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Dear all, The FCO has just posted onto its website a report entitled "HUMAN RIGHTS IN IRAQ DETERIORATE". The document does not seem to contain any information that is not already reported either by Amnesty International or the Special Rapporteurs of the UN Commission on Human Rights, Max von der Stoël and (as of January 2000) Andreas Mavrommatis. Despite its title, the report seems not to describe any new developments, but merely to outline issues that are already well-known. The appalling human rights record of the Iraqi regime is naturally easily expounded, and it is hard to see whom the FCO is trying to convince. Interestingly, however, the FCO also feels compelled to mention points that very directly relate to the criticism of sanctions. Notably, one heading is entitled "Food and health needs", under which it is mentioned that Max van der Stoel pointed out in his reports that the Government of Iraq refused until 1996 to participate in the 'oil for food' programme first proposed by the UN in 1991. It also relates that "Andreas Mavrommatis also reported that the Iraqi Government was using the ration card system as a means of pressure and intimidation". Naturally, while noting that Mavrommatis "called on Iraq to take more steps, to the maximum of its available resources", it does not discuss the reason for the shortage of those resources in the first place. Equally unsurprisingly, is that while it refers to Amnesty's criticism of the GoI, it does not care to mention the concern expressed by Amnesty US (and UK, to some extent) about the effects of sanctions. Also, while invoking the authority of the UNCHR, it fails to make any mention of the report by Marc Bossuyt, on "The adverse consequences of economic sanctions on the enjoyment of human rights", prepared for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in September this year. The oil-for-food programme is further mentioned under the heading "WHAT BRITAIN DOES TO HELP". Stating that "thousands of millions of dollars have been spent bringing vital assistance to the people of Iraq in meeting their daily needs", it fails to explain why these daily news are so much greater now than before the imposition of sanctions, in spite of the regime being the same. Moreover, the report at this point gets completely out of hand. It says that "Iraq finally allowed the ['oil for food']programme to get underway in late 1999"(should be 1996). A little later, it goes on to claim that "Britain invested considerable energy throughout 1996 in securing adoption of a new SCR, 1284" (the year should be 1999). Perhaps just a typo, but given the invitation that "Your comments on the usefulness of this paper are welcome on the FCO web site facility: http://www.fco.gov.uk/feedback.asp", it's a bit hard to restrain oneself. Really, - like Peter Brooke points out - one is left with the impression that most people on this list do a better job of criticising the Iraqi government than does the FCO. Regards, Per Klevnäs -- Research Co-ordinator, Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq http://www.casi.org.uk fax 0870 063 5022 Girton College, tel: +44 (0)79 905 01 905 Cambridge CB3 0JG fax: +44 (0)87 016 96 390 England -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 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