Zaidoun's Accused Killers Face Trial

The BBC is now reporting that the American soldiers accused of drowning Zeyad's cousin Zaidoun in the Tigris River are being tried in Texas. Iraqi blog readers first learned of the killing a year ago through Healing Iraq. The BBC story adds that, according to the survivor of the drowning incident, the US soldiers laughed as Zaidoun drowned.
"He was calling my name, said: 'Help me! Help me!'" Marwan Fadel Hassoun told a military trial in Texas. Army Sgt Tracy Perkins, 33, is on trial for an array of charges including involuntary manslaughter. Three other soldiers have also been charged over the incident in the city of Samarra on 3 January 2004. Mr Fadel said he and his cousin were transporting plumbing supplies from Baghdad to the city when they were approached by US troops when their truck broke down a few minutes before a 2300 curfew. He said they were forced to the river at gunpoint. "We started to beg them not to throw us in the water," he said through a translator. "We said in English, 'Please, please', but it was in vain. "The soldiers had their rifles aimed at us. They were laughing." He said he tried to save his 19-year-old cousin by grabbing his hand, but to no avail.

Another entry in Healing Iraq (dated late January 2004) gives more of Zeyad's thoughts and a link to a Slate article on the killing.

We can't bring Zaidoun back to life, but we can honor him as a human being by making sure his killers receive their full measure of justice, and by ensuring that the soldiers of free nations are never allowed to disgrace their heritage in this way.