The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]


>From todays Independent (15th April).
Letters to



 UK lifeline for Iraqi girl with leukaemia 

A LABOUR MP is expected to fly out of Iraq today with a four-year-old girl
who is to receive leukaemia treatment in the Britain. George
Galloway,enlisted the personal help of Robin Cook, the Foreign Secretary,
to get sanctions against the country lifted so that the child could leave. 
His move has not, however, attracted universal approval - with Iraqi
opposition groups and a Labour MP dismissing it as a stunt. 

Mr Galloway, MP for Glasgow Kelvin, met Mariam Hamza last month when he
visited Iraq to see the plight of sick children. When he returned he asked
the Foreign Secretary to help. Mr Cook asked the British mission to the
United Nations to pass details of the girl's plight to its sanctions
committee, and the committee agreed to let her leave. 

Although this is the first time such measures have been taken to bring an
Iraqi child to Britain, a dozen such children went to Austria for
treatment three years ago. 

Mr Galloway said yesterday that Mariam would die if she was left in Iraq. 

"We hope to highlight the plight of thousands of children who are dying
because UN sanctions will not allow medicines in to Iraq," he said. 

"I'm very grateful indeed to Robin Cook and the British government for
their timely action in getting the UN sanctions committee to give us this
permission. Without it, the aeroplane would be shot down and if we
travelled by road it would be a 12-hour journey which this child is simply
too sick to make. It means that we can get back to Britain and the
life-saving treatment Mariam needs all the quicker." 

The MP and the child are expected to fly from Iraq to Jordan today, along
with her grandmother, and on to London tomorrow. They will then go on to
Glasgow, where Mariam will be treated at the Royal Hospital for Sick
Children in Yorkhill. The cost, between #7,000 and #50,000, will be met by
a fund set up by the MP and backed by Arab businessmen and royalty. 

Mr Galloway has called for the lifting of sanctions against Iraq, blaming
them for the dire situation in the country's hospitals. However, the Iraqi
opposition blames Saddam himself, and points out that UN sanctions do not
prevent him from importing the food and medicine that is needed. 

Ann Clywd, Labour MP for Cynon Valley and a long-term campaigner against
Saddam, said it was unfair to give the child special treatment. "Why one
child? This happens to be a very pretty, very winsome-looking child. I
think it's a huge propaganda coup." 

Nabeel Musawi, head of political liaison for the Iraqi National Congress,
a group which opposes Saddam Hussein, said that the dictator, and not the
sanctions, were at the root of the problem. "The only way to resolve this
issue once and for all is by helping the Iraqi people to get rid of this
regime," he said. 

Iraq Appeal 

THE INDEPENDENT'S Iraq Appeal has raised nearly #83,000 to help treat more
than 2,000 children suffering from leukaemia believed by many to be caused
by weapons used during the Gulf War. 

Will Day, National Director of Care International UK, one of the two
charities working with The Independent said he was delighted at the
generosity of readers. 

"As described so dramatically in Robert Fisk's article, the hospitals in
Iraq have very limited resources, so the more money is raised the more
supplies we can send to ease the suffering of the young children. 

"The first step is to work with the Ministry of Health in Baghdad and the
hospitals to ensure that the most essential medicines and anti-cancer
treatmentsare delivered." 

Please send cheques, made out to The Independent Iraq Appeal, to: PO Box
No 6870, 1 Canada Square, London E14 5BT. 




This is a discussion list run by Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
To be removed/added, email, NOT the
whole list. Archived at

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]