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[casi] FW: [no-sanctions] (unknown)

in the light of yesterday's excuse by the U K government for possibly nuking
Iraq in order to save it (aka just another dodgy dossier) I submit this with
thanks to Sandeep,Ireland againt Sanctions on Iraq, warmest to all, from a
depressed f.


september 25 2002
Human rights in the balance
by Irene Khan, Amnesty International Secretary General

The human rights situation in Iraq is being invoked with unusual
frequency by some western political leaders to justify military
action. This selective attention to human rights is nothing but a
cold and calculated manipulation of the work of human rights
activists. Let us not forget that these same governments turned a
blind eye to Amnesty International's reports of widespread human
rights violations in Iraq before the Gulf War. They remained silent
when thousands unarmed Kurdish civilians were killed in Halabja in

Not only have the people of Iraq continued to suffer at their hands of
their government - systematic torture, extrajudicial execution,
"disappearances", arbitrary detention and unfair trial - they have
also borne the brunt of the UN sanctions regime since 1991. Sanctions
have jeopardised the right to food, health, education and, in many
cases, life of hundreds of thousands of individuals, many of them
children. There are claims that the Iraqi regime is deliberately
manipulating the sanctions regime for propaganda purposes - but that
does not absolve the United Nations Security Council from its own
share of the responsibility for failing to heed the calls to lift all
sanctions provisions that result in grave violations of the rights of
the Iraqi population.

As the Council deliberates on the use of military force, it must
consider not only the security and political consequences of its
action, but also the inevitable human rights and humanitarian toll of
war: civilians who will be killed by bombing or internal fighting,
children who will die because sanctions will make access to basic
necessities and humanitarian assistance even more difficult. Yet,
concern for the life, safety and security of the Iraqi people is
sorely missing from the debate, as is any discussion on what
would be their fate in the aftermath of conflict - and even less, what
will be the knock-on effect on the human rights of the people of
neighbouring countries.

As the keeper of international peace and security, the UN Security
Council has the responsibility under the UN Charter to seek a
solution through peaceful means first. It must remind its most
powerful member that force is the last resort and only to be carried
out in full compliance with international law. It must ask if we have
really reached that point of imminent danger which leaves no other
choice. It must never forget that the United Nations was created to
preserve peace and promote human rights, not encourage war.

Campaign to End Iraq Sanctions - Ireland

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