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[casi] Appeal for the release of Dr. Mrs. Huda Ammash; a call to women Worldwide

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Hello all,
Has anybody seen this appeal for the release of Dr.Huda Ammash before? I don't think it has been 
posted on this list yet. I think it is necessary that all the people and organisations concerned 
with the illegality of this war and the use of DU and other genocidal weaponry, join this appeal. 
We must increase the pressure for the release of this remarkable woman.
Dirk Adriaensens.

Appeal for the release of Dr. Mrs. Huda Ammash; a call to women Worldwide

July 10, 2003

DR. HUDA AMMASH, Iraqi mother, wife, teacher, scientist

A call for the release of Dr. Huda Ammash, in detention in Baghdad, held by US military authorities 
since late April, 2003.


Ammash is an Iraqi scientist, trained in the USA who is a distinguished member of the Iraqi 
academic community. Her record of research and publications demonstrates her professional 
abilities; her career as a committed and highly capable university professor is widely acknowledged.

Dr. Ammash's area of training and research is microbiology and since completing advanced studies in 
these areas (with her PhD from U. Missouri and her MA from a university in Texas), Ammash has 
devoted herself to university teaching and research. After the Gulf War of 1991, alarmed by the 
spread of diseases and aware of the toxins entering the environment, Dr. Ammash turned her 
scientific training to measuring the harmful after-affects of the 1991 bombing and 
sanctions-related contamination. She conducted research on this problem for almost a decade, 
publishing her work in English as well as in Arabic language scientific journals. Her article 
"Pollutin, The Gulf War, and Sanctions," an invited contribution to an important book, Iraq Under 
Siege, edited by A. Arnove and published by South End Press, Boston, testifies Ammash's scientific 
capability. This article also directs concerned readers to several other scientific publications by 
Ammash which are similarly devoted to showing the persistent and growing health hazards generated 
by the 1991 bombing (including depleted uranium treated weapons) and aggravated by the economic 
embargo. As a result of her research findings, Ammash became an advocate of lifting the UN embargo, 
and she publicly criticized US and UN policies related to the embargo. Her experience with the 
tactics employed at her university by the UN weapons inspectors also led Ammash to take a critical 
but not opposition position of the United Nations embargo.  In 2001, Ammash, a well spoken 
individual with a critical mind and an easy ability to communicate across the international 
spectrum, was elected to the Iraq Supreme Council, the only woman member of this body. This 
election elevated her to a political post, a role she took on at a time of growing national crisis. 
Perhaps coming from a distinguished family, with a father who was once a popular political figure, 
Ammash accepted this role with a sense of duty and commitment. She became active outside the 
academic community, meeting international delegates who shared her goal of lifting the UN embargo 
and discussing programs with them. Perhaps because of her roles as teacher and mother, Ammash 
seemed to focus her efforts on stimulating a dialogue between Iraqi students and other young people 
across the world. At the time of the US-UK attacks on Iraq on March 20, 2003, Ammash was arranging 
for at least two TV broadcast satellite hookups between young Iraqis and American students.

Why Ammash is in US custody is unclear and appears totally unjustified. She was judged to be of no 
political interest by the UN weapons inspection team before March 2003, although US intelligence is 
said to have given her name to Dr. Blix, the head of UNMOVIC. According to a testimony from South 
End Press, Dr.Blix, checked out Dr. Ammash record and determined that they would not interview her 
as one of 500 scientists they were seeking because there was no evidence of her being associated 
with any weapons related work.

We call for the release of Dr. Ammash, so she is able to return to her family, to her work in the 
university, and to the international community. She is among the most articulate, internationally 
sophisticated Iraqi nationals today, and a model of a professional woman whose participation in the 
reconstruction of her country is needed, whose assistance in working with women worldwide on behalf 
of Iraqi intellectuals is valued.

 I (Barbara Nimri Aziz) met Dr. Ammash in 1995 when I interviewed her in the course of my research 
as a journalist on public health repercussions of the 1991 war and the UN embargo. I was highly 
impressed by her research, and by her devotion to her students; I also found her good company as a 
fellow professional woman. Before me, Ammash had suffered breast cancer and when my illness 
occurred, she offered supporting advice and interest. I visited her several times in Iraq between 
1995 and 2003 and whenever we met she spoke about her ongoing work, her family and her concern 
about the intellectual isolation of Iraq from the world. I conduced two formal audio interviews 
with Dr. Ammash, which I broadcast on WBAI-Pacifica radio in 1999. I also facilitated the scholarly 
contribution of Dr. Ammash to the book Iraq Under Siege. She took me on a visit to the Iraq Academy 
of Science. I all our communications, I observed nothing from Dr. Ammash, either in her comments or 
behavior, that suggested any political motive. While she worked against the sanctions, she never 
gave the slightest suggestion of any political interest or agenda about any other country or 
government. For all these reasons, I believe the detention of Dr. Ammash is totally unjustified and 
I ask others to join me in a call for her release and her return to her family and to the civil 
society of Iraq as a teacher and researcher.

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