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] Urgent statement and appeal by Medical Aid for the Third World

[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ]

Urgent statement and appeal by Medical Aid for the Third World
Occupying powers responsible for grave humanitarian crisis in Iraq
Baghdad, 16 April 2003

As medical doctors, we cannot remain silent in the face of the enormous suffering of the Iraqi 
civilian population, brought about by the US-British bombings, invasion and occupation.
We have seen hundreds of civilians, including many children, injured and killed, often by 
prohibited weapons such as cluster bombs. We have seen how ambulances and civilian cars have been 
hit by US troops. We have experienced how patients and health workers had difficulties passing US 
military checkpoints and reaching medical facilities.
We now see how the Iraqi civilian hospitals and other medical facilities are plundered and 
neglected. Many Iraqi health professionals can no longer report to work. Without electricity, safe 
water supply and the provision of medicines and other medical supplies, many patients are simply 
left to die.
As health professionals and as human beings, we cannot tolerate this situation. We therefore issue 
the following statement and appeal:
1.      The current humanitarian catastrophe is entirely and solely the responsibility of the US 
and British authorities, who launched a war of aggression against Iraq in complete violation of 
international law.
2.      In the course of their war, the US and British troops have grossly and repeatedly violated 
international humanitarian law (Articles 10, 12, 15, 21, 35, 36, 41, 45, 47, 48 and 51of Protocol I 
additional to the Geneva Conventions).
3.      A genuine and lasting solution to the humanitarian catastrophe in Iraq can only be realized 
after the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all US and British occupation troops and the 
full restoration of Iraq's sovereignty on the entire Iraqi territory and on the basis of the Iraqi 
people's own free will.
4.      The US and Great Britain should be made to pay for all direct and indirect damages and 
suffering their war has inflicted upon the Iraqi people, country and society.
5.      In the meantime, as occupying powers, the US and Great Britain have the duty of ensuring 
the food and medical supplies of the population (Article 55 of the Fourth Geneva Convention). They 
likewise have the duty of ensuring and maintaining, with the cooperation of national and local 
authorities, the medical and hospital establishments and services, public health and hygiene in the 
occupied territory. They must allow medical personnel to carry out their duties. (Article 56 of the 
Fourth Geneva Convention)

6.      We call on the relevant UN agencies, such as the UNFP, Unicef and the WHO, to immediately 
resume their humanitarian operations in Iraq. A firefighter does not wait until the house has burnt 
down completely, but takes risks in order to fight the fire and avoid the complete collapse of the 
7.      We support all spontaneous and organized initiatives of the Iraqi population to denounce 
the US and British occupation and to demand that the US and British authorities fulfill their 
duties under international humanitarian law.
8.      We support each initiative that aims to bring US General Tommy Franks and other US and 
British military authorities and personnel before a court of justice to make them answer for their 
violations of international humanitarian law. Upon the request of direct victims of US violations 
of international humanitarian law, among them patients and medical personnel, we have asked the 
well-known Belgian human rights lawyer Mr. Jan Fermon to explore the concrete possibilities of 
charging US General Tommy Franks in a Belgian court for war crimes, on the basis of the Belgian law 
of universal competence.
Geert Van Moorter, M.D., emergency physician, in Baghdad since 16 March
Colette Moulaert, M.D., pediatrician, in Baghdad from 16 March to 13 April
Harrie Dewitte, M.D., in Baghdad from 6 to 13 April
Claire Geraets, M.D., in Baghdad since 6 April
Bert De Belder, M.D., coordinator of Medical Aid for the Third World in Brussels, Belgium

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]