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Dear Bert

Thanks for message. The subject of AI deserves a separate message. On the outset let me state that :

  1. I Have never read any of their reports ( I heard of them on the radio and were quoted in papers). I hope you didn’t expect me to have read them.

  2. I am in no way defending the other side or agreeing with his methods.

  3. Over the many many years living in Baghdad and talking to people from inside and outside the country I think some cases were deliberately distorted to suite the objective.

  4. The news media may have contributed to the bad image of AI by selectively reporting abuse of human rights in one country while neglecting the reports of other countries. AI may (?) have reports on the human rights abuses of the Palestinians by the Israeli authorities but such reports are very seldom broadcasted. We see every day on our televisions the killings and the destruction of house in Gaza and other Palestinian cities and do not read or hear AI reports condemning such actions. The next day we are bombarded by AI reports criticizing KSA because the punishment for some crimes did not meet the standards of the west . AI might not be at fault but it might be the media.

  5. AI reports are always available to be used selectively. In my previous posting I pointed out that the UK ignored AI reports for 20+ years, to further their interest, then decided to open the files, added the figures and came up with 30000+. In fact AI reports are becoming ready made inditement document to be used as and when needed.

  6. When ever there is a westerner involved in a crime in a third wold country, e.g. drinking alcohol in KSA, every one quotes AI reports as if the westerners should to be judged by a different standards.

  7. AI concentrates on the political rights and tend to ignore other rights. Sanctions that effect civilian population is really a collective punishment ( saying it mildly ) of innocent people. The effects of this punishment are more devastating and more important ( to the people being punished) than the ability to say that the leader is good or bad. One has to feed his family, work at a decent work ( no more than 40-50 hours a week) , send his children to schools, see to it that kids are treated adequately at hospital, …the list is long.. In a posting to CASI last year some one said that AI is considering taking a stand against sanctions. The question DID THEY? IF so why did it take them so long?

  8. I think the “acid test” for AI is now. Can AI stand firm and demand that US should respect the human rights of the prisoners from Afghanistan ( the Arabs, the Moslems and the westerners ). Are we going to see a deference in their treatment. Are they going to appear in front of the same courts Are they going to enjoy equal legal protection. I hope so . If AI can not defend , protect and stop the human right abuses of the leader of the free world (America) then why do you expect that dictators to respect it. With the current climate I think we are going to see the “double standard judicial system” to compliment the “double standard political system”.
Best regards
Ghazwan Al-Mukhtar
Baghdad, Iraq

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