The National Down Syndrome Congress (NDSC) and the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) condemned the use of individuals with Down syndrome by terrorists following dual bombings in Baghdad Friday. According to news reports, terrorists used remote-controlled explosives attached to two women with Down syndrome to kill at least 73 people.
Responding to news of the attack, NDSC Executive Director David Tolleson said, “this tragedy is compounded by the terrorist’s vicious exploitation of individuals with Down syndrome.” NDSS President Jon Colman agreed, noting that “this was not a suicide attack, these women were murdered, as surely as the other victims.”
This is not the first time individuals with Down syndrome have been used by terrorists in such deadly attacks in Iraq. On January 31, 2005, an explosive device tied to a boy with Down syndrome was exploded in Baghdad, in an act condemned at the time by NDSC and NDSS and others around the world.
Both the National Down Syndrome Society and the National Down Syndrome Congress urge the Iraqi government to use every available method to end the abuse of individuals with Down syndrome and to use this tragedy as a catalyst to enact and uphold policies and laws that will protect the basic human and civil rights of all individuals with disabilities.
National Down Syndrome Congress