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Special English

Iraq Museum International is joining an effort to translate interesting English texts into Special English so that they may be understood by the largest number of people worldwide who speak English.

Special English is English limited to a 1,500-word vocabulary. It also uses only the most easily understood sentence structures. It is still flexible enough to handle complex topics. It is used every day on Voice of America to broadcast to the largest audience possible news stories and discussions on major issues.

Also, Special English is easily translated into other languages, and yields superior results in computer-generated translations.

Converting normal English text into well-written Special English is an art and science practiced every day by a team of only 14 people at VOA. Iraq Museum International has created its own team of experienced Special English translators.

The cost is $167 per 1,000 words of Special English, including proofing. The capacity of our initial team is a total of 60,000 words per week. We are offering subscriptions to generate a total of 1.5 million words in Special English over our first 6-month period. The total cost for this initial Special English library is $250,500.

For more information, email us at SpecialEnglish@BaghdadMuseum.org

Benefits to Your Organization
  1. Broader dissemination of your ideas and information.
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  3. Faster and more precise translation into Arabic and other languages.
  4. Your texts become part of the library of Special English texts.
  5. Gives clarity to fundamental principles, rights, laws and policies.
  6. Fosters stakeholder engagement, cross-cultural dialogue and group problem-solving.
  7. Helps introduce Iraqis to the international and Internet economies.
Developments to Support Your Special English Campaign
  • We are training new writers to expand our team and capacity.
  • We are also building and promoting Special English glossaries for specific industries.
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  • Our XML standard for Special English will improve distribution of your documents.
  • We will maintain a searchable online library of Special English texts.
  • We will promote and deliver online courses in Special English.
Review Materials Below
  1. Sample news story broadcast worldwide written in Special English
  2. Iraqi "Bill of Rights" section of the interim constitution re-written in Special English
Some Quick Facts
  • Over 400 million people speak English as their first language.
  • Another 350 million speak English as their second language.
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  • 50% of adults in America cannot understand text written beyond a 10th grade level.
  • People who know 99% of the words in a document can fully understand what is written.
  • People who know only 98% of the words in a document cannot fully understand it.
  • To be certain to know 99% of the words of any article requires having a vocabulary of 16,386 words.
  • Mastering such a vocabulary takes 5 years of learning English.
  • Special English can be learned in a matter of weeks.


Broadcast: March 13, 2004

This is Bob Doughty with In the News, in VOA Special English.

A temporary constitution signed this week in Iraq takes effect on July first. That is one day after a temporary government is expected to take office.

All twenty-five members of the Iraqi Governing Council or their representatives signed the constitution on Monday. Members called it a new beginning for their country. The document will serve as the law during efforts to approve a permanent constitution and to hold elections for leaders.

The constitution is officially known as the Transitional Administrative Law in Iraq. It calls for elections by the end of next January to choose a temporary assembly. This group will propose a permanent constitution and choose a president and two deputy presidents.

Those three officials will choose a prime minister and a cabinet. The temporary government is to remain in power until Iraqis vote on a permanent constitution and directly elect leaders.

The document signed this week includes a bill of rights. It guarantees freedom of speech and religion. It also guarantees other rights denied by the government of Saddam Hussein, like the right to gather. The constitution says women will be represented in the government. Islam will be the official religion and what the document calls "a source of legislation." And Kurds will continue to have self-rule in northern Iraq.

The signing was delayed last week after bombings in Baghdad and Karbala. The ceremony was delayed a second time last Friday.

Shiite members of the American-appointed council had refused to sign the constitution because of objections by their leaders. Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani objected to two parts of the document. One would veto a permanent constitution if two-thirds of voters in any three provinces rejected it. This could give veto power to ethnic Kurds. They control three provinces.

Kurds say this part of the document protects them against having Shiites decide the terms of a permanent constitution. But Shiite leaders want it removed. They say it would let the Kurds block the will of the Shiite majority.

About sixty-percent of Iraqis are Shiite. Kurds are about twenty percent. Sunni Muslims are also about twenty percent. Iraq has twenty-five million people.

Shiite leaders also objected to a provision that would permit either of the future deputies to reject decisions of a Shiite president.

