETM, July-August 2003, Vol. 1, No. 2). His reputation as an expert in the field led Trimble to call Knoerlein in 2004 and ask him to serve as the imaging systems manager for the Mass Graves Investigation Team.

When he received that phone call, Knoerlein was initially hesitant to take leave from his job at the sheriff’s office to photograph mass graves in a war zone. But then his wife encouraged him by describing it as the chance of a lifetime. “Not everyone gets the chance of a lifetime,” she told him, “and those who do, don’t always take it.”

“That was the phrase that got me going,” said Knoerlein. “Through most of my career, I had been one of the people fighting for the acceptance of digital imaging in law enforcement in the United States, and here I would have a chance to do the same thing in a world court. This was the big show. I figured if I could create an all-digital system that could withstand the challenges in a world court, then we could bring it back home and we shouldn’t have any problem with the court system in the United States accepting it.”

Tough conditions

Before leaving home, Knoerlein had a lot of work to do, including making equipment lists and establishing the digital-imaging guidelines and procedures that the team would follow. He said establishing standard operating procedures (SOPs) was probably the most important part of his preparation.

“I explained to the people in charge that the only way this would work was if I created a system that I could monitor—and then everyone involved would need to be trained on how to use that system,” said Knoerlein. “We would write up the SOPs, and each individual involved in digital imaging would need to follow those SOPs specifically. If they didn’t, then it could discredit the entire operation.”

A perpendicular image was taken of each body in situ using a camera mounted on a long pole. A heads-up display connected by a long cable to the camera allowed the photographer to precisely position the camera over-head. Meanwhile, the forensic-mapping team plotted the coordinates of each body, producing a map to show its position in the mass grave

A perpendicular image was taken of each body in situ using a camera mounted on a long pole. A heads-up display connected by a long cable to the camera allowed the photographer to precisely position the camera over-head. Meanwhile, the forensic-mapping team plotted the coordinates of each body, producing a map to show its position in the mass grave

Upon arriving in Iraq for the first of seven trips he would make over a period of three years, Knoerlein quickly realized that no amount of preparation guarantees smooth operation in a war zone. Equipment trickled into the base camp, one small shipment at a time—if it made it there at all. Some of the equipment was stolen or blown up in a landmine incident.

The first mission was the most difficult, said Knoerlein, due to the lack of resources and situations that forced some improvisation and revisions to the SOPs. But it served as an important learning experience that paved the way for the following missions to run much smoother. The subsequent missions were also easier because the team moved to a permanent location on a military base in Baghdad—an eight-tent laboratory facility that they named the Forensic Analysis Facility (FAF).

Complicated database of images

By the time the team was on its second mission, the digital-imaging workflow had been well established. A careful understanding—and precise execution —of the SOPs by every member of the team was key, because the digital-imaging lab became a sort of hub for the entire operation.

“Almost every expert—whether it was an anthropologist or a cultural-objects analyst or a document archivist
—dealt with digital imaging in the course of their work,” said Knoerlein. “All of those images had to be put into the database.”

That database began as a commercially available version of software—created by DataWorks Plus—that was intended for law-enforcement applications. The program was tailored over time by Knoerlein, working with the DataWorks Plus technicians, to meet the specific needs of the operation. This was a secure database that preserved the images in their original, unaltered format. It also helped organize the images by allowing the digital-imaging team to catalog the images, add notes, and assign multiple codes to each—codes that made it much easier to search for specific types of images in the ever-growing database.

“In the database, first you would have the mass-grave number that was assigned to that particular location and province. Then, each set of remains was assigned an individual case number,” Knoerlein explained.

Anything associated with that set of remains—such as clothing, jewelry, documents, or other cultural objects—was filed under that case number. Then, the team established a list of codes that could be assigned to note the significant elements that were shown in each photograph. For example, an image showing detail of trauma to a bone would list a trauma number, such as Trauma 1 or Trauma 4, depending on the severity of the injury. There was a different code for each part of the anat-omy, as well. Multiple codes could be assigned to a single image.

