Dead Men Left

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Abandoning even the pretence of neutrality: the rule of law in colonial Iraq

With the rubble of Fallujah still warm, US troops move in on a second Iraqi city, Mosul, and in the same report we learn this:

In Baghdad, US forces arrested a senior member of an influential Sunni political party in a pre-dawn raid on his home. Naseer Ayaef, a high-ranking member of the Iraqi Islamic party, was taken into custody in apparent retaliation for the party's opposition to the assault on Falluja.

Mr Ayaef, a member of the interim Iraqi National Council, was also part of the Falluja delegation that had tried and failed to negotiate peace talks with the central government.

What the Guardian doesn't mention is that, as deputy speaker of the Council, Naseer Ayaef enjoys immunity under the provisional legal code that supposedly independent Iraq is ruled under. The Iraqi Islamic Party pulled out of the Allawi government in protest at the assualt on Fallujah. Its leading member in Iraq's supposedly sovereign legislature was arrested just over a week later.