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Letter from Denis Halliday, Hans von Sponeck et. al.

We the undersigned deplore the British Government’s lack of honesty
concerning the economic sanctions on Iraq.

Last August, in an open letter to the UN Security Council, 6 NGO’s,
including Human Rights Watch and Save the Children UK, wrote that ‘the
Council must recognise that the sanctions have contributed in a major way to
persistent life-threatening conditions in the country.’ In February the
Catholic aid agency CAFOD described the economic sanctions on Iraq as
‘humanly catastrophic, morally indefensible and politically ineffective.’
Yet we still find Robin Cook writing that ‘Saddam alone is to blame for his
people’s suffering’ (Telegraph, 20th February).

The British Government is desperately trying to repackage the embargo for PR
purposes but, as the Economist  has noted (24th February), ‘the British
proposal of ‘smart sanctions’ offers an aspirin where surgery is called for.

For these reasons we support the mass ‘nose-in’ outside the Foreign Office
today [the 29th April] ( ). We urge the British Government
to stop lying and adopt a genuinely smart policy: an immediate end to the
economic sanctions on Iraq.

Denis Halliday (UN Humanitarian Co-ordinator for Iraq, Sep. '97 - Sep. '98)
Hans von Sponeck (UN Humanitarian Co-ordinator for Iraq, Oct. '98 - March
Mark Thomas
Benjamin Zephaniah
Iain Banks
Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Wales
Jean Dreze

c/o voices in the wilderness uk
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Oxford OX4 1BG
tel. 01865 - 243 232

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