IRAK-Hearing in Berlin

Opening conference, for an international tribunal on the war of the United States, Great Britain, and their allies against Iraq

June 19, 2004 in Berlin
at the Humboldt-University (Audimax), 
Unter den Linden 6

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Inhalt / Contents

Conference Agenda


Final Statement

Lectures and testimonies


Flyer (PDF)


Lectures and testimonies

Other Documents


The conference is a one-day hearing on the topic (from 9:00 AM to 6 PM) with international participation. The objective is to introduce the issues and initiate the collection of evidence. Following the conference a final meeting will be held to discuss subsequent activities.

Conference Agenda:

9:00 – 9:30 AM: Welcoming Address and Introductory Remarks

  • Opening by Jitendra Sharma, IADL President, India
  • Presentation of the plan for the tribunal (themes, international legal basis, history of the Russell Tribunals, the Tribunal on NATO's Aggression Against Yugoslavia, Afghanistan tribunal in Japan…) – Prof. Wolfgang Richter (European Peace Forum)

PANEL I (9:30 AM – 11:00 AM):
The Crime of Aggression

  • The war against Iraq and international law 
    Lies of a menace, the "Strategy of Preventive War" and the "Doctrine of humanitarian Intervention" -- Prof. Norman Paech, Germany, jurist, expert in international law, University, Hamburg
  • The war before the war. The US policy toward Iraq in the nineties: Sanctions, embargo, no-fly zones, bombings etc. – Dr. Hans v. Sponeck, Germany, Diplomat, former coordinator of the UN Aid Program for Iraq (he couldn't participate for personal reasons)
  • "Conspiracy and Crimes against Peace," Prof. Lennox Hinds, USA, International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL)
  • The role of the Federal Republic of Germany before and after the war. Overflight rights, use of the U.S. military bases in Germany. Participation of Bundeswehr soldiers on AWACS in the war zone and to substitute for U.S. troops transferred to the Gulf. – Prof. Gregor Schirmer, Germany, jurist, expert in international law

PANEL II (11:00 AM to 12:00 PM):
Reports of the hearings in other countries, particularly

  • the hearing in London on the illegal character of the war and war crimes during its execution -- Prof. Bill Bowring
  • the hearing in Brussels on US global strategy -- Prof. François Houtart, Belgian
  • Tribunals in Japan on the war against Afghanistan and Iraq -- Prof. Osamu Niikura (omitted because of the late arrival of his plane)
  • Tribunal Kiev/Moscow – Prof. Michail Kusnezow
  • About the World Tribunal on Iraq WTI, Maral Jefroudi (Türkei)

Lunch break (12:00 PM – 1:00 PM)

PANEL III (1:00 PM – 3:30 PM):
Crimes during the war
Iraqi victims, eyewitnesses, documents and experts (depending on available speakers)

  • Pentagon and CNN Video about the execution of wounded Iraqis, Rainer Rupp
  • Looting and arson in full view of the occupation troops, and, at times, with their participation, Prof. Walter Sommerfeld (University of Marburg)
  • Prof. Dr. Hussain A.N. Al-Saadi, biologist, (ecology & pollution), University of Bagdad
  • Haifa Zangana, Iraqi writer, feminist
  • Dr. Geert Van Moorter, "Medicine for the Third World", civilian victims, health system under occupation
  • Human rights violations by occupation troops – arbitrary and/or excessive use of force, treatment of prisoners (of war), attacks against journalists etc.
    [NN (amnesty international)]


Working Groups (3:30 PM – 5:30 PM):

