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Voices delegation investigates Tell A'afer bombing

Dear all

Press release phoned through from Baghdad this evening, of interest 
to those engaged in anti-bombing campaigning.



For immediate release


In an act of solidarity, a delegation of US and British citizens will 
journey to Tell A'afer in northern Iraq on June 22 to visit the victims 
of the recent US/UK bombing. 

According to the Iraqi News Agency, 23 people were killed by the 
bombs on Wednesday 20 June.

'This appears to be a further violation of the sovereignty of Iraq's 
airspace by the countries from which we come. There is no 
justification for this continuing violence, which is illegal under 
international law,' said Lauren Cannon (31), delegation leader.

The US and UK have denied any loss of life. 

The delegation consists of a British lawyer and doctor and three 
American educators, all members of Voices in the Wilderness, a 
human rights organisation campaigning for the lifting of economic 
sanctions against Iraq.

Each US member of Voices in the Wilderness risks 12 years 
imprisonment and up to $1 million in fines by travelling to Iraq. Each 
British member risks up to 5 years imprisonment for taking goods to 
and from Iraq without a government licence.

On June 20, the group further violated the US/UK mandates by 
travelling within the no-fly zones on a domestic flight from Basra to 

The current "smart sanctions" proposal by the UK, under 
consideration by the United Nations Security Council, would include 
inspection of Iraqi domestic flights as well as stationing observers at 
international airports.

Laurel Severns of Chicago stated this would be funded by the UN-
controlled escrow account of Iraq's oil-for-food revenues, forcing Iraq 
to pay for its own seige.

In addition the delegates have openly and publicly bought goods in 
Iraq such as native dates and date palm fans. They play to auction 
these items in the UK to further expose the US/UK-led policy that 
Iraq may not even export such simple items 10 years after the Gulf 
War. Any proceeds will directly benefit campaigning against the 
economic sanctions.

Upon returning to Baghdad, the group will give a full press conference 
on their findings at Tell A'afer at the headquarters of the Iraqi 
Airways office on 28 April Street, Baghdad, on Saturday 23 June at 


Milan Rai
Joint Coordinator, Voices in the Wilderness UK
29 Gensing Road, St Leonards on Sea East Sussex UK TN38 0HE
Phone/fax 0845 458 9571 local rate within UK
Phone/fax 44 1424 428 792 from outside UK
Pager 07623 746 462
Voices website

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