Task Force to Compensate Iraqis Who Suffered Under Saddam
By Sgt. 1st Class Doug Sample, USA
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, May 26, 2004 A special task force will oversee compensation of Iraqi citizens who suffered under Saddam Hussein's regime, Coalition Provisional Authority officials in Baghdad announced today.
Dan Senor, senior coalition spokesman, said Dr. Malik Dohan al-Hassan, president of the Iraqi Bar Association, has accepted an invitation to head the task force.
"Dr. Malik, along with two assistants that he will select, will work with victims and with ministries to define the types of injustice for which compensation should be provided," Senor explained. "Other than those issues already being dealt with in other areas, such as the Iraqi Property Claims Commission, we will also consider how individuals can demonstrate their eligibility for such."
He said the coalition is setting aside initial funding from the Development Fund for Iraq. "The initial set-aside is for $25 million," he said.
Senor said the fund was set up by coalition administrator Ambassador L. Paul Bremer III to help Iraqis who lost jobs, were imprisoned or were executed because "they were accused of having opposed the regime, refused to join the Baath party or simply were related to someone considered by the previous regime as an opponent."
"The history of these abuses is complex and involves many thousands of people," he said.
Army Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt told reporters that "noncombatants" in Iraq have filed more than 11,000 claims for damages resulting from coalition military operations, and that somewhere on the order of $2.5 million had been paid out thus far.