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The 15th Voices in the Wilderness Delegation Departs for Iraq

                                PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release                           Contact:Kathy Kelly 
September 16, 1998                                      Voices in the Wilderness
                Voices in the Wilderness Members Depart for Iraq

Chicago -- Eight years of U.S. supported U.N. economic sanctions against
Iraq  have prompted four members of the Voices in the Wilderness campaign to
travel to Iraq in deliberate and public violation of U.S. law.  The U.N.
Security Council insists on weapons experts certifying that Iraq has
destroyed its long-range missiles and biological, chemical, and nuclear
weapons, before it would consider lifting the
sanctions.  However, many fail to see that the sanctions themselves have
become a weapon of mass destruction, claiming the lives of hundreds of
thousands of innocent civilians.  As U.N. officials, including Mary
Robinson, UN High Commissioner of Human Rights, have declared, the sanctions
are imposed in flagrant violation of many international laws and provisions
and in violation of the economic, social and
cultural rights of the people.  The Security Council recently voted to
indefinitely suspend its sanctions reviews, while hundreds of children die
each month of treatable diseases and malnutrition.

The fifteenth delegation of  Voices in the Wilderness will travel in
defiance of a U.S. State Department travel ban and Treasury Office
regulations  which prohibits  Americans from engaging in any transactions
related to travel to and within Iraq.  They risk penalties of 12 years in
prison and over $1 million in fines.  However, deeply concerned for the
human rights of the Iraqi people, the members feel it necessary to challenge
the sanctions, to witness the terrible results of U.S. policies, and to
raise awareness about the enormous suffering endured by innocent civilians
in Iraq.

The delegation will depart Chicago on Thursday, September 17, carrying
several thousand dollars worth of medical supplies and medical journals,
which will be delivered directly to Iraqi hospitals.

Members of the campaign advocate nonviolence as a means for social change
and oppose the development, storage and use - in any country - of weapons of
mass destruction, be they nuclear, chemical, biological or economic.

Delegation members are:  Charles Brown, a student from Bellingham, WA;
Nancy Gust, a marketing consultant from Arlington, MA;  Ken
Hannaford-Ricardi, a social worker from Worcester, MA; and delegation leader
Chuck Quilty of Rock Island, IL, a co-founder of Voices in the Wilderness,
who has traveled five times to Iraq.  

Flight Information:    LV  O'Hare  9pm  Thu Sept 17  Royal Jordanian FL 264   
                       AR  Amman  6:30pm  Fri Sept 18 
                       AR  O'Hare Airport  7pm  Thu Oct 1 RJ FL 263 (LV Amman 12:30pm) 

The delegation members will be available at the gate for interviews prior to
departure starting at 5:30p.m.  In Amman, they can be reached at Al Monzer
Hotel at 462-9469.
Voices in the Wilderness
A Campaign to End the US/UN Economic Sanctions Against the People of Iraq
1460 West Carmen Ave.
Chicago, IL 60640
ph:773-784-8065; f: 773-784-8837

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