Saturday, August 11, 2007

Does the name Abeer Qasim Hamza ring a bell?

from wikipedia:

The Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi murder (عبير قاسم حمزه الجنابي; concerns a 14-year-old Iraqi girl who lived in the village of Mahmoudiyah southeast of Baghdad who was gang-raped and killed by American troops. [1][2]
Hamza, her parents and her younger sister were shot and killed in their home in Mahmoudiyah on or around March 12, 2006. A discharged U.S. serviceman, Pfc. Steven D. Green, was arrested and charged on July 3, 2006 with raping and killing Hamza and killing her father Qassim Hamza Raheem, 45, her mother Fakhriya Taha Muhasen, 34, and her seven-year-old sister, Hadeel Qassim Hamza. Initial details published by American media reported that Abeer Qassim Hamza was 25 years old, and that the others killed were her husband and child, details which were incorrect. Others reported that her parents were killed before the soldiers raped Abeer. [3]
According to one witness, Omar, a 13 year old neighbour, Abeer's father was told that there were Americans in his house. Abeer always told her mother that she was afraid of the soldiers. Her mother was sending her to stay with a neighbor, but she didn't get there in time. Qassim Hamza entered the house thereafter to "see what was happening". Omar reports to hearing a sound "like beating a tin barrel with a stick a few times", and later saw five Americans leave the house, one of whom carried two guns.
Omar's mother claims that she and her son went to the neighbour's door, shouting through asking if they required assistance, but received no reply. She says she then noticed smoke coming from their window which led her to scream for help from neighbours, several of whom knocked down the door into the house. When she entered she found the remains of Abeer Qassim Hamza. [1]
In November, Specialist James Barker , 24, admitted rape and murder over the killings and was sentenced to 90 years. Paul Cortez broke down as he confessed to raping the girl as her parents and sister were shot dead in another room.The case is one of several in which US troops are accused of killing Iraqis.
several vigils are being organised in memory of Abeer, details are available at this website

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