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RE: [casi] Full Amnesty Report on Iraq 2002

>Hi all,
Under pressure from its members and not until the 11th year of sanctions, AI
did address the economic rights to food, shelter, health care, of Iraqis under
sanctions (see below.)
Yet apparently it failed to mention this grassroots-driven decision
to link violations of these rights to the humanitarian
disaster of sanctions, in its report on Iraq. In other words, it ignored the
mandate of its own membership.
This has to be put together with the fact that AI by and large
does not adopt US political prisoners, or
prisoners who are victims of racism, despite the fact that
out of a prison population that grew from 1 to 2 million
under Clinton, two thirds or more are non- anglo.
AI did not condemn the Jenin attack as a massacre. So clearly
there is a blind spot in the leadership of AI where US/Israeli
policies are concerned, and questions should be raised,

 AI on Iraq

   Sanctions and Amnesty International

   AI's position on sanctions is currently being reviewed, within the strict
terms of our mandate and commitment to independence and impartiality. Except
when trying to prevent exports of training or equipment that is likely to be
used to violate human rights within the mandate (such as electro-shock
batons), AI's current policy is to take 'no position on punitive
measures of any kind such as sanctions or boycotts', irrespective of the
circumstances in which the sanctions are imposed, or the effects they have.
However, for several years AI has been considering whether it should retain
this policy or devise a new one. There seems to be consensus that there is a
need for change, so a range of options are being developed in preparation for
a final decision on a new policy at the 2001 International Council Meeting.

   For AI the issue of sanctions, for example in Iraq, is linked to economic,
social and cultural rights - under its mandate AI works to promote awareness
of and adherence to all human rights and international adherence to them. The
humanitarian situation in Iraq is clearly a matter of deep concern. AI
strongly supports the position of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and
Cultural Rights and other UN agencies that the rights of the civilian
should be protected.

[This is a departure from the US policy, which doesn't
recognise The Convenant on Economic, Social and Cultural
Rights. So why doesn't the report on Iraq
reflect that? Philippa]
===== Original Message From Ghazwan Al-Mukhtar <> =====
>Dear CASI members
>My first reaction to reading Amnesty International (AI) report about Iraq
>was “TELL ME NEWS NOT HISTORY !”. It sounded the same for the last 20 years
>or more, however I would like to make the following points.
>1-     I am sure that the report was based on testimony of  “Reliable”
>witnesses not identified
>2-     I hope that AI is not objecting to the rounding up of prostitutes,
>pimps and closing down of brothels but are objecting to the severity of the
>3-     I am not surprised that the western backed Kurdish autonomous region
>was also included in the report. In the 1st paragraph the report say < The
>two Kurdish political parties controlling Iraqi Kurdistan detained prisoners
>of conscience, and armed political groups were reportedly responsible for
>abductions and killings>. This fact was missed or (deliberately) ignored by
>the “internationals” in the Area. I will not speculate on the reasons and
>give them the benefit of the doubt and say they didn’t see it despite the
>fact that they live in the region but AI in London and through their
>“Reliable” witnesses documented it!!
>4-     I am confident that the records of surrounding states are NOT a whole
>better than Iraq. This and the above point raise an important question
>Should AI judge the whole world by the western values. I know that some one
>would say but these are Universal values..Etc. How come Saudi Arabia (a pro
>western monarchy) has the same compliance (or non compliance) with AI
>standards as Iraq, Syria, Jordan or Iran despite the fact that they have a
>completely different political systems, ideological inclination and ethnic
>composition? Is this a “cultural” difference?? I don’t know! Another
>question why do we expect Iraq is any different from the other countries in
>the area?
>5-     The western “democracies” and “human rights champions”  ignored AI
>reports during the 70’s and 80’s and dealt very closely with the present
>leadership of Iraq. Sir Terrance Clark, the Ex British ambassador to
>Baghdad, said in a message to CASI, Mon 14 Jan 2002, and referring to Mr.
>David Mellor's visit to Baghdad  < He was in Baghdad on 24 and 25 February
>1988 and saw the President, the Deputy Prime Minister and the Ministers of
>Foreign Affairs, Oil and Trade. I no longer recall the details but as is
>normal on such visits he would have been briefed over the whole range of our
>relations with Iraq, including trade. Indeed I remember that I also arranged
>a meeting for him with the British businessmen resident in Iraq, for which
>he would have had a trade brief>  I am sure that CASI members know that the
>"President" was, and as now is, Saddam Hussein and the "Deputy Prime
>Minister" was and still is Mr. Tariq Azziz. The other champion of human
>rights, the USA, disregarded AI reports and singed a trade agreement with
>Iraq 1988. While we are at it would any one be interested to look at Egypt’s
>record or Saudi Arabia’s record these are the best allies of the US and UK
>in the Arab world. Again Why Iraq??   .
>6-     It looks like UNICIEF, UNESCO, FAO, WFP and the rest of the UN
>agencies are not on the list of AI  “RELIABLE” witnesses. These UN agencies
>had documented the suffering of the Iraq civilians through the “collective
>punishment of civilians” under the name of sanctions. AI said in its report
><Iraq remained under stringent economic sanctions imposed by UN Security
>Council resolutions since 1990 which reportedly resulted in severe hardship
>for the civilian population and a humanitarian crisis> . They used the word
>“REPORTADLY resulted” they are not sure!! After 12 years and they are not
>sure!!! They doubted the UNICEF report of more than 500000 children under
>5!.  They doubted the FAO, WFP, and every other traceable source. Amnesty
>International only works through unnamed, unidentified, “reliable?” sources
>so they can tell any lie they want.
>7-     It looks like Amnesty International has taken Mad Elian Albright
>attitude that the death of 350000 children is a price worth paying! They
>probably believed the British government line that the sanctions targeted
>ONlY the leaders of Iraq and NOT the ordinary people which means that those
>3500000 are the “sons” of Saddam Hussein and not ordinary Iraqi families!
>8-     Regrettable Amnesty International is interested in a pimp here and a
>prostitute there and is so blind that they did not see, or read?, about the
>collective punishment of innocent civilians.
>9-     People with political agenda ignore or use AI reports to further
>their political agenda. AI reports are a tailor made ready to use propaganda
>fabricated by MI-5.5 (this is the arithmetic mean of MI-5 and MI-6)
>10- Until and unless Amnesty International takes a firm stand on sanctions I
>will consider their reports as WOTHLESS.
>11- Finally for those members who want to attack my views I say feel free I
>will not respond because Amnesty International does not deserve wasting my
>time talking about it
>Best regards
>Ghazwan Al-Mukhtar
>Baghdad, Iraq
>----- Original Message -----
>From: <>
>To: <>; <>;
>Sent: Thursday, May 30, 2002 6:40 PM
>Subject: Re: [casi] Full Amnesty Report on Iraq 2002
>> [ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ]
>> In a message dated 05/30/2002 9:26:24 AM Central Daylight Time,
>> writes:
>> > i think you've misunderstood completely what ahmed (that's his name, he
>> > posted it several times at the end of his emails) was intending to point
>> >
>> Apologies for the George thing, sorry Ahmed.  I stand by the content of
>> statement however.
>> Peace.
>> Roger Stroope
>> Peace is a Human Right
>> Austin College
>> _______________________________________________
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>Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
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