Iraq: A Call to Iraqis and people internationally

Ash Wednesday Forum
Statement by the Ash Wednesday Forum for Civil Society Organizations.
Appalled by the bloody incident of Wednesday, August 26th, 2009, when gangs of terrorism infiltrated security forces networks, in charge of protecting Baghdad facilities, in several locations and sites at the Ministry of Foreign, Ministry of Finance, neighborhoods, and residence compounds, causing the fall of tens of martyrs, and wounding hundreds of government employees and innocent citizens, devastating whole blocks of neighborhoods and infra structure facilities,
We, here by, representatives of various categories of civil society organizations, human rights, women, youth, humanitarian aids, and cultural organizations, media, professional unions and trade unions, announce that Wednesday shocking crime is a dangerous relapse, of retreating political process in lack of confidence and trust between decision makers and limited conflict over power and control. In the same time, the attacks revealed a fragile security condition, in absence of specific national security strategies, weak rehabilitation of security services, lacking coordination, excessive violations of human rights, and specifically freedom of expression,

Commemorating the painful incident, on the seventh day after the notorious crime, here by, on this Wednesday, August 26th, gathering in a public sit in, right across the ministry of foreign, declare the formation of Wednesday of the Ashes, coalition for civil society organizations, in condemnation of horrific terrorism crimes, and solidarity with families of martyrs and victimized community, and raise our voice to demand from Iraqi government the following:

1. To consider August 19th, as a national disaster day, for Iraqi human security, a general mourning day for victims.

2. Honour martyrs and victims’ families, facilitate quick pension entitlements without delay

3. Provide urgent and efficient medical care for the wounded casualties, especially victims in need of special care,

4. Compensate victims’ families, with devastated house damages and who lost their homes, with quick measures to secure alternative residence,

5. Pursue and expose death and killing squads and gang groups, their affiliation, with accomplice networks with those gangs, within local government departments,

6. General and professional assessment and evaluation of performance of acting security and defense forces, on basis of professional skills, integrity, and allegiance to the state of law,

7. Bridging the gap between security and defense corps along with government departments, media, civil society, private sector, and citizens, in a process to fight corruption and terrorism targeting civilians and facilities,

The activists gathering, also called upon regional and international community and organizations to support this on going campaign activity, every week, to advocate for Iraqi citizens’ human security, and lobby together to stop regional states intervention in Iraqi domestic affairs, through destabilizing national security and provide haven for terrorism on their lands,

Glory to martyrs of the bloody Wednesday, and other terrorists attacks

Quick heal to the wounded and in solidarity with victimized families,

Let’s work side by side to build a state with rule of law, adhered to human rights and justice, ensuring a secured and free life for our people without discrimination.

Ash Wednesday Forum for Civil Society Organizations
Baghdad, August 26th, 2009