Trouble counting the dead
And a concerted effort to make it even more difficult.
"Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's office has instructed the country's health ministry to stop providing mortality figures to the United Nations, jeopardizing a key source of information on the number of civilian war dead in Iraq, according to a U.N. document." [The Post]
Via Media Lens
Jon Snow reports on the difficulties of reporting the reality of the occupation of Iraq, from inside the Green Zone.
"This remains one of the least well covered conflicts of the modern television age."
Via Pete Charles
"Iraq's Health Ministry has ordered a halt to a count of civilians killed during the war and told its statistics department not to release figures compiled so far, the official who oversaw the count told The Associated Press on Wednesday." [USA Today 2003]
"Faik Bakir, the director of the Baghdad morgue, has fled Iraq in fear of his life after reporting that more than 7,000 people have been killed by death squads in recent months, the outgoing head of the UN human rights office in Iraq has disclosed." [Guardian]
"Days after the bombing of a Shiite shrine unleashed a wave of retaliatory killings of Sunnis, the leading Shiite party in Iraq's governing coalition directed the Health Ministry to stop tabulating execution-style shootings, according to a ministry official familiar with the recording of deaths." [Washington Post]
Via Ron F
"Iraqi hospitals are dangerous places. Policemen and soldiers carry their wounded comrades into operating theatres and demand immediate treatment, forcing doctors at gunpoint to abandon operations on civilians before they are completed. The hospital system is not a haven from the war. The Health Ministry is controlled by the supporters of the nationalist cleric Muqtada al-Sadr who did well in the elections in December." [Patrick Cockburn in the Independent]