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Dear List,

The arrest of Dr. Abdul Haq al-Ani should come as no
surprise to anyone of us who has followed the way laws
have been violated in the UK and the US. All this
exposes the hypocrisy of those who talk about
democracy and human rights, yet would not hesitate to
arrest anyone who investigates their crimes. TV
stations and newspapers are closed, reporters are
killed and prisoners denied their rights.
I dare say Saddam was more honest: when he arrested
someone, it was made clear that that happened because
he opposed Saddam’s regime, without inventing reasons
and fabricating stories.

What interests me here also is the reference to the
legal order under which Dr. al-Ani was arrested. The
order, as seen by this legally ignorant person, makes
it a crime to promote business with Kuwait too. That
must have been the case between 6 August 1990 and 1
March 1991. After that, this order must have been
repealed or amended. Otherwise, hundreds of British
companies and thousands of British citizens should be
imprisoned for working in and with Kuwait…

This order is also in contradiction with later UN
resolutions for the OFF program. Promoting business
with Iraq is NOT a crime (if that happened really as
is alleged), unless the person involved has actually
concluded a business deal without acquiring the
necessary permissions from the UN Sanctions Committee.
Otherwise, the OFF allows “promoting” business because
that is the only way one can get an offer accepted
before the permits are applied for.

That is how I understand this issue, and how logic
tells me. Otherwise, the Customs and Excise should
arrest anyone who offered any item to Iraq and any
company which sent any representative to Iraq, because
it is definite that none of those had acted “under the
authority of a licence granted by the Secretary of
State”. Since 1996, this order must have become
obsolete, with the adoption of the OFF by the UN SC.


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