Adding this search function was critical when image-driven reports, consisting of thousands of pages, were compiled for presentation in court.

“As the archaeologists were writing their reports, they would get on the radio and call me and ask for Evidence Number XYZ, Image Number 000, and I was able to pull up the image, put it on a CD or a thumb drive, run it over to them, and they could insert it right into the report.”

Digital-imaging workflow

Adding the images to the database was one of the final steps in the process. Some of the most important SOPs established for this project dictated how the images were taken, what kinds of images were captured, and how they were handled before they were even uploaded to the database.

Images that were captured at the dig site and, later, in the laboratory, were categorized into one of two groups: reference images and detail images.

Reference images were shot in a lower-quality, compressed format, such as a JPEG. They included overall shots taken at the dig site; perpendicular shots of individual remains in situ (in place) at the gravesite; full-skeletal layout photographs taken in the laboratory; and images of each item of clothing and cultural objects after they were cleaned at the laboratory.

Detail images were shot as uncompressed TIFFs. These images, taken with a scale in place next to the object, showed important details of evidence, such as trauma to a bone or imperfections caused by projectiles in clothing. The high resolution of these detail images was intended to allow for further analysis by experts if necessary.

As these images were captured in the field or in the laboratory, the photographer was required to keep a written photo log. This included notes about the subject of each image. It was critical that the photographer account for every image, and that no images be deleted from the camera’s memory card.

Mannequins—both adult- and child-sized—were dressed in clothing that was recovered from the bodies in the mass graves. Images of these displays made a dramatic impression when presented in court

Mannequins—both adult- and child-sized—were dressed in clothing that was recovered from the bodies in the mass graves. Images of these displays made a dramatic impression when presented in court

“There was absolutely no deleting allowed, anywhere,” said Knoerlein. “No one deleted a bad shot, or even a picture of their foot. That stayed in and was actually recorded in the log as: Picture of foot. Accident.”

At the end of each day, the photographer working in the field uploaded the images from the camera’s memory card to a laptop, and then burned a CD of the original, unaltered images. This CD would be packaged with the day’s photo log. When the photographer returned from the field to the project’s image-management database, he would load the images into the database along with his field notes.

Thousands of pages of image-driven reports were generated for each set of remains recovered. Organizing the images in the database made the compilation of these reports much easier

Thousands of pages of image-driven reports were generated for each set of remains recovered. Organizing the images in the database made the compilation of these reports much easier

At the FAF, team members responsible for capturing images throughout the day’s work would deliver to the imaging-systems manager a job folder containing the memory card, the photo log, and other associated materials such as CDs. With the help of an assistant, this data was loaded into the database.

As images were acquired into the database, the original, unaltered, full-resolution image was automatically off-loaded by the DataWorks Plus soft-ware onto a separate hard drive, while two new copies of each image were generated in the database: (1) a low-resolution thumbnail and (2) a higher-resolution JPEG. The hard drives where the unaltered originals were stored were then cloned several times to serve as redundant backups.

“We ended up with about a dozen 250-gigabyte hard drives, and we would make two or three copies of each hard drive,” said Knoerlein. As the project got into full swing, digital images were being delivered at the end of the day from a multitude of sources:
“For one set of remains at one site, you would have images taken at the site of that set of remains; the skeletal-layout shot taken by the anthropologist; the detailed images of the skull or bones; the clothing; digital x-rays; and digital scans of film x-rays for anything bigger than a skull,” listed Knoerlein.

“In the meantime, the mapping team would be working in their tent, using their data to put together map images. The map image showing the location of that one set of remains in the gravesite would need to be added to the digital database, as well.

“At the same time, if they recovered documents, those needed to be photo-graphed before and after they were cleaned. Then I would perform a high-resolution scan and perform enhancements—so the full-resolution scan and the enhanced image would be included in the database.

“We also had all the images coming in from the intake tent and the archive tent, where photographs were taken to document chain of custody any time a packaged piece of evidence was sealed or unsealed.”

