Hebrew University academic predicts more rights abuse for Iraqis

December 14th, 2007 - 5:27 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, Dec. 14 (ANI): A researcher at Jerusalems Hebrew University has warned that present policies being followed by the U.S. in Iraq, could expose that countrys citizens to human rights abuse similar to what they experienced in the last century.
In an article being released in conjunction with Human Rights Week, Dr. Noga Efrati, the head of the Iraq research group at the Hebrew University’s Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace, drew a comparison between British tribal policy in Iraq from 1914-1932 and U.S. policy on Iraq in the period 2003-2007.
According to Dr. Efrati, the British came to Iraq during the First World War in order to defend their interests in the region, and sought to revive a disintegrating tribal system to control the countrys vast rural areas.
They appointed sheikhs as tribal leaders, granting them wide discretionary powers, including the settling of disputes via “tribal law.” This had an adverse effect particularly on women.
“Under the British mandate, rural women the majority of women in Iraq were not constructed as citizens of a modern state whose rights and liberties should be protected, but as tribal possessions, abandoned and left outside state jurisdiction,” Dr. Efrati writes in her article.
Dr. Efrati says the Americans today are also increasingly depending on local leaders to restore order.
Cautioning the Bush Administration to learn from the past, Dr. Efrati says it should be aware of the severe consequences that will arise by leaving the administration of “tribal” affairs in the hands of local leaders.
Her article on the subject appears in a new book, Britain and the Middle East, to be published later this month. (ANI)

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