Shiite members of the Governing Council say they will seek changes in the parts of the document that they consider undemocratic.

Iraqis who praise the temporary constitution say it gives a voice to all groups. Others who reject the document call it a product of the United States.

President Bush called the signing this week historic. He says Iraq is on a long road to liberty and peace. But he says difficult work remains to establish democracy in Iraq.

In the News, in VOA Special English, was written by Cynthia Kirk. This is Bob Doughty.



ORIGINAL ENGLISH TEXT
SPECIAL ENGLISH VERSION
Coalition Provisional Authority


LAW OF ADMINISTRATION FOR THE STATE OF IRAQ

FOR THE TRANSITIONAL PERIOD


8 March 2004
Coalition Provisional Authority


LAW OF ADMINISTRATION FOR THE STATE OF IRAQ

FOR THE TRANSITIONAL PERIOD


8 March 2004

Note: Article 1 states that gender-specific language shall apply equally to male and female.
CHAPTER TWO – FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS CHAPTER TWO – FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS
Article 10.

As an expression of the free will and sovereignty of the Iraqi people, their representatives shall form the governmental structures of the State of Iraq. The Iraqi Transitional Government and the governments of the regions, governorates, municipalities, and local administrations shall respect the rights of the Iraqi people, including those rights cited in this Chapter.

Article 10.

The representatives of the State of Iraq will form the govermental structures of that state. They will do so to express the will and independent rule of the Iraqi people. The Iraqi Temporary Government and the governments at all levels, in all areas of Iraq will respect the rights of the Iraqi people. Those rights include the ones listed here.

Article 11.
  1. Anyone who carries Iraqi nationality shall be deemed an Iraqi citizen. His citizenship shall grant him all the rights and duties stipulated in this Law and shall be the basis of his relation to the homeland and the State.

  2. No Iraqi may have his Iraqi citizenship withdrawn or be exiled unless he is a naturalized citizen who, in his application for citizenship, as established in a court of law, made material falsifications on the basis of which citizenship was granted.

  3. Each Iraqi shall have the right to carry more than one citizenship. Any Iraqi whose citizenship was withdrawn because he acquired another citizenship shall be deemed an Iraqi.

  4. Any Iraqi whose Iraqi citizenship was withdrawn for political, religious, racial, or sectarian reasons has the right to reclaim his Iraqi citizenship.

  5. Decision Number 666 (1980) of the dissolved Revolutionary Command Council is annuled, and anyone whose citizenship was withdrawn on the basis of this decree shall be deemed an Iraqi.

  6. The National Assembly must issue laws pertaining to citizenship and naturalization consistent with the provisions of this Law

  7. The Courts shall examine all disputes airising from the application of the provisions relating to citizenship.
Article 11.
  1. Anyone who is a member of Iraq by birth or by law will be recognized as an Iraqi citizen. He will be allowed all the rights and duties given to a citizen in this Law. His relationship to the homeland and the State will be based on this citizenship.

  2. No native Iraqi citizen may have his citizenship withdrawn. No native citizen may be exiled from Iraq. But non-Iraqis who became established as citizens in a court of law may lose their citizenship under certain conditions. A citizen may lose his citizenship if, as established in a court of law, he made serious false statements when he requested legal permission to become a citizen. A citizen who made such false statements received his rights as a citizen under false conditions and may lose them.

  3. Each Iraqi has the right to become a citizen of more than one country. Any Iraqi whose citizenship was withdrawn because he became a citizen of another country will again be considered an Iraqi citizen.

  4. Any Iraqi whose Iraqi citizenship was withdrawn for political, religious, or racial reasons or because of his connection to a group has the right to reclaim his Iraqi citizenship.

  5. Anyone who lost his citizenship because of Decision Number 666 (1980) shall again be considered a citizen. The Decision Number 666 ruling made by the Revolutionary Command is no longer recognized. The Revolutionary Command is no longer a recognized group in Iraq.

  6. The National Assembly must make laws about citizenship in Iraq that recognize this Law as it is explained. The group must also make decisions about becoming a citizen of Iraq while respecting this Law as it is explained.