  • 1. The situation under occupation: Non-compliance with the responsibilities of an occupying force, the reestablishment of law and order as well as the furnishing of vital necessities including Jürgen Hahnel und Reinhold Wassmann, - Moderation Laura v. Wimmersperg
  • 2. The use of banned weapons, environmental destruction: Use of weapons banned by the Geneva Convention and customary humanitarian law (e.g. cluster bombs, depleted uranium, napalm, vacuum bombs etc.) [including Angelika Claussen (IPPNW), Marion Küpker (GAAA)]
  • 3. The occupation regime and its economic measures: An overview of the extensive intervention into the social fabric of the Iraqi society, sellout, privatization and long-term occupation (in violation of the Hague Convention on Customs of War on Land…) [including Dr. Aziz Alkazaz, Joachim Guilliard, Sylvia Weiss (Attac) – Moderation Barbara Fuchs (Attac)
  • 4. The involvement of Germany: What is the extent and importance of the indirect support of the aggression against and the occupation of Iraq? How does this support accord with German constitutional and international law? [including Claus Schreer (ISW Munich), Tobias Pflüger (IMI Tübingen) – Moderation Gert Julius]
  • 5. The international tribunal movement
    further reports of hearings in other countries, international cooperation, division of labor … (discussion in German and English) [including Eberhard Schultz, Lennox Hinds, Jitendra Sharma, Fabio Marcelli (Rome), Michail Kusnezow (Moscow) – Moderation Verena Grundmann]

Speakers Participating at the Hearing

Prof. Dr. Hussain A.N. Al-Saadi Department of Biology, College of Science for Women, University of Baghdad. Prof. Al-Saadi studied in the USA and Rostock, Germany, among other places. He has published more than 160 papers (mostly in English) in various scientific journals around the world, as well as 15 books (in Arabic) in the field of Ecology & Pollution. He has served more than 18 years in administrative University functions, such as Head of department, acting dean, vice president and acting president of the University.

Prof. Bill Bowring, Professor of Law, London Metropolitan University, member of the jury at the „Legal Inquiry into the Invasion and Military Occupation of Iraq" held in London.

Prof. Lennox Hinds, professor of International Law, permanent representative of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) at the United Nations for the past 25 years; vice president of the IADL and leading defense counsel before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha, Tanzania.

François Houtart, Catholic priest, professor of sociology at the Catholic University in Leuven, Belgium, Director of the Tricontinental Center (CETRI) and the journal "Alternatives Sud". François Houtart is one of the most active collaborators of the World Social Forum of Porto Allegre.

Prof. Michail Kusnezow, Lawyer, specialist in international law, Moscow.

Geert Van Moorter, physician and active in the Belgian organization Medicine for the Third World. He was in Baghdad during the bombing in March/April 2003 and on various occasions since. He filmed the first bomb explosions in Baghdad and the civilian residences destroyed as a result. (The video can be viewed at A series of his videos are in the „Evidence File" for the intended trial before a Belgian court against US-General Tommy Franks on charges of war crimes. They can also be viewed at

Prof. Osamu Niikura, participated in the tribunals held in Japan concerning the aggressions against Afghanistan and Iraq.

Norman Paech, is professor emeritus of public law at the University for Economy and Politics in Hamburg. Author of many articles, expertise and books on questions of constitutional and international law, of political justice, human rights and international relations in the Middle East.

Prof. Wolfgang Richter, Association for the Protection of Civil Rights and Human Dignity (GBM) and European Peace Forum, was one of the main organizations of the European Tribunal on NATO's War against Yugoslavia.

Rainer Rupp, journalist, author, NATO-expert.

Haifa Sangana - Irak /London: author and specialist in women's rights.

Prof. Gregor Schirmer, Expert for constitutional and international law, Berlin.

Jitendra Sharma, India, President of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL)

Walter Sommerfeld is Professor for Ancient Oriental Studies at the University of Marburg, Germany and the author of many publications handling the history of the early high cultures of Mesopotamia. He has been traveling in Iraq for the past 20 years and is the Chairman of the German-Iraqi Society. He was one of the first German academics to visit Iraq to assess at close hand the damage done by the bombing.

Hans C. von Sponeck, diplomat, was working for the United Nations from 1968 to 2000. At first he was working for the UN development program in Ghana, New York, Pakistan and Turkey and subsequently became the coordinator of UN programs in Botswana, Pakistan and India. In the fall of 1998 he succeeded Denis Haliday as Coordinator of the Oil-For-Food Program of the United Nations in Iraq. Like his predecessor, he resigned from this post out of protest against the sanctions policy of the UN Security Council in March 2000.

