News Release

Iraqi Women

A delegation of Iraqi women has recently arrived in the United States. Their visit is timed to coincide with International Women’s Day (March 8).

FAIZA AL-ARAJI
Amnesty International released a new report Monday, “Beyond Abu Ghraib: Detention and Torture in Iraq,” saying: “Thousands of detainees being held by the U.S.-led Multinational Force (MNF) in Iraq are trapped in a system of arbitrary detention that denies them their basic rights. … At the same time, there is increasing evidence of torture of detainees by the Iraqi security forces that the MNF underpins.”

Faiza Al-Araji is a civil engineer, a blogger and a religious Shia with a Sunni husband, She has three children. After one of her sons was recently held by the Ministry of the Interior, the family fled to Jordan. She said today: “After three years of evaluation, I think Iraqis have the right to talk about the evolution of the war, not the American leaders, because we are who are suffering … our kids have been kidnapped, our neighbors have been killed. We lost everything. But what about the leaders? They are sitting in their chairs, and they have the power. And they did nothing for the Iraqi people.”
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EMAN AHMAD KHAMAS
Eman Ahmad Khamas is a human rights advocate who has documented abuses by the U.S. military in Iraq. She is a member of Women’s Will, and is married with two daughters.
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ENTISAR MOHAMMAD ARIABI
A pharmacist at the Yarmook Teaching Hospital in Baghdad, Entisar Mohammad Ariabi has documented the deteriorating health system. She is married with five children.

NADJE AL-ALI
Nadje Al-Ali is a writer/researcher specializing in women in the Middle East. She is a founding member of Act Together: Women’s Action on Iraq and mother of a three-year-old daughter. She is currently living in the UK and working on a book about women in Iraq.
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SOUAD AL-JAZAIRY
Souad Al-Jazairy is a writer, journalist and TV producer. She is active with the Iraqi Women’s League.

MEDEA BENJAMIN
Founder of Code Pink Women for Peace, Benjamin helped organize the delegation of Iraqi women. She said today: “Two of the women who we wanted to bring here were women whose entire families were killed by the U.S. military. … When these women went to apply for their visas, they were denied. When I called the State Department to find out why, [the State Department] said they had no compelling family ties left in Iraq that would ensure that they would return home, so they were at risk of staying in the United States. … So, we killed their families and then denied them the right to come to the United States to tell what the U.S. had done to their families.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167