SOPs spelled success

Providing guidance to all of the people involved in the creation of digital images for this project was the biggest challenge for Knoerlein. “The most important thing I did was create procedures and policies and SOPs that were strictly adhered to,” said Knoerlein. “I set up the procedures based on talking with everybody involved in the project. And then we refined them as the team got better at it.”

In the end, photographs of evidence collected during the operation were presented in trial, both in a PowerPoint presentation and as reports consisting of thousands of pages. And no one questioned the validity of those images.

“It is not a new idea to tell people in the U.S. that if they’re going to use digital, they need to have procedures in place,” Knoerlein said. “This project just proved that. When our images went to court, we did not get challenged.”

The 90,000 images in the team’s database helped complete the story of the genocide in northern Iraq:

At one site, more than 100 people were herded into a pit and fired upon. A total of 123 bodies were recovered and processed by the team at that site. There were more remains, but only a certain percentage of the total number in that gravesite were exhumed. Of the 123 victims, none were males, 25 were adult females, and 98 were children. Many showed trauma to the hands or arms, signs that they tried to protect their faces from the bullets. Forensic-mapping images show where the victims stood, where their assailants stood, and where the cartridge cases fell.

The cultural-objects analysts dressed the mannequins in the victims’ clothing and photographed them. Today, these images can bring the victims’ tattered shirts and dresses to life.

In court, Trimble showed one image of a mannequin dressed in a pregnant victim’s clothes. “Trimble said there were tears in the eyes of the judges when he presented that particular image,” said Knoerlein. “The images were very dramatic.”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED:
“90,000 Images,” written by Kristi Mayo
May-June 2008 (Volume 6, Number 3)
Evidence Technology Magazine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mass grave with 900 corpses found in Iraq

Mass grave with 900 corpses found in Iraq

Mass grave with 900 corpses found in Iraq

(AFP) – Jul 6, 2011

Mass grave with 900 corpses found in Iraq

Mass grave with 900 corpses found in Iraq

DIWANIYAH, Iraq — Iraqi authorities uncovered a mass grave with 900 corpses near the central city of Diwaniyah on Wednesday, believed to be Kurds killed during the rule of ousted dictator Saddam Hussein, an official said.

The corpses were found in the Shanafiya region, 70 kilometres (45 miles) west of Diwaniyah.

“The corpses were buried in a trench. There were 900 bodies,” said Dakhil Saihoud, provincial head of the Justice and Accountability Commission which investigates issues related to Saddam’s regime.

“Initial indications show the remains are those of Kurds. They were transferred to laboratories in the city of Najaf to help in identification,” Saihoud said. He said the corpses apparently dated back to the 1980s.

Last April, authorities said they had found another mass grave in Anbar province of western Iraq containing the bodies of more than 800 people, including women and children, executed during Saddam’s regime.

During Iraq’s 1980-1988 war with Iran, deserters were executed and the Sunni Arab dictator intensified a crackdown on Shiites suspected of sympathising with Iraq’s predominantly Shiite neighbour.

Kurds were persecuted because they were the main opposition to Saddam.

The number of people missing as a result of atrocities committed by Saddam, who came to power in 1979, is estimated at anywhere between 300,000 and 1.3 million, according to various sources.

Human rights groups believe there are hundreds of mass graves in Iraq of people killed during Saddam’s rule.

Shortly after the 2003 invasion, the US-led coalition said there were 263 mass reported graves of people executed in Iraq under Saddam, including 40 containing evidence of systematic killings.

Mass Graves, Saddam Hussein’s Legacy In Iraq

Identification papers (L) of a baby Kurdish girl found at a mass grave site  Faded ID papers of a Kurdish man (R) killed in the Anfal campaign. Photo

Identification papers (L) of a baby Kurdish girl found at a mass grave site Faded ID papers of a Kurdish man (R) killed in the Anfal campaign. Photo: (Evidence Technology Magazine).

