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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/2899813.stm Amnesty seeks rights pledge from Blair Amnesty wants assurances civilians are not being targeted Human rights leaders from around the world are to urge Tony Blair to abide by international law during the war with Iraq. Amnesty International chiefs from Chile, Israel, Tunisia, Japan, the USA and the UK will deliver an unprecedented joint statement representing 1.6 million members to Downing Street. The petition calls for an immediate investigation into allegations of unlawful killing and calls on the prime minister to use his influence over US President George W Bush in ensuring coalition troops respect the 1949 Geneva Conventions on the conduct of war. It will be delivered ahead of a vigil outside Number 10 by Mothers Against the War who are calling for mothers to bring flowers, balloons and Mothering Sunday cards. Anti-war group Act Up for Peace are also planning a series of demonstrations at government and military establishments around Norfolk. On Saturday thousands of protesters around the UK demonstrated against the war while service families in Devon held a rally in support of the troops. Amnesty International spokesman Neil Durkin said the fears and concerns raised by many before the conflict were now becoming reality. Cluster bombs "We are seeing civilians being killed or injured and we have worries about the nature of the strikes and the bombs," he said. "Have they been properly targeted, were they discriminate or indiscriminate?" Mr Durkin said he did not expect a bloodless war or any warring party to admit that they deliberately targeted civilians or were careless. You simply cannot target civilian resources and buildings. It's a breach of the Geneva Convention Neil Durkin Amnesty International But the petition, delivered by members including Secretary General Irene Khan and UK chief Kate Allen, demands an explanation of the steps taken to limit civilian casualties. It also wants an assurance that indiscriminate weapons, such as cluster bombs and land mines, will not be used. Amnesty also asks the US-UK coalition to account for war crimes including the targeting of the Iraqi national TV building in Baghdad. Mr Durkin added: "You simply cannot target civilian resources and buildings. It's a breach of the Geneva Convention. It has to be justified. "If White City and the BBC was attacked or CNN on the grounds that it was part of official state propaganda there would be outrage." US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has expressed his eagerness to see Iraqi television taken off the air, especially after American prisoners were paraded in front of the cameras. Assurances But UK Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon has denied that there had been a deliberate attempt to take Iraqi TV off the air. Mr Durkin said the organisation's figures suggested that around 500 had been people killed since 20 March and more than 4,000 civilians had been injured. The treatment of prisoners by both sides is a concern to Amnesty The Amnesty leaders also ask for assurances that humanitarian aid of essential supplies would get to those in need and that prisoners of war be treated humanely. Amnesty's Secretary General Irene Khan said: "The rights and needs of the Iraqi people must be put first in this conflict and its aftermath. "The UK Government and its coalition partners will be judged by the extent to which they do this. "Together we represent over 1.6 million Amnesty International members who are watching the conflict in Iraq and are gravely concerned that human rights are not being respected. "We ask for an immediate assurance that UK forces will abide by international law. "Mr Blair must do everything in his power to get a similar assurance from his coalition partners." sign the pledge of resistance to the "war on terrorism" www.j-n-v.org _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk