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Oslo: Successful Iraq seminar, despite provocations

20. December 2006

Press release b ythe Norwegian Free Iraq Committee

Oslo, 16 December 2006

– The Baker report is not about saving Iraq, but about saving the American administration from the situation into which they have led themselves and the American people, said sheik Jawan al-Khalisi, highly respected Shiite leader in Iraq when talking as one of the tree speakers at the seminar “Voices from Iraq” in Oslo, Saturday 16 December.

– We know that the Norwegian people were opposing the war from the very beginning and were organizing demonstrations against it, said al-Khalisi. – We appreciate the Norwegian hospitality towards Iraqis, even though we can see that there are some that do not respect this hospitality, he said.

Attempts at sabotaging the meeting

The reference to lack of respect concerned a group of around 30 provocateurs that attempted to ruin the meeting by shouting and interrupting, clearly to prevent the audience from hearing what the three Iraqis had to say. They also uttered grave threats towards the speakers and other Iraqis present. Before that the same persons had physically hindered an unknown number of people from entering the seminar.

Was not provoked

The provocations were especially directed towards sheik al-Khalisi, who did not allow himself to be provoked and tried to enter into a civilized dialogue with the demonstrators. After the provocateurs had several times refused to meet the chair’s requests that they respect democratic practice, they had to be escorted out of the seminar hall by the police.


The demonstrators had made a misjudgement of both the audience and the Iraqi guests with their aggressive slogans against Saddam and the Baath party. All the speakers have been forced to live in exile for long periods due to persecution and oppression by the Saddam Hussein regime.
– People in Saddam’s old intelligence service followed us all around the world. Today the same persons are the Americans’ keenest collaborators, said al-Khalisi.


– The dilemma is that those who demonstrate here are against Saddam and support (prime minister) al-Maliki, while Maliki now has invited the ba’athists into his administration. This shows the confusion that prevails in the Baghdad government, and it shows that Iraqis in Norway do not know about what is happening in Iraq and the changes that are taking place, al-Khalisi commented after the episode with the Norwegian-Iraqis supporting the occupation regime in Baghdad.

Only one solution

– I want to say to all the people in Iraq and in Norway: There is only one solution: the occupation forces must leave Iraq and the country must regain its sovereignty. This is the solution for all the forces that want to support the Iraqi cause, whether they have supported the resistance from the beginning, or whether they have taken part in the political process and now regret and realize this was a mistake.

USA towards fascism

The Kurdish professor Kamal Majid and Hind Al Naemi Kjà¦r of the Iraqi Patriotic Alliance both, as al-Khalisi, emphasized that the Iraqi people will never be split after sectarian or ethnic lines, as is the American-Israeli strategy, but will unite their forces against the occupants.

Majid focused on the internationally independent actions, war economy and aggressive rhetoric of the USA and made parallels to the conducts of Hitler’s Germany in the 30s.

A hell for Iraqi women

Hind Al Naemi gave a disturbing report of the women’s situation in Iraq, which she characterized as “worse than slavery”. Women barely dare go outside their houses in fear of being raped or killed, and in addition trafficking and actual slave trade with women have become a big industry.

More information from the seminar will be published in the following days.

The Norwegian Committee for a free Iraq, 16 December 2006.