Saddam Hussein ruled Iraq through a carrot and stick approach. With various groups within the country he would offer positions within the government, development funds, and conduct personal visits to their communities. On the other hand, he had a vast array of security agencies that would detain, interrogate, torture, and kill anyone that was considered a rival or threat to his regime. In the 1980s and 1990s, Kurdish parties in the north and young Shiites in the south challenged Saddam’s authority and were met with his fist. Tens of thousands were killed, many having “disappeared” after being picked up by Saddam’s forces. Many of the regime’s victims were dumped in dozens of mass graves spread throughout Iraq. After the U.S. invasion in 2003, both the Americans and the Iraqis made a concerted effort to find these sites, and detail the crimes contained within them. This history has left a lasting legacy. Many of today’s politicians had to flee in the face of threats by Saddam or lost friends and family members. It has also created a sense of victimization and mistrust, which makes it hard for Iraq’s parties to agree upon many things. Iraq’s mass graves are Saddam’s living legacy within the country.

The Kurds were a prime target of Saddam’s repression. During the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s, the two leading Kurdish parties, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) of current Kurdish President Massoud Barzani and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) led by today’s president of Iraq Jalal Talabani fought on the Iranian side. At the beginning of the war, the KDP had closer relations with Tehran, and immediately aligned with them in the conflict. The PUK was threatened by the benefits Barzani was gaining from this relationship, and decided to open talks with Baghdad. This provided a perfect chance for Saddam to play his divide and conquer strategies. At the same time, he decided to retaliate against the KDP.

In early 1983, the KDP and Iranian forces led an offensive in northern Iraq. In response, Saddam ordered the round up of the Barzani clan in August. Around 8,000 men and boys, some as young as eight years old, were arrested by the security forces in Erbil. Massoud Barzani lost 37 families members as a result. They were then sent to Nugra Salman prison in Muthanna province, southern Iraq where some died of hunger or torture. The survivors were relocated to more remote locations further south where special execution squads killed them in the desert. After 2003, 512 Barzani men were found in a mass grave by the Kuwait and Saudi border. When talks went nowhere with Baghdad, the PUK joined the Iranian side as well. As the war was winding down in 1988, Saddam decided to destroy all the KDP and PUK cadre in northern Iraq with the Anfal campaign. The offensive was broken up into six parts lasting from February to September, and included artillery, bombing, and troop assaults, supported by the use of chemical weapons. The survivors were rounded up and sent to special prison camps created for them. These were spread out between Duhok, Sulaimaniyah, Ninewa, Tamim, Salahaddin, Diyala, and Muthanna governorates. There, hundreds were executed. By the end of it, the Anfal campaign had broken the back of the Kurdish resistance. The PUK and KDP bases had been rolled up, and thousands were forced into Iran and Turkey as refugees. The regime had shown its ruthlessness, and the length it was willing to go to destroy its opponents.

Bones of a Kurdish victim of the Anfal campaign unearthed in 2003 in Hatra, Ninewa. Photo: Science Photo Library

Bones of a Kurdish victim of the Anfal campaign unearthed in 2003 in Hatra, Ninewa. Photo: Science Photo Library

In the next decade, after the 1991 Gulf War came to an end, returning soldiers and young men took up the gun against Saddam. The precursors were a radio station set up by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Saudi Arabia that called for Iraqis to revolt against the government, and a message by President George Bush broadcast in February saying that Saddam should be overthrown. In March, soldiers straggling back from the frontlines decided to start an uprising in Basra. That quickly spread to other southern cities such as Najaf, Kufa, Karbala, Diwaniya, Hillah, Amarah, Nasiriyah, Kut, Samawa, Zubayr, Kumait, and Qalat Saleh. This became known as the 1991 Shiite Uprising. The leading Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Sayid Abu al-Qasim al-Khoei even gave his approval. Within a few days,http://www.ekurd.net Saddam responded by sending in the Republican Guards, which had largely escaped the Gulf War. In Basra, the security forces shelled the city, and went from house to house taking away any young men they found. The revolt didn’t have a chance, because it was unorganized, had no outside support, and did not have the arms to counter the government. Within a few days the whole thing was over. Some stragglers fled into the southern marshes, where Saddam would later carry out a campaign of destroying the echo system there to root out the rebels. The uprising put a scare into the regime, but it had weathered through, and exacted its revenge upon all those that had opposed it. Like in Kurdistan during the Anfal campaign, thousands of young Iraqis went missing after 1991, taken to various locations throughout southern Iraq where they were executed.