  7. The Courts shall investigate all disputes that result from acting on rights relating to citizenship.
Article 12.

All Iraqis are equal in their rights without regard to gender, sect, opinion, belief, nationality, religion, or origin, and they are equal before the law. Discrimination against an Iraqi citizen on the basis of his gender, nationality, religion, or origin is prohibited. Everyone has the right to life, liberty, and the security of his person. No one may be deprived of his life or liberty, except in accordance with legal procedures. All are equal before the courts.

Article 12.

All Iraqis are equal in their rights. It is illegal to treat an Iraqi with prejudice because of his sex,connection to any group, opinion, belief, religion, nation of birth or place of birth. Everyone has the right to life, independence, and security. No Iraqi may lose his life or independence except when required by the result of legal processes. All Iraqis are to be understood as equal when being tried in court.

Article 13.
  1. Public and private freedoms shall be protected.

  2. The right of free expression shall be protected.

  3. The right of free peaceable assembly and the right to join associations freely, as well as the right to form and join unions and political parties freely, in accordance with the law, shall be guaranteed.

  4. Each Iraqi has the right of free movement in all parts of Iraq and the right to travel abroad and return freely.

  5. Each Iraqi has the right to demonstrate and strike peaceably in accordance with the law.

  6. Each Iraqi has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religious belief and practice. Coercion in such matters shall be prohibited.

  7. Slavery, the slave trade, forced labor, and involuntary servitude with or without pay, shall be forbidden.

  8. Each Iraqi has the right to privacy.
Article 13.
  1. Public and private freedoms are protected.

  2. All Iraqis have the right to express themselves freely. That right is protected by law.

  3. Iraqis have the right to gather peacefully to express a common purpose. They have the right to join organizations freely. They have the right to form and join unions and political parties freely. These rights are guaranteed if the activities of the groups or organizations are legal.

  4. Each Iraqi has the right to travel freely in all parts of the country. Each Iraqi has the right to travel freely to other countries and return to Iraq.

  5. Each Iraqi has the right to demonstrate and strike peacefully. Those activities must be carried out in agreement with the law.

  6. Each Iraqi has the right to freely think as he wants. Each Iraqi is free to believe in right and wrong action and thought as he chooses. Each Iraqi has the right to his own religious beliefs and practices. It is illegal to force an Iraqi to think or believe in a way that he does not freely think or believe.

  7. Slavery and the slave trade are forbidden. Forced labor or forcing an Iraqi to do work he has not agreed to do--with or without pay--are forbidden.

  8. Each Iraqi has the right to privacy.
Article 14.

The individual has the right to security, education, health care, and social security. The Iraqi State and its governmental units, including the federal government, the regions, governorates, municipalities, and local administrations, within the limits of their resources and with due regard to other vital needs, shall strive to provide prosperity and employment opportunities to the people.

Article 14.

Each Iraqi has the right to security, education, health care, and social security. The Iraqi state and all levels of its government will work to provide these services to citizens. All levels of government will work to provide these services within the limits of thier resources. The government will do so while considering the other needs of its citizens. The government will also work to provide wealth and jobs for the people of Iraq.

Article 15.
  1. No civil law shall have retroactive effect unless the law so stipulates. There shall be neither a crime, nor punishment, except by law in effect at the time the crime is committed.

  2. Police, investigators, or other governmental authorities may not violate the sanctity of private residences, whether these authorities belong to the federal or regional governments, governorates, municipalities, or local administrations, unless a judge or investigating magistrate has issued a search warrant in accordance with applicable law on the basis of information provided by a sworn individual who knew that bearing false witness would render him liable to punishment. Extreme exigent circumstances, as determined by a court of competent jurisdiction, may justify a warrantless search, but such exigencies shall be narrowly construed. In the event that a warrantless search is carried out in the absence of an extreme exigent circumstance, the evidence so seized, and any other evidence found derivatively from such search, shall be inadmissible in connection with a criminal charge, unless the court determines that the person who carried out the warrantless search believed reasonably and in good faith that the search was in accordance with the law.

  3. No one may be unlawfully arrested or detained, and no one may be detained by reason of political or religious beliefs.

  4. All persons shall be guaranteed the right to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, regardless of whether the proceeding is civil or criminal. Notice of the proceeding and its legal basis must be provided to the accused without delay.

