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Hi When the UK government froze the accounts of Iraqi's in 1990 the UK banks went through their computers and froze every account that had" Iraqi" entered into the nationality field of the record. This rule applied irrespective whether the account holder was a resident of the UK or Iraq or any place else in the world. A friend was in London at that time. The British council sponsored his trip to the UK and he was getting a monthly payment from the British government. His account was frozen like the rest of the "Iraqi" accounts but he kept getting checks from the British government!! I am told that even the Iraqi embassy accounts where frozen which created a very big problem since the embassy used to pay for the thousands of Iraqi scholarship students studying at British universities. You can imagine the plight of those thousands of students whose accounts were frozen and their embassy cannot send them money or pay their bills. That was 11 years ago. Below are some examples of the current application of the regulations: 1- An Iraqi insurance company has a property (and a bank account) in London bought years ago. The company cannot have an office in London so the appointed a lawyer to look after their affairs. The lawyer appointed a state agent to rent the property. The agent deducts his charges from the rent and deposit the rest in the bank account (the account is NOT frozen in this instance) but when the British lawyer wants his fee he cannot withdraw from account because it is Frozen!! 2- An Iraqi friend used to work FAO (the UN) for twenty years outside Iraq. He has an account with a bank in London. His last deposit was after August 1990 from his UN post in Yemen. Several years ago he decided to come back to Iraq. He thought that he could spend the money to buy a nice house and enjoy his retirement. After singing contract for the purchase of the house and nice furniture he dashed to Amman to withdraw "some" of his money in London. His bankers informed him that his accounts are frozen and cannot get a single penny. He pleaded with them that his money originated from the UN and from outside Iraq but they refused. My friend gave up smoking because he could not afford too many vices at one time with no income! 3- Last year I was approached by retired University professor some 65 years old. He has an account at a British bank and a house in the UK. He was not permitted to withdraw from his account to meet his expenses and to add insult to injury he was not given a visa to go to the UK to sell his house. He told me all that he wanted was to settle his financial affairs before he dies! 4- Some one has an account with Midland bank, Park lane branch in London he tried desperately to get some money from his (frozen) account but he could not. He approached the Arab bank in Jordan for help. They advised him that if he open's another frozen account with their branch in London (less than 100 meters away from the midland branch) they, the Arab bank in Jordan, might conceder giving him a lone and use his frozen account as a collateral. He did all that BUT the UK central bank refused to transfer the money from ONE frozen account to ANOTHER frozen account both in London. The man was left broke despite the fact that he has money (frozen in the UK) that he is prevented from accessing it for NO reason except his nationality. 5- Many people, who have money abroad, seek medical help abroad. Naturally their medical condition is so bad that they tolerate the tortures trip and the expenses to Jordan. Doctors face big problems they need the money upfront before treating the patient fearing that the patient might not live!. The banks will not pay the money in advance of the operation. The argument, which comes first the chicken or the egg, goes on for some time. Many Patients have died before that argument was settled. I am sure that their death is attributed to the sanctions 6- I am told by my British lawyer that there is no way for me to get my hand on, even a small part, of my money frozen in the UK. Eleven years ago my "kids" were kid. I used to please them buying them a toy or a chockalott bar. The "kids" are now attending medical school and soon they will graduate as doctors and they will get $3 a month!!. Now what please them is a car, a P3 computer, a fancy dress, lots of makeup, and all the expensive things. Dad you have the money why not spend it they say. I keep reminding them that for the last 11 years I have been borrowing money because I cannot get to my money. I keep reminding them that our financial difficulty is due mainly to the unjustifiable freezing of our accounts. 7- Two years ago my father (79 years old) visited the UK. He applied to the bank to withdraw about 1000 pound out of his account to cover his expenses. He left the UK a month later without getting the permission. Luckily my brother in London paid for his expenses. 8- Some tried to have legal residency in another country or even a second nationality in an attempt to unfreeze their accounts. I am told they very few had success with this. As a matter of facts most Iraqi's living in the UK now have to various degree a limitation on the amount of that they can take out of their account. 9-Thousands and thousands of Iraqi's used to travel regularly to the UK to study or vacations or business. They would open a bank account when they first arrive and will not bother to close the account when they leave because they will come back again and put more money in the account. These accounts belong to Doctors, Engineers, Teachers, … highly educated people as well as businessmen, even housewives. The freezing of these civilian accounts constituted a violation of our human rights. Considering the harsh realty of the economic situation of Iraq after ten years of sanctions, the continuation of the "freezing for 11 years and counting" is defiantly a crime that cannot be morally or legally justified. I am sure the each and every one of us affected by the freezing of our personal accounts will include this action in his list of "Why we hate the west". BBC and VOA may tell us that the rest of the world hate the west because of "our democracy and human values" and that such actions are not intended to hurt the innocent civilian population of Iraq. Bull shit THEY simply don't know what they are talking about. No wonder the west is under attack and is losing credibility they believe their own lies. I can see one day one of those thousands will be so frustrated that he will revert to violence and the west will have to fight bin-Dollars terrorist organization! Ghazwan Al-Mukhtar Baghdad, Iraq firstname.lastname@example.org -----Original Message----- From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]On Behalf Of farbuthnot Sent: Tuesday, October 30, 2001 1:47 PM To: email@example.com Subject: Frozen bank accounts. Hi - Colin was asking about frozen bank accounts. I am out of date with the legal aspect but know a bit about the personal in the UK. The norm is that if someone comes from Iraq, say for medical treament, they can draw on the account for legitimate expenses. The 'catch 22' is that they must present the bills and take them to the bank. To have the bill means usually that you have already made the purchase - but the money is frozen in the bank. Even having navigated this by a loan from a friend, say, I know of cases where banks have chastised the account holder for expenses as being unnecessary. One formerly wealthy man was reduced nearly to tears at having to beg for his money to pay his bills. Also, throughout Iraq, prfessionals, now living in desparate circumstances, say to one sadly`I still have (x hundreds, or sometimes thousands ) of £'s in' such and such a bank in the UK. Money which could mean the difference of life and death often for they and their dependents. Another ongoing tragedy is that moneys seem not to be able to be transferred. It is only by going into the bank in the uk that it can be drawn (with receipts.) So often people borrow or sell to get to Jordan, thinking they can go into a bank there and get a tranfer from their bank in the UK, and then take it back to Iraq, as would be the case in the real world. They can't. Can this be legal? It also, it would seem sets a precedence as is happening now re Afghanistan with people and organisations simply finding their moneys frozen without even a court order. Another often forgotten aspect is the huge amount of Iraqi students and post graduate students who were here at the outbreak of the ``Gulf war, whose fees and expenses, lodgings etc were paid by the Iraqi government. They were literally stranded with all moneys cut off, unable to stay or go. And by the way, the reason an Iraqi vosa has to be paid for in cash in that even the Embassy is not allowed a bank account. An Embassy, without a bank account??? Even in the second world war German official bodies were allowed accounts in the UK. But the bottom line is yet again, this is targetting the powerless. Colin, I too have tried to talk to the Bank of England re this, over and over - it's like swimming in treacle. Best, felicity a. -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email firstname.lastname@example.org CASI's website - www.casi.org.uk - includes an archive of all postings. -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email email@example.com CASI's website - www.casi.org.uk - includes an archive of all postings.