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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE- 6th August 2001
Former Assistant Secretary General to the United Nations breaks the trend by flying in from Geneva, putting on his hiking boots and walking the British countryside!
Hans von Sponeck, former UN Assistant Secretary General and humanitarian co-ordinator in Iraq whom resigned amongst a blaze of controversy and much publicity is about to start walking into yet more controversy. He will attempt to break all the taboos and set an example by walking the foot and mouth infected British countryside. The reason for his sudden interest in the British countryside is because he wants to rendezvous with two girls on a 1200 mile long sanctions-protest walk from John O’Groats to Land’s End. Corinne Fowler and Sally Entwistle are walking in condemnation of the government’s continued support for economic sanctions on Iraq. Hans von Sponeck plans to join them for part of the way in an act of solidarity for the people of Iraq so is flying in from Geneva this Saturday (11th August) armed with a pair of hiking boots.
The trio will be challenging the new US-backed British proposed ‘smart’ sanctions policy as nothing but a cosmetic re-packaging of the already existing policy, for which the UK and US are the sole advocates. The UN Security Council will meet again in December in an attempt to reach an agreement on the shelved new proposals. Meanwhile the US is preparing for a possible bombing of Baghdad. The timing of von Sponeck’s visit is impeccable he will have much to say about these current issues.
Hans von Sponeck resigned his position in May 2000 ending a 34 year long career in the UN. His resignation was in protest at the effect of the economic embargo on ordinary Iraqis, in particular children. He was very outspoken in his resignation speech saying, “As a UN official I should not be expected to be silent. How long must the civilian population be exposed to such punishment for something that they have never done?”
The Iraqi anti-sanctions movement has managed to evolve from a small and isolated movement into a highly organised international one. Sally and Corinne are members of Britain Against Sanctions on Iraq (BASI) a national group run by student volunteers. The walk is the first of its kind in this movement and symbolises the revolt by the many ordinary people who are dismayed and appalled at the British government’s contempt for human rights in Iraq.
Hans von Sponeck and the girls will be readily available for interviews and photo-calls at any point along their route. Von Sponeck will fly into Heathrow and then make his way to meet the girls in the countryside on the outskirts of Bristol – a photo opportunity not to be missed!
Contact BASI for more info Tel: 0113 282 4810 Mob: 07713 742021