On 28th Feb 2006, a group of female students were returning home on board the official 40-seater bus belonging to the Mosul Institute of Teachers. As the bus reached Square-19, a US solider ordered the bus to stop, and proceeded to board the bus.
The bus driver was following the usual route in the vicinity of the Institute. As the bus reached the area of Square-19, those on board were shocked to find they were surrounded by US tanks; the bus driver stopped the bus when he was ordered to by the American soldiers; he was then handcuffed in the ever familiar fashion and made to sit on the side of the road. The soldiers then began to hit the bus with their riffle butts to intimidate and incite fear in the female students.
Then, American male and female soldiers boarded the bus full of the frightened girls. A female solider first ordered the girls to remove their traditional head dress, then removed her own shirt revealing her breasts before ordering them to reveal their breasts as well.
Feeling under threat of abuse by the American occupation soldiers, the girls began to scream and call for help to the near-by office of the so-called ‘National Guards’, whose job has never been the protection of the people of Iraq, who know too well that the National Guards’ job is to protect the US forces of occupation from local unrest. Indeed, it was the heroics of the head of the Institute of Teaching who saved the girls, whose intervention proved to be vital to the release of the girls in their humiliating public abuse. The girls were finally released after three hours and in a state of fear and hysteria.
The following day saw other female students in the Institute go on a strike and demonstrate against the continued acts of intimidation and harassment by the US forces of occupation. The head of the Institute called in the local authorities to file a formal complaint. The local authorities sent a team to the Institute which included the local provincial head and the head of the local office of education. To add insult to injury, and to the shock and dismay of everyone, the local provincial head went to the defence of the US forces of occupation accusing the girls of lying. He then failed to offer an answer when he was asked how it was possible for 40 students to collectively tell a single lie! However, the head of the local office of education appeared to confirm the abuse story when he asked the head of the Institute and the girls to forgive what had taken place.
It is important to note that the national press was present at the institute to cover the plight of the female students in the face of occupation. However, the local provincial head threatened to discipline all if news of the abuse of the girls is published!
Article from Iraqi League