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Re: [casi] The sun, reportedly, stopped shining.

Friends - a late response to which I too was not returning, but how can
Amnesty Reports be read in Iraq? Even the Lancet can't and remember when the
Iraqi representatives at the UN asked for the latest Report of I think, the
Human Rights Commission, they were refused it. Yes, maybe the government wld
not allow Amnesty Reports (probably pretty definitely) but the west
disallows school books, medical journals and text books etc.
I am still deeply uneasy by second and third hand Reports. No bigger game is
being played re oil, minerals and strategic interests than ongoing
currently. Wrongful imprisonemnts, tortures, executions are certainly
harrowing and sickening but not confined to Iraq. Texas, Guantanamo Bay,
Palestine the deafening western silence on Rwanda comes to mind - and
imprisonments -10,000 estimated 'disappeared' in the US currently, mostly
whose family know not (or lawyers) where they are. I only say this as we are
in danger of getting into 'them and us.'

Lastly, this list is surely not about having to declare one's political
allegiances as demanded of Gaz? It is just as surely about pulling in the
same direction, whatever our political (or none) allegiance. It has been
thankfully and refreshingly thought-police free - what would be next? Our
religious (or not) beliefs? Our nationality, colour, affiliations?

Let's get on with CASI being what it is - an open forum from which we all
learn, exchange; discrimination free and about not being 'neutral on the
moving train' of sanctions, which crushes the most vulnerable against the

Best, f.

> Dear 'List',
> As a long-time campaigner against sanctions/bombings of Iraq, also as an
> A.I. member, I have been thoroughly apalled by the virulent attacks on
> Amnesty, on this site. A.I. works to promote human rights everywhere, not
> exclusively for Iraq. The sanctions issue, although not entirely
> ignored (esp. by A.I. of U.S.A.), many would agree, has not had the
> attention it deserves. But, therefore, to gloss over governmental
> injustices, pretending they don't exist, is blatant dishonesty, perhaps even
> to oneself. I must admit that the reports I have read, about wrongful
> imprisonments, torture, branding, amputations, executions etc.,
> in Iraq, were all harrowing and sickening. Such wicked practices, nor
> sanctions & bombings, can never be justified.
> About 6 months or so ago, Ghazwan queried A.I.'s record re. sanctions.
> He confessed to his ignorance, re. A.I., admitted to never having read
> any reports. I tried my best to clarify some of the issues. Then the
> director of New Zealand Amnesty stepped in with an excellent account, which
> rendered anything I might have had to say superfluous.
> If "human rights", nowadays, a familiar phrase, means anything at all,
> then people must work together to achieve them, locally, nationally &
> internationally. Regrettably, mistakes have been made, on rare occasions
> serious ones. But A.I. works in some 150 countries, often under extremely
> difficult circumstances, at times in great danger from those with few
> scruples. Frequently, the causes are unpopular, where the world seems to
> care little, or not at all. It is easy enough, for someone like Ghazwan, to
> hurl irresponsible abuse & accusations, despite his shallow knowledge. The
> agenda is crude anti-Amnesty propaganda. - I have no problem with Ghazwan
> being a Ba'athist, if he is, but - if so - at least he should have the
> decency to declare it.
> I have forwarded Ghazwan's letter to A.I. in London. They may consider him a
> time-waster. On the other hand, they may, having passed by the insults &
> crudities, seriously consider some of the points he is making. - "People
> ...ignore and/or use A.I. reports to further their
> political agenda." Make your mind up, Ghazwan!
> Greetings,
> Bert Gedin (Birmingham, U.K.).
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