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Friday November 10 12:26 PM ET British Activists Fly to Iraq By LEON BARKHO, Associated Press Writer BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - A group of defiant peace activists flew into Baghdad on Friday - the first flight from Britain to Iraq in a decade. British lawmaker George Galloway, a critic of U.N. sanctions imposed on Baghdad for its invasion of Kuwait in 1990, led the group. He said it did not seek permission for the flight from the United Nations (news - web sites) or the British Foreign Office. ``We didn't notify the British government, the United Nations - we came here as free citizens of the world to this country that we love,'' Galloway told state-run Iraqi television. The flight, Galloway said in a statement faxed to The Associated Press, took off ``under the cover of darkness and subterfuge from Manston airfield in Kent.'' ``I hope that the government won't take action against us, but if they do, then we'll relish our days in court,'' Galloway was quoted as saying in the statement. A British Foreign Office official said in London that Britain did not consider the flight a violation of the sanctions. The chartered Hungarian plane carried eight passengers. They are expected to attend a three-day forum sponsored by the Iraqi government aimed at seeking an end to the sanctions. Iraqi state television also reported the arrival of a plane carrying a delegation headed by Russian ultranationalist leader Vladimir Zhironovsky. He also was to attend the government forum. Dozens of international flights from non-governmental organizations and foreign countries seeking an end to U.N. sanctions have landed in Baghdad in the last two months. Iraq this week resumed domestic flights in defiance of the no-fly zones the United States and Britain have been policing since shortly after a U.S.-led force drove Iraq from Kuwait in the 1991 Gulf War. Friday's flight from Britain was paid for by donations to the Mariam Appeal, an organization fighting to end the sanctions, which Iraq blames for the deaths of more than 1 million people. In 1999, Galloway drove from London to Baghdad in a British double-decker bus full of Britons, Moroccans, Algerians, French and Jordanians to publicize his call for an end to the U.N. sanctions. He was given a hero's welcome in Baghdad. The U.N. has said the sanctions will be lifted only after U.N. weapons inspectors certify Iraq has scrapped its weapons of mass destruction. The Iraqi government says it has done so, and since December 1998, has barred the United Nations from weapons inspections. -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email email@example.com Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website: http://www.casi.org.uk