February 1st, 2012
Dear Senator Kerry,
Here is a translation of the petition on behalf of Palestinian refugees in Iraq. We would like to thank you and thank your aides for expressing an interest in this petition and appeal.
Thaer and Sheila Abdallah
A petition from some Palestinian human rights activists and their supporters protesting the latest attacks by Iraqi government forces from the (Iraqi Ministry of the Interior) at the Palestinian community residences in Al-Baladiyat quarter of Baghdad and appealing for help.
As the Iraqi militias’ persecution against the Palestinian refugees in Iraq subsided after its peaks in 2006 and 2007, the remaining population of the Palestinian refugee community thought it was the end of violence and it would be possible to live again in Iraq with peace and dignity. However, things did not go in that direction, especially after the withdrawal of the American troops. A series of attacks by Iraqi forces (from the Ministry of the Interior) were unleashed against our refugee community in particular those resided at the Al-Baladiyat Quarter in Baghdad. These human rights violation include but are not limited to the following:
1. Arbitrary detentions without court issued warrants.
2. Arbitrary and violent searches of residences.
3. Recurrence of arbitrary and unreasonable crack-downs.
4. Insults and disrespect during each search and attack.
5. Unprecedented incitement and escalation behavior by some Iraqi media outlets.
6. Propaganda and allegations that Palestinians acquire weapons and ammunition to target Iraqi Shiites.
7. Torture of detainees to coerce false confessions.
8. Denigration of detainees before their families and neighbors.
9. Identification of a Palestinian youth corpse showing ruthless signs of torture in a morgue.
The above represents a grave departure from the [international] conventions towards treating Palestinian refugees. While the Iraqi sectarian militias used to use such direct methods of persecution as targeted assassinations, kidnappings as well as mortar attacks against the Palestinian refugee community, the current methods have been perpetrated under the guise of anti-terrorism laws and are being carried out by Iraqi government forces. This is to intimidate and force what remained of the Palestinian refugees to move out of the Al-Baladiyat residential complex into yet another wave of tragic exile.
We, a group of Palestinian activists, notables, academics, media professionals, and supporters, attest to the fact that the Palestinian community in Iraq is naught but a guest welcomed by the Iraqi people. We are not and do not seek to be involved in the political and sectarian affairs of the country. We only look forward to the day when we return to our beloved homeland, Palestine. As such, we request that the government of Iraq abide by its obligation to:
1. Provide full protection for the Palestinian refugee community in Baghdad according to the Geneva Convention.
2. Release all of the Palestinian detainees and/or enable them to have transparent and just trials in court while making public the conditions in which they are detained and treated. Exonerate those acquitted and pay them their due reparations.
3. Stop all kinds of anti-Palestinian incitement and propaganda in the media as well as in the streets.
We also call on the following entities to take part in documenting, relieving, and stopping all kinds of violations against the Palestinian refugee community in Iraq, especially Baghdad.
1. The Palestinian Authority
2. Palestinian, Arab and international media outlets.
3. UNHCR and other humanitarian and human rights organizations.
4. The Arab League
5. All Arab states
6. Everyone who can contribute anything to this petition and appeal.
1. Anwar M. Al-Salboud, former chair of Palestinian Center for Information and Media, Yemen
2. Waleed Mulhim, Palestinian writer and activist, Yemen
3. Muhammad Al-Jumeili, Iraqi journalist, Iraq
4. Ayman Al-Shaaban, researcher and expert on Palestinian refugees in Iraq, Yemen
5. Isam Basheer Muhammad, director of the News Site Without-borders, Ramallah
6. Jamal Nayef Al-Sammak, Palestinian writer and activist, Canada
7. Ahmad Abu Alhayja, Palestinian writer and media professional, LA, USA
8. Khaled Nawaf Abu Alhayja, Palestinian writer, Texas, USA
9. Ammar Al-Hamdan, media professional, Aljazeera Network, Norway
10. Ali Nafid Al-Muruby, Lebanese writer and publisher, France
11. Brigadier-general Tayseer Muhammad Ajeena , Yemen
12. Thaer Abdallah, human rights activist, Boston, USA
13. Bassam Saud Abu Asaba, Palestinian teacher, Yemen
14. Sabah Al Unsy, former member of-Iraqi-Palestinian Workers Union, Perth, Australia
15. Aref Hamad Al- Awayna, chair of Accounting, Almutlaq Company, Saudi Arabia
16. Jalal Fahad Abdullah, former Iraqi Palestinian refugee, Norway
17. Maria Jarinova, student, Perm Russia
18. Yasir Faysal Al-Madhy, Palestinian writer and teacher, Yemen
19. Ahmed Muhammad, former Iraqi Palestinian refugee, Norway
20. Jawad Faysal Jawad, human rights activist, Florida, USA
21. Atiya Khalil, former Iraqi Palestinian refugee, Sweden
22. Muhammad Hamdan, former Iraqi Palestinian refugee, Sweden
23. Firas Faris Abdulmutalab, former Iraqi Palestinian refugee, Davos, Switzerland
24. Ali Abu Zamaq, former Iraqi Palestinian refugee, Denmark
25. Hamza Al-Jayab, former Iraqi Palestinian refugee, Oakland, New Zealand
26. Bassam Al-Qaddoumy, former political activist, Cyprus
27. Wisam Al-Shabah, former Iraqi Palestinian refugee, Cyprus
28. Rasmy Hijazi, Palestinian writer, Holland
29. Bader Maroof Mulhim, former Iraqi Palestinian refugee, Norway
30. Ali Abu Khalifa, student, Sweden
31. Uday Al-Qaroot, former Iraqi Palestinian refugee, Norway
32. Ahmad Mustafa Al-Muqbil, Iraqi Palestinian refugee
33. Ibrahim Al-Gweni, former Iraqi Palestinian refugee, Brazil
34. Sarmad Abdulqadir Al-Sammak, former Iraqi Palestinian refugee, Halifax, Canada
35. Abdul-Kareem Al-Tayeh, former Iraqi Palestinian refugee, USA
36. Luay Isa, Palestinian activist, Sweden
37. Fadi Anwar Al-Salboud, former injured refugee and detainee, Sweden
38. Ahmed Waleed Mulhim, Palestinian media professional, Yemen
39. Izuldeen Al-Asaad, Palestinian writer, Yemen
40. Anas Waleed Mulhim, Palestinian student, Yemen
41. Muhammad Rajih, former Iraqi Palestinian refugee, Sweden
42. Omar Mulhim, Palestinian media profeessional
43. Hisham Musbah Al-Shaban, former Iraqi Palestinian refugee, Italy
44. Muhammad Mahmoud Al-Majeed, former Iraqi Palestinian refugee, Cyprus
P.S. We would like everyone viewing this petition to pass it on to all kinds of media outlets, human rights and relief organizations, Palestinian Authority and factions, as well as social websites and networks.
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