No one knew or was willing to talk about where all the victims of the Anfal campaign and the 1991 Uprising were until after the fall of Saddam in 2003. As soon as he was overthrown, reports began to emerge of mass graves. By 2004, 270 sites were allegedly found, and out of those, 53 were confirmed. The Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) set up a special investigative team to find, categorize, and document each place. There were estimates that 50,000-180,000 Kurds died in the Anfal campaign, and 100,000-180,000 Shiites were killed in the 1991 Uprising. By 2005, graves were found in Mahawil in Babil, Hatra in Ninewa, and one near Samawa in Muthanna with around 10,000-15,000 bodies in them. In Mahawil, 200-300 people were discovered, thought to be from the Shiite Uprising. It appeared that groups of men were shot in the back of the head. At the site near Samawa, almost all the victims were Kurdish women and children who were gunned down by AK-47s.

The work of the CPA team went on to help convict Saddam Hussein for crimes against humanity. There are so many of these killing fields that they are still turning up to this day. In March 2011, Kurdish peshmerga found trenches south of Kirkuk with around 2,300 people in them. In July, another 1,100 bodies turned up in a mass grave near Shanafiya, Qadisiya. In June 2012, a ceremony was held for 730 of them in Chamchamal, Sulaimaniyah that was attended by President Barzani. Each of these sites attests to the brutality of the former regime. Saddam used an iron first to maintain his hold upon the country. His actions left a deep scar, which is still felt today. There are thousands of people in Iraq that lost their family members and friends in the 1980s and 1990s. Many of them were never seen after the security forces took them away, and they ended up in these mass graves. The process of identifying all the bodies has been slow, and will probably never be complete. That means the hole in the lives of the survivors will never be filled as they do not know what ultimately became of their loved ones.

The history of Saddam Hussein created widespread mistrust amongst the public. Today’s politicians share many of those feelings, and have also exploited them for their own personal gains. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for instance, fled Iraq in 1979 fearing assassination by the government. Kurdish President Barzani lost thousands of members of his clan, and immediate family. Moqtada al-Sadr’s father and brothers were murdered by the regime. It’s those fears of Saddam’s legacy that allows the government to round up suspected Baathists and use the deBaathification laws to ban people from politics or public sector jobs. It’s the reason why the leading Shiite and Kurdish parties would never allow a Sunni to become prime minister again out of the suspicion that they could bring back the Baath Party. It’s the reason why politicians like Iyad Allawi and Deputy Premier Saleh al-Mutlaq are held into question by others such as Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, because both were former Baathists, and the latter has even praised the message of the party, while condemning its excesses.

The mass graves themselves have even been hurled about in disputes to condemn political rivals. Iraq is unlikely to overcome these fissures and move on until this generation of leaders passes. Their past still lives deep within them, and shapes how their interact with other elites to this day. This often times hampers compromises, and moving ahead with important issues. Instead of addressing them, they are being pushed down the road. This is what happens in many post-conflict countries, especially ones like Iraq that suffered through decades of brutal dictatorship.

SOURCES

Agence France Presse, “Iraq unearths mass grave of 900 bodies,” 7/6/11
Associated Press, “Expert: 300,000 in Iraq’s Mass Graves,” 11/8/03
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor and Bureau of Public Affairs, “Mass Graves of Iraq: Uncovering Atrocities,” U.S. State Department, 12/19/03
Burns, John, “Uncovering Iraq’s Horrors in Desert Graves,” New York Times, 6/5/06
Johns, Dave, “1983 The Missing Barzanis,” PBS Frontline, 1/24/06
Knickmeyer, Ellen, “113 Kurds Are Found In Mass Grave,” Washington Post, 4/30/05
McEvers, Kelly, “Mass Grave Discovery In Iraq Could Fuel Divisions,” NPR, 4/20/11
Moon, Ban Ki, “Second report of the Secretary-General pursuant to paragraph 6 of resolution 1936 (2010),” United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, 3/31/11
Sackur, Stephen, “In Saddam’s killing fields,” BBC, 5/14/03
Satkunanandan, Shyamali, “Tears, Grief and Waiting at Chamchamal Burial Ceremony,” Rudaw, 6/1/12
Tripp, Charles, A History of Iraq, Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, New York, Melbourne, Madrid, Cape Town, Singapore, Sao Paulo, Delhi, 2008
U.S. Agency for International Development, “Iraq’s Legacy of Terror Mass Graves,” 2004
UNAMI Human Rights Office and Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, “Report on Human Rights in Iraq: 2011,” May 2012

