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Child Trafficking Ring Reported Near Baghdad

The summary of a new Human Rights Watch report includes testimony from an abducted girl who says she witnessed negotiations for the sale of captive children:
WASHINGTON (NFTF.org) -- The summary of a new Human Rights Watch report includes testimony from an abducted girl who says she witnessed negotiations for the sale of captive children:

They brought in people they wanted to sell us to. They would bring men, they would look at us, and then bargain, negotiate a price. One was a fat woman wearing a veil, and another time two men came. They bargained and negotiated the prices, they would talk and laugh but not let us know, the [buyers] would ask how much, and then [the captors] would wink their eyes and say "don't talk now, in front of them" ... Then they would talk to us, saying "don't worry, we'll make you happy, we'll give you a happy life, don't worry, don't cry" ... I think they wanted us to be dancers or something like that, they told us that. Ibtisam [the female captor], she dances, and she tried to teach me to dance. I didn't want to, and I didn't look at her when she danced.
Fifteen-year-old Muna B (not her real name) told Human Rights Watch researchers that she and her two sisters were kidnapped off a neighborhood street at gunpoint by four men in a taxicab around May 11.

The girls were blindfolded and held in a house outside Baghdad along with seven other children, three girls ages 15 to 10 and four boys ages 11 to around 5 years old.
All the children were beaten and Muna's sixteen-year-old sister was gang-raped.

The fear of being sold bolstered the teenager to risk escape when her captors went for food on June 8. Her two sisters, ages 11 and 16, are still missing.

Muna's testimony is one of four documented by Human Rights Watch workers researching sexual violence against women and girls in post-war Baghdad.

From May 27, 2003 to June 20, 2003, Human Rights Watch conducted over 70 interviews with victims, Iraqi and U.S. authorities, health workers and nongovernmental organizations. Researchers discovered 25 "credible reports" of sexually assaulted and abducted women.

Human Rights Watch notes that the failure of coalition forces to protect civilian victims of civil crimes is largely to blame for what is perceived to be a sharp increase in sexual crimes against women and girls.

Further, the report's summary states that a devastated health care system and an undermanned police force coupled with Iraq's Penal Code permitting reduced sentences for "honor killings" of raped relatives and for abductors or abusers who agree to marry their victims, makes an accurate account "almost impossible" and has "immediate and long-term negative implications for the safety of women and girls and for their participation in post-war life in Iraq."

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Freedom is Untidy... 26.Jul.2003 01:13

Herr Donald Rumsfeld

Hey, what's the big deal? The Coaltion has liberated the Iraqi people, and as I have said earlier, freedom is untidy.

A free people have the freedom to do bad things--a little looting, a little killing, a little murder, a little child traficking....

Isn't freedom great, or what?

Libertarians have never been to Iraq 26.Jul.2003 09:47

responsible adult

Libertarians say that when everyone is free to do as they please and the markets are free from regulation, then people will just naturally be responsible and do the right things. Libertarians have never been to Iraq.

Misrepresenting the Libertarian position 26.Jul.2003 13:09

Aaron John Shaver ashaver@pdx.edu

responsible adult:

That's a strawman if I ever saw one! Most Libertarians don't advocate *no* government, or virtually no government, as is the case in Iraq right now. They advocate smaller and more efficient government. Government that doesn't stick its nose into our private concerns (e.g. ridiculous prostitution laws, drugs laws, etc.). Government that doesn't force people to register with the military (Selective Service for all males in the US) to fight non-defensive wars. And so on.

Clearly a basic police force is still needed to defend the bulk of the population from a minority who choose to hurt people, like the assholes who hurt the girls mentioned in the article.

no 26.Jul.2003 15:48

nonononono

the girls mentioned previously are the girls who turn into prostitutes. For the most part they are victims. But many would like to listen to the few in the pimp-affiliated "prostitute's rights" groups. Libertarians on wrong on this issue. Prostitution is rarely a freely chosen option. A libertarian world would be no better than the one we have now.