De Amerikaanse onafhankelijke journalist Dahr Jamail schrijft: 'Iraqis are at far greater risk when they speak out about the true number of the dead than western journalists. Those who speak out jeopardize their lives, like Faik Bakir, the director of the Baghdad morgue. Bakir fled Iraq fearing for his life in early March, after reporting that over 7,000 people had been killed by death squads in recent months. In an article in the Guardian <http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,,1721366,00.html> on March 2nd, it was made clear by John Pace, a UN official who worked in Iraq until February, that "The vast majority of bodies showed signs of summary execution - many with their hands tied behind their back. Some showed evidence of torture, with arms and leg joints broken by electric drills." He said that the killings had been ongoing long before the rampant bloodshed that followed the bombing of the Shia shrine in Samarra. The article added, "Mr. Pace, whose contract in Iraq ended last month, said many killings were carried out by Shia militias linked to the interior ministry run by Bayan Jabr, a leading figure in the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (Sciri)."
This past Saturday I received information from the main morgue in Baghdad from a doctor there, name withheld for security reasons. "Yesterday we received 36 bodies from the police pickups. All of them are unknown, without IDs, and we don't have refrigerators to put them in since all of ours are completely full already. So we had to keep them on the ground. 12 of them were handcuffed, most of them received between 2 and 10 bullets, some many more than 10. We are not going to put them into biopsy. Reason for their death is known. Most of them are between 20 to 30 years … This is the number that was brought directly to us in one day, plus there are the dead who are sent to the hospitals. They will be put in the hospitals' morgues. We don't receive bodies from hospitals nowadays, because we don't have a place to keep them. I can't tell the exact number of killed people now, but it depends on the situation. But what I can assure you of is that since the shrine explosion, deaths have almost doubled. Daily, we receive between 70 to 80 bodies … you can see within these 40 minutes that I've talked with you, we received 9 bodies. Nearly every morning the count will be doubled twice this number, for the police find them at night. Most are either found in the streets or killed without sending them to hospitals. Four days ago we received 24 bodies in just 2 hours." At this same morgue back in June 2004, I interviewed the aforementioned director, Dr. Faiq Bakir, who had to flee for his life. He said that their maximum holding capacity with the freezers was 90 bodies, and since January 2004 an average of well over 600 bodies each month had been brought there. The cause of death for at least half of these were gunshots or explosions. He also pointed out that those numbers did not include the heavy fighting areas of Fallujah and Najaf. In addition, he told me, "We deal only with suspicious deaths, not deaths from natural causes. And so many bodies are buried that never go to a morgue anywhere." According to Dr. Bakir, the rate of bodies brought to the Baghdad Morgue even back then was 3-4 times greater than it ever was during the regime of Saddam Hussein. "I am sure that not all of the bodies that should come here do," he continued before very diplomatically adding, "Because our legal system has some problems right now."' Lees verder: