World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Summit must recognize responsibility for Iraqi HR

Camp David Summit must recognize responsibility for Iraqi human rights

News Release Issued by the International Secretariat of Amnesty International

AI-index: MDE 14/003/2003 30/01/2003

Iraq : Camp David Summit must recognize international responsibility for Iraqi human rights

Amnesty International is calling on US President George W. Bush and UK Prime Minister Tony Blair to acknowledge the responsibility of the international community to protect the human rights of the Iraqi people when they meet this week to discuss the possibility of a military attack on Iraq.

The human rights and humanitarian situation in Iraq is extremely fragile as a result of decades of brutal repression by the Iraqi authorities of dissent and uprisings, including widespread torture and executions; the impact of over a decade of sanctions; the possibility of civilian casualties, refugee outflows and reprisal killings in the event of military intervention.

Ahead of the Camp David meeting on Friday 31 January, Amnesty International is calling on the two leaders to carefully weigh the possible cost of the conflict for human rights in Iraq and the neighbouring countries, and to take all measures to prevent a humanitarian disaster.

Amnesty International's Secretary General, Irene Khan said: "We all remember what happened in 1991 -- what leadership will President Bush and Prime Minister Blair demonstrate to ensure that the international community works together to prevent a rerun of that kind of a humanitarian and human rights catastrophe?" asked Irene Khan.

Amnesty International USA Executive Director William F. Schulz said: "President Bush and Prime Minister Blair have a responsibility for the human rights of the people of Iraq, and they must discharge this obligation by ensuring that any action taken does not further violate those rights."

Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said: "Tony Blair and George Bush need to be crystal clear on the need to plan for the protection of human rights both during and after any conflict."

Amnesty International reminded Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair that all sides in a conflict are obliged to respect fully international humanitarian law. The US and UK forces' terms of engagement must strictly enforce international humanitarian law - the 'laws of war' - and not, for instance, target military facilities if there is a disproportionate risk to civilians.

The organisation is also calling on the two leaders to clarify their stance on bringing Iraqi officials responsible for grave human rights violations to justice, following recent reports that the US may be considering impunity 'deals'.

"It is not for the US or the UK to determine who shall or shall not escape justice for human rights crimes in Iraq," said Irene Khan, Secretary General of Amnesty International. "Striking deals to guarantee immunity from prosecution for senior Iraqis would be a betrayal of the right of the Iraqi people to justice for gross human rights violations that they have suffered for years."

Further information on Amnesty International and the current Iraq crisis:

View all documents on Iraq:


You may repost this message onto other sources provided the main text is not altered in any way and both the header crediting Amnesty International and this footer remain intact.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news