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"voices in the wilderness uk"Press Release
21 June 2000 For Immediate Release
Monsignor Gabriel Kassab
Archbishop of Basrah - Iraq
to hold a press conference in London.
Archbishop Kassab is calling a press conference for Friday the 23rd June, which will be held at St. James's Church Piccadilly. This will be his only press conference in Britain before he returns to Iraq.
Last week the Archbishop was in Rome to meet the Pope, who has spoken out strongly against the sanctions over the years.
In January 1998 the Pope condemned the "pitiless embargo on Iraq" stating that "the weak and the innocent cannot pay for mistakes for which they are not responsible". And again last yearduring his visit to India he called for a just solution to the Iraqi crisis "in order that an already sorely tried people may be spared further suffering and sorrow".
Pope John Paul (New Delhi) 6th November 1999
The economic sanctions on Iraq were imposed by the United Nations on the 6th August 1990, following Iraq invasion of Kuwait.
Hundreds of thousands of children have died in Iraq as a direct result of the UN sanctions. Denied adequate food, clean water and medical facilities, children succumb rapidly to malnutrition and infectious diseases. UNICEF reported in 1997 that nearly a million children under five were chronically malnourished. Further surveys in 1999 showed that child mortality in South/Central Iraq had more than doubled since 1989.
Throughout this time religious leaders have spoken out against the sanctions and tried to bring to the world's attention the humanitarian crisis that was taking place and continues to take place.
"Epidemics rage, taking away infants and sick by the thousands. Those
children who survive disease succumb to malnutrition which stunts their physical
and mental development. Our situation is unbearable. We appeal to the people of
conscience to end the blockade of Iraq".
Archbishop Gabriel Kassab, Basrah, August 1997
The press conference will be at St. James's Church Piccadilly in The Meeting Room (the basement). Accessible from Church Place, an alleyway running from Piccadilly to Jermyn Street at the East end of the Church.
For further details contact:
voices in the wilderness uk,16B Cherwell Street, Oxford OX4 1BG
Tel. 01865-243-232. e-mail :- firstname.lastname@example.org
Wales "voices in the wilderness"Dave Rolstone, Hamdden, Efailwen, Clynderwen, Pembs, SA66 7UZ
Tel. 01994-419-678e-mail :- email@example.com
Felicity Arbuthnot.Tel :- 0208-985-0058
Archbishop G. Kassad 23-6-00.wpd