Physician, heal thyself

August 30, 1997

Thanks to International Commission of Inquiry on Economic Sanctions "Hugh" <justice@easynet.co.uk> for its stand and tremendous efforts against the sanctions imposed on Iraq unjustly. The Arab-American Democratic Committee Salute this organization and all those who stand against the embago. We hope that the Arab and Muslim States will have the guts to stand against the sanctions. I hope that these states will realise that sanctions are a vicious war against humanity. Thank you Justice for your gallant stand. Save the Iraqi children.

Ibrahim Ebeid

Arab-American Democratic Committee.

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International Commission of Inquiry on Economic Sanctions

"Physician, heal thyself!"

Statement on Iraq and "eccentric Western standards of human rights"

30 August 1997

In his press conference in Indonesia yesterday, Britain's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Robin Cook MP stated: "We are not asking Indonesia to accept any eccentric Western standards of human rights. We want to work to achieve observation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to which we are both signatories."

The economic sanctions on Iraq, enforced by the UN Security Council under pressure of the US with the support of Britain, have led to over half a million avoidable deaths, most of them children, a fact which has not been questioned and has repeatedly been reported by the agencies of the UN itself. The Declaration to which Robin Cook refers upholds the "right to life," and aims to outlaw the "barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind," as well as "cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment," and in particular declares that "motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance." Robin Cook's declared adherence to these principles must ring hollow in the ears of the hundreds of thousands of young Iraqi women who have suffered the loss of infants who would be alive today if the sanctions had not been imposed.

The Declaration states that "it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations," and that "everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realised." How can the bi-monthly renewal of the sanctions by the UN Security Council possibly be classified as promoting friendly relations between nations?

Surely the time has now come for the new Labour government to reassess its continued adherence to the policy of its predecessor, abandon the policy of supporting the US on this issue regardless of all international law and morality, and seek a reasonable solution to the points at issue through peaceful and negotiated means.

For the International Commission of Inquiry on Economic Sanctions Hugh Stephens, Co-ordinator.

Note: The full text of the UN Declaration on Human Rights is available on the Web at http://www.un.org

International Commission of Inquiry on Economic Sanctions

Address: BM 2966 London WC1N 3XX Britain

Phone: 0171 436 4636 Fax: 0171 436 4638 E-Mail: justice@easynet.co.uk

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Honorary Presidency of the International Commission of Inquiry on Economic Sanctions:

Former Heads of State: Ahmed Ben Bella, Algeria Fransisco Da Costa Gomes, Portugal. Daniel Ortega, Nicaragua

Former Deputy Head of State: Clodomiro Almeyda, Chile.

Former Head of Government:: Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici, Malta

Former Deputy Head of Government: Sheikh Mohammad Rashid, Pakistan.

Former Foreign Ministers: Morad Ghaleb, Egypt. Fr Miguel D'Escoto, Nicaragua.

Tony Benn MP, Britain. Ramsey Clark, former Attorney General, US.. Margarita Papandreou, Former First Lady of Greece Romesh Chandra, President of Honour, World Peace Council.