Liqa Omar Muhammad is waiting to die. The 26 year old Iraqi mother shares her Baghdad prison cell with her child, who was born in captivity.
On 2 March she discovered that her execution by hanging was postponed following an international outcry. Her fate is unknown.
Her crime? Her husband and brother were accused of organising an attack on a US-Iraqi patrol in 2005.
This is George Bush’s Iraq, the country we were told had to be liberated from Saddam Hussein’s oppressive regime.
Liqa is set to hang with two other women, Wassan Talib, 31, and Zainab Fadhil, 25. The women were convicted of “acts of terrorism” in trials widely denounced as unfair. They had no right to a lawyer.
All three women deny being members of the resistance. They will be killed as a lesson to others – any Iraqi accused of being part of the resistance will be executed, along with their wives and sisters.
The women are being held in the Kadhamiah prison in the capital Baghdad. The prison has gained notoriety for the widespread use of torture and rape.
According to Mohammed Khorshid, head of Human Rights Organisations in Iraq, there are over 2,000 women “security detainees” in 450 prisons, camps and detention centres across the country – more than under Saddam’s regime.
The majority were seized in the regular sweeps by US troops and their Iraqi allies.
The US military runs a network of secret facilities. It is believed they hold over 13,000 detainees without trial.
Wassan was convicted of killing five police officers during a resistance operation. She has a three year old daughter.
Zainab, her husband and her cousin were found guilty of attacking an Iraqi patrol in Baghdad last September.
According to Amnesty International at least 68 men and women have been executed in Iraq since the US reinstated the death penalty in August 2004.
The human rights group says 27 people were hanged in Baghdad on 6 September 2006 and a further 11 were hanged in Irbil on 21 September 2006. The executions are surrounded by secrecy.
The women are waiting for the result of an appeal as Socialist Worker went to press following the postponement of their execution.
The Iraqi Lawyers Union are calling for urgent international protests.
Send your letters of protest to the Iraqi justice minister Hashim al-Shilbi at [email protected] [update 8 March: All emails to this address are being bounced back]
For updates go to www.brusselstribunal.org