Read about Giuliana Sgrena in WeNews, Feb 05
Letter to the Guardian, 19 Feb
Statement to the media , 5 Feb
PRESS STATEMENT FROM BLACK WOMEN'S RAPE ACTION PROJECT & WOMEN AGAINST RAPE
On International Women's Day, we demand justice for Giuliana Sgrena and the Iraqi women raped and killed by US troops.
We have just found out that the US troops who shot Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena - and killed Nicola Caliperi whose sacrifice saved her life - immediately after her release from kidnap, were from a military unit under investigation last year for raping Iraqi women, according to US army documents. Ms Sgrena had published in her paper testimonies of Iraqi women ex-prisoners who had been raped and sexually abused in Abu Ghraib, and other prisons.
Today, on International Women's Day, the Guardian published correspondent Suzanne Goldenberg's report on the 3rd Infantry Brigade exposing that:
In 2004, four soldiers were alleged to have raped two women while on guard duty in a Baghdad shopping precinct.
The women were not even interviewed before the US army shut down its investigation. The accused soldiers claimed that the women were prostitutes, denying that any soldiers were having sex while deployed in Iraq.
US army documents reveal the refusal to investigate rape cases. The American Civil Liberties Union points out that the failure to conduct a thorough investigation on such serious charges as rape was "part of a disturbing pattern".
In 13 cases of suspected abuse, no action was taken against any soldier.
Since the Abu Ghraib scandal, officers have destroyed evidence of abuse passed to them, such as a home-made DVD showing torture of Iraqi detainees by soldiers.
When sexual abuse by soldiers in Abu Ghraib prison hit the headlines last year, focussing on men prisoners, we wrote to every woman MP and every woman peer asking them to publicly question what was happening to women and children under occupation in Iraq. Not one of them even bothered to reply.
Few journalists were prepared to question what was happening to women and children in Iraqi prisons. Ms Sgrena, a respected journalist committed to women's rights who works for Italy's Il Manifesto, has consistently given prominence to the rape and other sexual abuse of Iraqi women. More than once she interviewed the survivors of prison abuses. She has on several occasions published statements and letters from us bringing these issues to public attention (see statement below for more background info). Many suspected that the US government wanted Ms Sgrena dead because of her commitment to the truth. Increasingly, the evidence points that way.
We are urging people to contact the US, UK and Italian governments to condemn this rape and the cover-up by occupying forces, and to demand justice.
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