Joel Wing, with an MA in International Relations, Joel Wing has been researching and writing about Iraq since 2002. His acclaimed blog, Musings on Iraq, is currently listed by the New York Times and the World Politics Review. In addition, Mr. Wing’s work has been cited by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Guardian and the Washington Independent. You may visit his Blog Musings On Iraq at musingsoniraq.blogspot.com

Copyright © 2012 ekurd.net  

 

Another Mass Grave found in IRAQ

YET ANOTHER Sad FACT has come out about the HORRORS of the SADDAM Era in IRAQ ..

In a Mass Grave Site just south of Baghdad ..
(at least 222 Bodies found on this site)
it is suspected that these were KURDISH peoples ..
Murdered Under IRAQ’s Saddam Regime around 1987.

Additionally ..
In yet ANOTHER Mass Grave Site, near Diwaniyah
(Shanafiyah region)
(around 900 Bodies found on this site)

MOST VICTIMS have Bullet wounds ..

Even more Horrifying ..
You have to realize that they are unsure of the number of Death Trenches are at the sites ..

Iraq’s Human Rights Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani had this to say ..
— “The mass graves are crimes against humanity committed in 1987,”
— “This is one of 84 sites listed at our ministry, and we have completed work on 34 of them,”
— WOMEN and CHILDREN are amongst the Victims in these trenches ..

The estimates of those MURDERED during Saddam’s Regime vary widely ..
300,000 Victims .. 1,300,000 Victims .. more?

Additionally .. the Estimates of NUMBERS of Mass Grave Sites also vary ..
— US Coalition made estimate of 263 Sites ..
— Human Rights Organizations state Hundreds ..
— Iraq’s Human Rights Department has 84 Sites listed ..

YET ANOTHER Sad FACT has come out about the HORRORS of the SADDAM Era in IRAQ ..

In a Mass Grave Site just south of Baghdad ..
(at least 222 Bodies found on this site)
it is suspected that these were KURDISH peoples ..
Murdered Under IRAQ’s Saddam Regime around 1987.

Additionally ..
In yet ANOTHER Mass Grave Site, near Diwaniyah
(Shanafiyah region)
(around 900 Bodies found on this site)

MOST VICTIMS have Bullet wounds ..

Even more Horrifying ..
You have to realize that they are unsure of the number of Death Trenches are at the sites ..

Iraq’s Human Rights Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani had this to say ..
— “The mass graves are crimes against humanity committed in 1987,”
— “This is one of 84 sites listed at our ministry, and we have completed work on 34 of them,”
— WOMEN and CHILDREN are amongst the Victims in these trenches ..

The estimates of those MURDERED during Saddam’s Regime vary widely ..
300,000 Victims .. 1,300,000 Victims .. more?

Additionally .. the Estimates of NUMBERS of Mass Grave Sites also vary ..
— US Coalition made estimate of 263 Sites ..
— Human Rights Organizations state Hundreds ..
— Iraq’s Human Rights Department has 84 Sites listed ..

Mass grave with 222 bodies found in Iraq

   	  Mass grave with 222 bodies found in Iraq


Mass grave with 222 bodies found in Iraq

SHANAFIYAH, Iraq: The remains of 222 people, probably Kurds killed under Iraq’s former regime in 1987, were extracted from a mass grave south of Baghdad, the authorities said on Sunday.

“We have found 222 bodies and we have transferred them to the morgue in the province of Najaf,” said Karim Ziad, the official in charge of mass graves at the Department of Human Rights.

