Censored again

IssueMarch 2008
News by Polina Aksamentova

After additional research undertaken in rural Iraq, Britain's ORB (Opinion Research Business) polling agency has largely confirmed on 28 January its earlier estimate that over a million Iraqis have died since the invasion of British and American forces.

The revised estimate puts the death toll at 1,033,000 people down from the 1.2m-figure published in August.

The initial analysis was based on surveys from primarily urban areas. ORB decided to check their results when critics suggested that such a sample inflated the estimate.

The agency interviewed additional 600 Iraqis in rural communities bringing the total sample to 2,160 people. All participants were asked how many members of their household, if any, had died violently since the invasion: 14% said one relative, 3% said two relatives and 1% said three. Both estimates are based on the 1997 census, which counted 4.05m households.

If the margin of error is considered the death toll ranges from 946,000 to 1,120,000 people between March 2003 and August 2007.

So the new sample did, in fact, yield a lower estimate, but the results are by and large the same: a million civilians died because of British/US-led hostilities.

Like the original poll in August, the new - and now more credible - estimate was not reported in the major British media.

Topics: Iraq