  5. The accused is innocent until proven guilty pursuant to law, and he likewise has the right to engage independent and competent counsel, to remain silent in response to questions addressed to him with no compulsion to testify for any reason, to participate in preparing his defense, and to summon and examine witnesses or to ask the judge to do so. At the time a person is arrested, he must be notified of these rights.

  6. The right to a fair, speedy, and open trial shall be guaranteed.

  7. Every person deprived of his liberty by arrest or detention shall have the right of recourse to a court to determine the legality of his arrest or detention without delay and to order his release if this occurred in an illegal manner.

  8. After being found innocent of a charge, an accused may not be tried once again on the same charge.

  9. Civilians may not be tried before a military tribunal. Special or exceptional courts may not be established.

  10. Torture in all its forms, physical or mental, shall be prohibited under all circumstances, as shall be cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment. No confession made under compulsion, torture, or threat thereof shall be relied upon or admitted into evidence for any reason in any proceeding, whether criminal or otherwise.
Article 15.
  1. No civil law shall be used to punish people who violated that law before it was declared. A law may punish a crime committed before the law was declared if the law says specifically that it will do so. It is not legal for the government to charge a citizen with criminal activity or punish a citizen for a crime unless a law is in effect at the time the crime is committed.

  2. It is illegal for police, investigators or officials from any level of government to investigate private houses. Such a search is illegal unless a judge has given to the officials legal documents approving the search. The judge must make his decision based on information provided by a person sworn to tell the truth. The person providing such information must know that giving false information is illegal and that he may be punished. Extreme circumstances may make legal the search of a private home without the proper legal documents. But a court must determine the circumstances. Those circumstances will be defined in a very restricted way. An illegal search will be defined as one carried out without the proper legal documents approving the search. It may also be defined as a search carried out in conditions that were not considered extreme by the court. Courts will not legally consider evidence seized or any other evidence found in connection with an illegally performed search. The court may decide to permit evidence found in a search that was not carried out legally. The court may permit the evidence if it determines that the person who carried out an search without the proper documents reasonably believed he was obeying the law at that time.

  3. No one may be illegally arrested or held by officials. No one may be held by officials for his political or religious beliefs.

  4. All persons shall be guaranteed the right to challenge charges brought against him in a fair and public court. That court will be independent and without prejudice. A person is guaranteed that right when challenging both civil or criminal charges. A person must be officially told he is required to appear in court without delay once charges are brought against him. A person must also be told the legal reason that he must appear in court as soon as possible.


  5. A person accused of a crime is to be considered not guilty until he is proven guilty. He has the right to hire an independent and able lawyer. He has the right to refuse to answer questions asked by officials. Officials may not for any reason force him to speak or admit guilt to the charges brought against him . He has the right to take part in preparing his legal defense. He has the right to call and examine those who may have observed the circumstances of the charges brought against him. He also has the right to ask the judge to demand that those observers speak in court. A person must be told he has these rights at the time he is arrested.

  6. Each Iraqi citizen is guaranteed the right to a fair, quick and public trial.

  7. Every person who is arrested or held by the government has the right to challenge that arrest. He has the right to ask a court to decide if the arrest was legal. He has the right to challenge an arrest without delay. Each person has the right to demand his release if his arrest was not legal.

  8. A citizen may not be tried again for the same charge once a court has found that he is not guilty of that charge.

  9. A civilian may not be charged and tried in a military court. Special or unreasonable courts may not be established.

  10. Torture in all its forms is illegal in all cases. That law includes both physical and mental torture. All actions against a person that are understood as violations of human rights are illegal. Evidence collected by torturing or threatening to torture a person will not be recognized in any legal situation. Such evidence will not be recognized if the situation is criminal, civil or any other.
Article 16.
  1. Public property is sacrosanct, and its protection is the duty of every citizen.

  2. The right to private property shall be protected, and no one may be prevented from disposing of his property except within the limits of law. No one shall be deprived of his property except by eminent domain, in circumstances and in the manner set forth in law, and on condition that he is paid just and timely compensation.

  3. Each Iraqi citizen shall have the full and unfettered right to own real property in all parts of Iraq without restriction.
Article 16.
  1. Every citizen has the duty and responsibility to protect public property.

