Cable details killing, coverup of family with small children by MNF in Iraq

Cable details killing, coverup of family with small children by MNF in Iraq

September 1st, 2011 // 10:21 pm @

The following U.S. diplomatic cable describes the execution and coverup of a family in a town about 100km north of Baghdad, Iraq on March 15, 2006. The killings were the result of a Multi-national Force (MNF) investigation of the killing of two MNF soldiers sometime between March 6 and 11.

The shocking text speaks for itself. I have added bold and italics; however, the text of the original cable is unchanged:

“59146”,”4/3/2006 14:48″,”06GENEVA763″,”US Mission Geneva”,”UNCLASSIFIED”,”06USMISSIONGENEVA2006″,”R 031448Z APR 06


E.O. 12958: N/A

1. Mission received a communication from Philip Alston,
Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary
Executions, regarding a raid conducted by Multinational
Forces on March 15, 2006 at the house of Faiz Harrat Al-
Majma’ee in Iraq. This communication has been sent via e-
mail to IO/RHS. This communication is number 8 on the
Geneva 2006 Communications Log.

2. Begin text of letter:

27 March 2006

REFERENCE: AL G/SO 214 (33-23) USA 6/2006


I have the honour to address you in my capacity as Special
Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary
executions pursuant to Commission on Human Rights resolution

I would like to draw the attention of your Government to
information I have received regarding a raid conducted by
the Multinational Forces (MNF) on 15 March 2006 in the house
of Faiz Harrat Al-Majma’ee, a farmer living in the outskirts
of Al-Iss Haqi District in Balad (Salah-El-Din Governorate).

I have received various reports indicating that at least 10
persons, namely Mr. Faiz Hratt Khalaf, (aged 28), his wife
Sumay’ya Abdul Razzaq Khuther (aged 24), their three
children Hawra’a (aged 5) Aisha ( aged 3) and Husam (5
months old), Faiz’s mother Ms. Turkiya Majeed Ali (aged 74),
Faiz’s sister (name unknown), Faiz’s nieces Asma’a Yousif
Ma’arouf (aged 5 years old), and Usama Yousif Ma’arouf (aged
3 years), and a visiting relative Ms. Iqtisad Hameed Mehdi
(aged 23) were killed during the raid.

According to the information received, American troops
approached Mr. Faiz’s home in the early hours of 15 March
2006. It would appear that when the MNF approached the
house, shots were fired from it and a confrontation ensued
for some 25 minutes. The MNF troops entered the house,
handcuffed all residents and executed all of them. After the
initial MNF intervention, a US air raid ensued that
destroyed the house.

Iraqi TV stations broadcast from the scene and showed bodies
of the victims (i.e. five children and four women) in the
morgue of Tikrit. Autopsies carries out at the Tikrit
Hospital’s morgue revealed that all corpses were shot in the
head and handcuffed.

I am aware that the MNF confirmed that an air raid took
place that day in Balad and that it caused an unconfirmed
number of casualties. The US military attacked the house to
capture members of Mr. Faiz Harrat Al-Majma’ee’s family on
the basis that they were allegedly involved in the killing
of two MNF soldiers who were killed between 6 to 11 March
2006 in the Al Haweeja area.
The US military was further
reported in the media as stating that MNF troops attacked
the house in question to capture “a foreign fighter
facilitator for the Al Qaeda in Iraq network”. Other reports
indicate that over the past five months, there have been a
significant number of lethal incidents in which the MNF is
alleged to have used excessive force to respond to perceived
threats either at checkpoints or by using air bombing in
civilian areas.

In drawing the attention of your Excellency’s Government to
this information and seeking clarification thereof, I am
fully aware of the stance taken by your Government in
correspondence with me regarding the mandate’s competence
regarding killings that are said to have occurred within the
context of an armed conflict (I refer to your Government’s
letters dated 22 April 2003 and 8 April 2004).
As explained in my report to the 61st Commission on Human
Rights, as well as in letters to your Excellency’s
Government of 26 August 2005 and 7 March 2006, however, not
only the relevant formulation of the mandate but also the
General Assembly in its resolutions and the now longstanding
practice of the independent experts successively holding the
mandate since its creation in 1982 make it clear that
questions of humanitarian law fall squarely within the
Special Rapporteur’s mandate (See E/CN.4/2005/7, at par.

I would also recall that the Human Rights Committee has held
that a State party can be held responsible for violations of
rights under the Covenant where the violations are
perpetrated by authorized agents of the State on foreign
territory, “whether with the acquiescence of the Government
of [the foreign State] or in opposition to it”. (See Lopez
v. Uruguay, communication No.52/1979, CCPR/C/OP/1 at 88
(1984), paras. 12.1-12.3.)

Finally, I wish to remind you that UN GA Resolution 59/191
of 10 March 2005, in its paragraph 1, stresses that “States
must ensure that any measure to combat terrorism complies
with their obligation under international law, in particular
international human right, refugee and humanitarian law”.

Without in any way wishing to pre-judge the accuracy of the
information received, I would be grateful for a reply to the
following questions:

1. Are the facts alleged in the above summary of the case
accurate? On what basis was it decided to kill, rather than
capture, members of Mr. Faiz Harrat Al-Majma’ee’s family.

2. What rules of international law does your Excellency’s
Government consider to govern these incidents? If your
Excellency’s Government considers the incidents to have been
governed by humanitarian law, please clarify which treaty
instruments or customary norms are considered to apply.

3. What procedural safeguards, if any, were employed to
ensure that these killings complied with international law?

4. Does your Excellency’s Government intend to provide
compensation to Mr. Faiz Harrat Al-Majma’ee’s relatives.

It is my responsibility under the mandate provided to me by
the Commission on Human Rights and reinforced by the
appropriate resolutions of the General Assembly, to seek to
clarify all such cases brought to my attention. Since I am
expected to report on these cases to the Human Rights
Council I would be grateful for your cooperation and your
observations. I undertake to ensure that your Government’s
response is accurately reflected in the reports I will
submit to the Human Rights Council for its consideration.

Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of our highest

Philip Alston
Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary

End text of letter.

Update – Sept 2 2011

The Associated Press reports: Leaked UN letter may be trouble for US/Iraq talks.

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