Iraqi Democratic Youth Federation – External relations Committee, Solidarity with Basra University Students

Iraqi Democratic Youth Federation – External relations Committee
Solidarity with Basra University Students
Condemning the Vicious Attack
Reports received from Iraq, especially press reports and statements of student organizations based in Basra, have provided details of the vicious attack on a group of students of the Engineering College in Basra University while out on a normal picnic in a local park on 15 March 2005.
An armed group, claiming to be implementing Islamic law, carried out the attack in a barbaric manner, violating basic human rights and freedoms. Students, including female students, were brutally beaten up, with personal belongings such as gold jewellery, mobile telephones and recording equipment being stolen; an act which contravenes even the most basic principles of Islam.
In a telephone interview with an Iraqi satellite TV station, Sheikh Asaad Al-Basri, a cleric who is the local representative of the group behind the attack, openly admitted responsibility for this vicious act. He attempted to justify it as being “God commandment” and in accordance with a religious edict.
While strongly condemning these blatant violations of human rights, we consider this attack a form of laying seeds threatening Iraq’ future democratic schemes. We declare our full solidarity with the victims of the attack .. with all Iraqi youth and students, as they relentlessly strive for a better future of a new Iraq.
We appeal to all friendly youth and student organizations to declare their solidarity with the Iraqi youth and students, against any violation of their basic right to social and cultural activity, to express their opinions freely and to participate in political life.
Let us act to put an end to any oppression and to attempts to use religion as cover for usurping the rights achieved by Iraqi people through their own sacrifices and struggle.
Let us unite genuine efforts for a democratic Iraq, and to safeguard the rights of youth and students, and the basic freedoms of citizens.
17 March 2005