  2. The right to private property is protected. No one may be prevented from doing as he chooses with his property as long as his action is legal. No one shall have his property taken from him. However, the state may sieze the property of a person if that property is to be used for a public project that will benefit all Iraqi citzens. The courts will define how the state should be allowed take the property of a citizen in those situations. That person will be paid for his property fairly and quickly.

  3. Each Iraqi citizen will have the full right to own real property in all parts of Iraq without restriction.
Article 17.

It shall not be permitted to possess, bear, buy, or sell arms except on licensure issued in accordance with the law.

Article 17.

No person is permitted to have, use, buy or sell weapons unless he has gotten permits making the property, activity or sale legal.

Article 18.

There shall be no taxation or fee except by law.

Article 18.

There shall be no tax or extra payment for goods or services except those demanded by law.

Article 19.

No political refugee who has been granted asylum pursuant to applicable law may be surrendered or returned forcibly to the country from which he fled.

Article 19.

No political refugee who has been given legal asylum in Iraq shall be surrendered or returned by force to the country from which he fled.

Article 20.
  1. Every Iraqi who fulfills the conditions stipulated in the electoral law has the right to stand for election and cast his ballot secretly in free, open, fair, competitive, and periodic elections.

  2. No Iraqi may be discriminated against for purposes of voting in elections on the basis of gender, religion, sect, race, belief, ethnic origin, language, wealth, or literacy.
Article 20.
  1. No Iraqi who meets the legal conditions to vote in elections will be prevented from voting. Every Iraqi has the right to vote secretly in free, open, fair, competitive and regular elections.

  2. Sex, religion, group, race, belief, ethnicity, language, wealth or the ability to read are not legal reasons to prevent any Iraqi from voting in an election.
Article 21.

Neither the Iraqi Transitional Government nor the governments and administrations of the regions, governorates, and municipalities, nor local administrations may interfere with the right of the Iraqi people to develop the institutions of civil society, whether in cooperation with international civil society organizations or otherwise.

Article 21.

The people of Iraqi have the right to develop civil organizations or groups. Iraqis may form civil organization in cooperation with international civil society organizations or independently. It is illegal for the Iraqi Transitional Government or any adminstration at any level of the Iraqi government to interfere with this right.

Article 22.

If, in the course of his work, an official of any government office, whether in the federal government, the regional governments, the governorate and municipal administrations, or the local administrations, deprives an individual or a group of the rights guaranteed by this Law or any other Iraqi laws in force, this individual or group shall have the right to maintain a cause of action against that employee to seek compensation for the damages caused by such deprivation, to vindicate his rights, and to seek any other legal measure. If the court decides that the official had acted with a sufficient degree of good faith and in the belief that his actions were consistent with the law, then he is not required to pay compensation.

Article 22.

An Iraqi citizen or group has the right to take legal action against an Iraqi official at any level of government. A person or group can take legal action against an official if that official violates the rights of the person or group while carrying out his work. Those rights are to be understood as the rights guaranteed by this Law or any other Iraqi laws in force. A person or group may seek payment from an official for damages caused by such a violation of rights. That person or group also may also seek other legal action against an official who has violated legal rights. The official who has been charged is not required to pay for damages under certain conditions. He is not required to pay if the court decides that that official was acting in the belief he was legally carrying out his job in performing the disputed action.

Article 23.

The enumeration of the foregoing rights must not be interpreted to mean that they are the only rights enjoyed by the Iraqi people. They enjoy all the rights that befit a free people possessed of their human dignity, including the rights stipulated in international treaties and agreements, other instruments of international law that Iraq has signed and to which it has acceded, and others that are deemed binding upon it, and in the law of nations. Non-Iraqis within Iraq shall enjoy all human rights not inconsistent with their status as non-citizens.

Article 23.

The rights listed above must not be understood as the only rights held by the citizens of Iraq. They have all the rights of any people understood to be citizens of a independent nation. Those rights include any given to them through international treaties and agreements. Those rights also include any given to them by any international law that Iraq has signed and to which it has agreed. Iraqi also have the rights that Iraq and all nations are expected to protect for their citizens. Non-Iraqis within Iraq will also be allowed all human rights given to to those who are not citizens of Iraq.






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