Iraqi authorities announced on Wednesday they had discovered another mass grave with 900 corpses in the Shanafiyah region near the city of Diwaniyah.

Ziad said several factors suggested that the victims, most with bullet wounds, were Kurds killed during the regime of ousted dictator Saddam Hussein.

“The mass graves are made up of six trenches, and we have done (work) on only three of them,” he said, suggesting the number of victims could be much higher.

Dakhil Saihoud, provincial head of the Justice and Accountability Commission which investigates issues relating to the former regime, said he was informed there were 17 trenches at the site.

“It is possible there are hundreds of bodies in there,” he told AFP.

“The mass graves are crimes against humanity committed in 1987,” said Human Rights Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani. “This is one of 84 sites listed at our ministry, and we have completed work on 34 of them,” he said.

Widad Hatem, director of the Committee for Human Rights in Diwaniyah’s provincial council, said women and children were among the victims.

Maghoul Abdullah, an old man of more than 90, said he remembered people being rounded up in town.

“The security forces of the old regime evacuated the area and forced us to leave the place. After a few days, large trucks took away people at night, and we even clearly heard their cries,” he said.

During Iraq’s 1980-1988 war with Iran, deserters were executed and the Sunni Arab dictator intensified a crackdown on Shiites suspected of sympathising with Iraq’s predominantly Shiite neighbour.

Kurds were persecuted because they were the main opposition to Saddam.

The number of people missing as a result of atrocities committed by Saddam, who came to power in 1979, is estimated at anywhere between 300,000 and 1.3 million, according to various sources.

Human rights groups believe there are hundreds of mass graves in Iraq of people killed during Saddam’s rule.

Shortly after the 2003 invasion, the US-led coalition said there were 263 mass reported graves of people executed in Iraq under Saddam, including 40 containing evidence of systematic killings.

Hundreds more found in mass grave

Aram Ahmed Muhammad, Kurdistan Regional Government's Minister of Martyrs and Anfal Affairs, attends a press conference in Erbil.

Aram Ahmed Muhammad, Kurdistan Regional Government’s Minister of Martyrs and Anfal Affairs, attends a press conference in Erbil.

Ministry putting together expert teams

Excavations continue of mass graves of Kurds buried in Iraq’s southern desert during Saddam Hussein’s era. The remains are examined to find the identity of the bodies and are brought back to Kurdistan for reburial, said the Kurdish minister of Martyrs and Anfal Affairs

The remains reportedly belong to Kurds who were taken from Kurdistan villages as part of the Anfal operations in 1988. The operation, carried out by the Iraqi Baath regime, took the lives of more than 100,000 Kurds and destroyed more than 4,000 villages in an attempt to crack down on Kurdish revolutionary movements during that period.

The remains of 105 people were returned to Kurdistan, announced Aram Ahmed Muhammad, the Kurdistan Regional Government?s Minister of Martyrs and Anfal Affairs. This is the second group of bodies transported from mass graves found in Diwaniya Province, at a location called Mahari near Shinafiya. The first group of 100 bodies was returned in August.

Samples for medical tests were taken from 212 bodies. Another 285 bodies were recently unearthed and will be transported to Erbil. The excavation process continues with teams from the Iraqi Ministry of Human Rights and KRG Ministry of Martyrs and Anfal Affairs, but there?s no official estimate for the number of bodies in Mahari?s mass graves.

Muhammad also announced that his ministry is working to build a team of specialists to find mass graves. The team of 25 will be trained by American organization, the International Commission on Missing Persons.

The minister said that expert teams are needed for excavating mass graves, particularly those with chemical residues. A number of mass graves remain untouched in Halabja because of a lack of trained teams, said the minister. The ministry is in contact with a British company that will visit Halabja?s mass graves, which require trained teams and specialized equipment because “the bodies are chemically affected.”

The ministry hasn?t yet set a date for reburying the bodies in Kurdistan, said ministry spokesman Fuad Osman. More mass graves are yet to be unearthed in Mahari and more are expected to be discovered, he added.