Baghdad: Peacekeepers ask coalition forces to respect human rights

 Today and tomorrow, the Christian Peacemaker Team (CPT) in Iraq is distributing human rights leaflets to Coalition soldiers in the Adhumiyah and Karrada districts of Baghdad. CPT Iraq members will hand leaflets to soldiers at military bases, checkpoints and patrols throughout these areas. The leaflets, printed in both English and Arabic, encourage Coalition soldiers to abide by international human rights law in their interactions with Iraqi citizens. The leaflets cite passages of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Geneva Conventions, and the CPA Office of Human Rights and Transitional Justice. Over the past several months, CPT Iraq has documented numerous human rights violations of Iraqi citizens at the hands of Coalition Forces. Most of these violations have taken place in the carrying out of house raids, detentions, and at security checkpoints. In addition to the harm done to Iraqi citizens, CPT Iraq is also concerned that these injustices lead to Iraqi frustration and anger which in turn fuel support for armed attacks against Coalition soldiers. The leaflet asks soldiers to consider both the legal and safety consequences which can result from their actions. In the days and weeks to follow, CPT Iraq members will continue this leafleting campaign in other districts of Baghdad as well as other locations throughout Iraq. Christian Peacemaker Teams is an ecumenical effort which provides a violence-reducing presence in areas of lethal conflict around the world. CPT Iraq has been present in Baghdad since October 2002.

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