 Moderators and Speakers for Opening Remarks to the Workshops:

  • Dr. Aziz Alkazaz, Chairman of the Iraqi Community of Germany, Researcher at the German Orient Institut in Hamburg
  • Angelika Claussen, Vice-chairperson of the German Section of IPPNW
    Rüdiger Göbel, Journalist, assistant editor in chief of the German daily, "Junge Welt", co-author and co-editor of several books on Iraq
  • Verena Grundman, Jurist
  • Joachim Guilliard, co-author and co-editor of „Der Irak – Krieg, Besatzung Widerstand", PapyRossa, 2004
  • Gert Julius, Chief administrator of the Association for the Protection of Civil Rights and Human Dignity (GBM)
  • Marion Küpker, Activist in Non-violent Action – Ban Atomic Weapons (GAAA), Organizer of the World Uranium Weapons Conference in Hamburg
  • Tobias Pflüger, Political scientist, Member of the presidium of the Information Office on Militarization and member of the scientific council of Attac
  • Dr. Elmar Schmähling, Rear Admiral, ret., GBM, European Peace Forum, co-organizer of the Tribunal on NATO's War against Yugoslavia
  • Claus Schreer , Assistant at the Institute for Social-Ecological Economic Studies. Spokesperson for the "Munich against War Alliance" and co-organizer of the hearings "The Iraq War and the Consequences" held in Munich, December 2003
  • Eberhard Schultz, Lawyer, International League for Human Rights, Republican Lawyer's Association
  • Sylvia Weiss, Attac, Working Group Globalization and war, Bayreuth, Germany
  • Laura v. Wimmersberg, Peace Coordination, Berlin



Internat. Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL), Bundesausschuss Friedensratschlag, Int. Liga für Menschenrechte, Gesellschaft zum Schutz von Bürgerrecht und Menschenwürde e.V., Europäisches Friedensforum, Attac, kritische juristinnen und juristen an der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, DGB-Jugend

The Hearing was supported by: 
Aktion Selbstbesteuerung, Bambergerger BürgerInnen für den Frieden, Forum Informatiker für den Frieden (FIFF e. V), Friedens- und Zukunftswerkstatt e. V., Friedensinitiative Überlingen/Bodensee, Gesellschaft für internationale Verständigung (GIV), Hamburger Forum für Völkerverständigung und weltweite Abrüstung e. V., Heidelberger Forum gegen Militarismus und Krieg, Initiative für Globale Gleichheit, IPPNW Deutschland,  Kommunistische Plattform Friedrich Engels, Kultur des Friedens, Tübingen,  PädagogInnen für den Frieden, Pax An - Friedensinitiative Köln,  PDS, Republikanischer Anwaltverein, Thüringer Friedenskoordination, Vereinigung demokratischer Juristinnen und Juristen e. V., Zentrum für Friedenskultur Siegen



Die Humboldt-Universität, Unter den Linden 6, ist mit den Bussen 100 und 200 (Haltestelle Staatsoper) zu erreichen, die quer durch die City fahren und mehrfach S-Bahn- und U-Bahn-Stationen sowie Straßenbahnhaltestellen berühren.Pict0008.jpg (50186 Byte)





Foto: H. Guske



Freitag, 18. Juni: Podiumsdiskussion

Ist der Widerstand der Iraker gegen die
Besatzungsmächte legitim?

19 Uhr, Haus der Demokratie, Greifswalder Str.4, Berlin

mit Elmar Schmähling, (GBM, ehem. Flottillenadmiral), Prof. Gregor Schirmer (Völkerrechtsexperte), Michail Kusnezow (Russ. Völkerrechtler) und Joachim Guilliard (Autor)
Moderation: Eckart Spoo (Ossietzky)
Veranstalter: Europäisches Friedensforum, Ges. zum Schutz von Bürgerrecht und Menschenwürde GBM, Internat. Liga für Menschenrechte, Zeitschrift Ossietzky.