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Photos From Berkeley Vigil For Abeer Qassim Hamza
Abeer Qassim Hamza was a 14 year old Iraqi girl who lived in the village of Al-Mahmoudiyah, southeast of Baghdad. On March 12th Abeer was raped and then burnt and killed in her home. Her mother, father, and younger sister were also shot to death, leaving her two younger brothers parentless. In early July, four US soldiers, and one ex-soldier, were charged with these crimes. Previous to the charges, the ex-soldier, Steven Green, was discharged from the Army for a personality disorder. With the exception of Steven Green, all those involved with the crime will be tried in a military court. The proceedings will be kept confidential, rising doubt as to whether or not a thorough independent investigation will take place. We want to make sure that Abeer, her family, and the tens of thousands of victims of violence in Iraq are not forgotten. On August 19th, Abeer Hamza would have been 15 years old. In rememberance, candle light vigils were held in Los Angeles, Berkeley, and New York.
For More On Abeer Hamza See:
Bob Watada is on a West Coast speaking tour in support of his son, Lt. Ehren Watada, from August 19th through 27th. On the tour, he will: speak out on behalf of his son about what is going on in Iraq and why his son refuses to participate in the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq; build support for his son as he faces military court- martial proceedings; and raise funds for his son's legal defense. Lt. Ehren Watada is the first commissioned U.S. military officer to publicly refuse orders in support of the Iraq War.
Ehren Watada has refused to deploy to Iraq, and has been charged with contempt towards President Bush, conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman, and missing movement. He faces over seven years in prison. A military pre-trial hearing took place on August 17-18, and the actual court-martial will likely be 6 to 12 weeks later.