Iraq witnessed 3,387 recorded acts of violence and other human rights violations during the month of August 2008, according to figures released by an Iraqi human rights monitoring organization in a statement in Arabic.
The Constitutional Freedoms and Rights Observer (CFRO), a nonprofit Iraqi human rights organization, has released its casualty figures for the month of August in the country, where it monitors casualties and human rights violations. August saw a “relative decline” in violence as compared to earlier months, CFRO writes, but notes several points of concern as acts of violence continue.
In its statement released in Arabic, CFRO writes that human rights violations continue to threaten the ability of Iraqis to “live in dignity in stability and security.” The CFRO recorded 3,387 human rights violations in Iraq in the month of August, including “victims of acts of killing (car bombs, IEDs, suicide vests), victims of unknown bodies, victims of assassinations, victims injured in explosions, victims of abduction, and victims of arrest operations.”
Noting a “relative decline” in the acts of violence in this month as compared to the month of July and earlier months, CFRO writes that: “August saw fewer injuries, abductions, assassinations and arrests in several provinces,” while it also notes that “that military operations continue in several Iraqi provinces,” suggesting that these operations are associated with the types of violations it tracks.
The data refer to Iraqi victims of violence and do not include foreign troops in the country who may have been injured or killed in August.
On the other hand, CFRO raises several points of concern regarding its observations for the month of August, which it lists as follows:
- Several civilians have been killed and injured by bullets fired by Iraqi and American forces. CFRO writes that two such events were recorded in August, in which the victims either approached a checkpoint or American vehicles.
- A number of detainees were killed by the hands of American soldiers, CFRO writes.
- The targeting of staff of the Independent High Elections Commission, either by attacks on their offices or by way of assassinating its employees by gunmen, which happened in Diyala and Basra provinces, CFRO writes.
- Unknown helicopters opened fire on a number of civilians in Kirkuk, leading to their deaths, according to CFRO's monitoring.
- An increase in assassination attacks targeting, employees of the Police and Army, a number of women, civil servants. These attacks were carried out either by gunfire in the street in front of witnesses, or by storming the house of the victims and killing them with gunfire.
- An increase in operations that targeted employees of the Police and Army and targeted their patrols in Baghdad, Ninewa, Diyala and Salah al-Din provinces, either by assassination attempts or by IED attacks.
- Killing and wounding a number of individuals by mortars and missiles and mines, including by the remnants of wars found in the deserts and fields of a number of Iraqi provinces, including Basra and Dhi Qar. Basra Province is considered one of the most dangerous Iraqi provinces as it is surrounded by mines, containing three mine fields planted with 25 million mines, CFRO writes.
- Disclosure of the detention of approximately 580 Iraqis, imprisoned in Saudi prisons, where some were subjected to beheading, while others suffer from maladies such as tuberculosis and kidney disease, the human rights agency writes.
According to the statistics gathered by the CFRO, between August 1 and 31, 2008, the recorded acts of violence are broken down in the table above.
Provinces not listed in the table (Muthanna, Najaf, Dahuk, Sulaymaniya) did not record such acts of violence in August, according to CFRO’s figures. Careful readers may note that the totals reported in the columns above for each province do not add up to the total figure of 3387 violations as reported by the CFRO for August. Unfortunately this discrepancy is not explained in the CFRO release.