The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[casi] Blair at odds with Amnesty over sanctions blame

Press release February 20th 2003    08:20
Voices in the Wilderness UK

Blair at odds with Amnesty over sanctions blame

In the past few days the Prime Minister has cited the terrible effects of
as a reason to go to war. See, for example
"Earlier, Mr Blair told MPs during prime minister's question time: "Before
we take the decision to go to war, the morality of that should weigh heavily
on our conscience because innocent people, as well as the guilty, die in a
He added: "But the alternative is to carry on with a sanctions regime which,
because of the way Saddam Hussein implements it, leads to thousands of
people dying needlessly in Iraq every year." "

Amnesty International flatly contradicts Mr Blair's abrogation of
responsibility for
 suffering in Iraq. See below quote from the AIUK Groups Iraq Action Pack,
Feb 2003:

"It is widely agreed, including by the World Health Organisation, the United
Nations Children's Fund, and the Food and Agriculture Organisation, that the
sanctions have crippled Iraq's economic infrastructure and have severely
impacted on the civilian population. These sanctions have put the rights to
food, health and education of the Iraqi population at risk, and have claimed
the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, many of whom children.

"Though there have been claims that the Iraqi regime has manipulated the
impact of the sanctions for propaganda purposes, Amnesty International
considers that the UN Security Council cannot avoid its share of the
responsibility for the severe impact of the sanctions on the Iraqi

Voices in the Wilderness UK spokesman Richard Byrne said, "We are stunned,
 after years of trying to minimise awareness of the humanitarian crisis
caused by sanctions
 Mr Blair now draws attention to sanctions as the terrible alternative to
war. Then he has
the bare faced cheek to try and absolve from blame the UN Security Council,
which designed
 and imposed the sanctions regime for the suffering sanctions cause"

"The way forward is not a choice between the two terrible evils of sanctions
and war.
Comprehensive economic sanctions are the weapon of mass destruction weapons
inspectors can see everywhere they go in Iraq and that is why they must be
regardless of the behaviour of the Iraqi Government. It is unacceptable to
such a monstrously destructive weapon to a population of 22 million people,
half of whom are aged under 16, to try and influence it's government.."

"Lifting sanctions is part of a just, non military approach to Iraq. It
would help
create a political space for ordinary Iraqis, freeing them from dependency
on the Iraqi
Government for their food ration and freeing them from the day to day
struggle for
 survival caused by economic sanctions.
Weapons inspections should be extended, to lead to the removal of all
weapons of mass
 destruction from the region, including US weapons of mass destruction
stationed there
 as envisaged in paragraph 22 of UNSCR 687. There are many other routes
forward, none
of them are guaranteed to be painless, but they certainly won't kill as many
as sanctions and war."
call Voices in the Wilderness UK on 0845 458 2564/ 0794 7839992

sign the pledge of resistance to the "war on terrorism"

Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
To unsubscribe, visit
To contact the list manager, email
All postings are archived on CASI's website:

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]