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PRESS RELEASE voices in the wilderness uk 21st March 2001 tel. 01865 - 243 232 Shortlisted group thrown out of awards ceremony after challenging Blair over Iraq sanctions. A representative of the sanctions-breaking group voices in the wilderness uk  was thrown out of an awards ceremony at the Savoy Hotel this evening (21st March), after challenging the Prime Minister to ‘tell the truth and show some compassion’ over the economic sanctions on Iraq . Mr Blair was at the Savoy to present The Muslim News’ Awards for Excellence . voices in the wilderness uk - which breaks the economic sanctions on Iraq by taking medical equipment to Iraq without export licences - had been shortlisted for the Annemarie Schimmel award for a non-muslim organisation that ‘has supported a Muslim cause.’ Referring to sounds of children Mr Blair told the 300-strong audience that ‘those are noises I’m familiar with’, whereupon voices representative Milan Rai stood up and shouted: ‘What about the children in Iraq Prime Minister? The children are dying in Iraq because of sanctions. Tell the truth and show some compassion.’ Mr Rai, who has broken  the sanctions three times in the last three years - most recently this January - was then ejected from the ceremony by a member of Special Branch. NOTES  voices in the wilderness uk challenges the economic sanctions by openly taking medical supplies to Iraq without applying for export licences. Since Feb ’98, voices has sent 7 sanctions-breaking trip to Iraq.  Last month the Catholic aid agency CAFOD described these sanctions as ‘humanly catastrophic, morally indefensible and politically ineffective’ (for further information call Fiona Fox on 0207 733 7900).  The Muslim News is ‘largest independent Muslim newspaper in Britain.’ (www.muslimnews.co.uk).  Under the Iraq and Kuwait (United Nations Sanctions) Order 1990, taking any goods to Iraq without an export licence is a violation of the law punishable by up to five years in prison. -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email firstname.lastname@example.org Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website: http://www.casi.org.uk