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Human Rights Watch has just made a statement critical of sanctions. Seems to me this would be good stuff to quote in letters to newspapers, if only because it has their name attached to it. Look out for it buried in the broadsheets somewhere! Cheers, Glenn The following is from BBC on-line World news http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/middle_east/newsid_593000/593012.stm Thursday, 6 January, 2000, 10:17 GMT Iraq trade sanctions plea The UN recently lifted Iraqi oil export restrictions A leading, international human rights group has called on the United Nations Security Council to lift most of its trade and investment sanctions against Iraq to ease the humanitarian crisis there. The New York-based group, Human Rights Watch, said the UN should, at the same time, tighten controls on Iraqi weapons imports. Instead of putting all the blame on Baghdad ... the Council has to face up to its own share of the responsibility The group also called for an international criminal tribunal to try Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and other top leaders for war crimes and crimes against humanity. The recommendations, outlined in a letter to the Security Council President, Richard Holbrooke, follow widespread concern over the impact of the 9-year-long UN embargo on the Iraqi population. Embargo suspension Human Rights Watch says the UN has not adequately addressed the public health emergency that has resulted from sanctions and the destruction of Iraq's civilian infrastructure. The Security Council last month adopted a resolution offering Iraq the chance of getting the UN embargo suspended if it co-operates with a new arms control body. Sanctions have left many Iraqis reliant on food handouts The UN also removed petroleum export restrictions on its oil-for-food programme. Human Rights Watch acknowledged this would enable Iraq to buy more medicine for its people, but said the measure did not go far enough in tackling the problems facing the country. Economy 'choked' "The scale of the crisis and the extent of the impoverishment require more than food and medicine and some spare parts," said Hanny Megally, executive director of HRW's Middle East and North Africa division. "Instead of being content to put all the blame on Baghdad, as the US government continues to do, the Council has to face up to its own share of the responsibility," he said. "Blocking the government's access to foreign exchange is one thing, but choking the entire economy to do so puts the burden mostly on ordinary Iraqis." The group said the Security Council should lift economic sanctions based on its responsibility to minimise harm done to civilians. But it accepted that military sanctions should stay, as well as the monitoring of goods which have both military and civilian uses. -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email firstname.lastname@example.org Full archive and list instructions are available from the CASI website: http://welcome.to/casi