Investigation wanted into the murders of Iraqi academics
Sunday, February 26, 2006
Majid Majhoul Hawi al-Moussawi said his family "locked the door and left for Syria, the only country that would have us. We are grateful, but there is no work. There is nothing for us here." He took his family out of Baghdad after his daughter Hanan, 16, was kidnapped.
Professionals in Iraq say they face a deteriorating situation. Young physicians are looking for other countries to train in and even the patients are leaving, no longer confident in the care they can get in Iraq.
Dr. Omar Kubasi supported the claims that a systematic campaign to destroy Iraqi academia is occurring, stating, "I think it's part of the plan for the country's destruction. The situation in the last six months has gotten so bad, we couldn't continue."
Amer Hassan Fayed, assistant dean of political science at Baghdad University said; "It's creating a brain drain, we could end up with a society without knowledge. How can such a society make progress?"
Hundreds of Iraqi academics have been assassinated since the U.S.-led coalition invasion in March 2003, and there have been no charges brought against any suspects in the murders.
Caroline Lucas, the Green Party MEP for Southeast England, is calling for a United Nations investigation into the killings which, she said, is forcing thousands of Iraqi educators to flee for their lives.
"Iraq is undergoing a major brain drain, and can ill afford to lose academics and teachers to a continuing wave of violence. Iraq's education system, once one of the best in the region, has been decimated: some 84 percent of the country's higher education institutions have been burned, looted or destroyed, according to the United Nations University. These assassinations, which appear to be countrywide, non-partisan and non-sectarian, must be investigated by the U.N. Special Rapporteur on summary executions -- and those responsible brought to justice. Iraq needs security and stability, but it is clear that the continued U.S. and (British) occupation is contributing to the problem, not the solution," Lucas said.