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Depleted Uranium: email to Australian senators

The following email went out today, 6 March 2006, to all Australian Senators with a copy to the ICC and Human Rights Watch, and to Australia's national newspapers.

In the course of the last two weeks, Australian, John Hough sent copies of The Ultimate War Crime to six Australian Senators with a covering letter similar to the email below. Mr Hough says he has received no replies to date.


"Senators

"This email is to draw your attention to the book The Ultimate War Crime by Robert Anderson (NZ). The book documents the prime facie case that the 'Coalition of the Willing' used and uses nuclear weapons (depleted uranium munitions) in the first Gulf War, in Afghanistan and in the current Gulf conflict. The book gives background to the use of depleted uranium to enhance conventional weapons and details the long-term harmful radiation that results.

"The book also details legal opinion describing how the use of such weapons violates UN conventions and treaties. It references the first case in the UK where a British soldier was awarded compensation for the birth defects of his son resulting from the exposure to 'friendly radiation' in Iraq. It graphically describes the unusually large numbers of birth defects being encountered in Southern Iraq and references expert opinion that such defects have resulted from the use of depleted uranium munitions.

"I have sent copies of the book to Senators Lyn Allison, Bob Brown, Chris Evans, Barnaby Joyce, John Hogg and Robert Hill. Please check out their copies or get your own copy (ISBN 0-473-10489-X). You can contact the author, Robert Anderson, at roberta@clear.net.nz.

". I have copied this email to the War Crimes Tribunal and Human Rights Watch. My aim is that no Australian Senator can claim that they were not aware of the evidence.

"I believe that every Senator (collectively and individually) has a responsibility to thoroughly and impartially investigate this matter - for the protection of Australians serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, and for the reputation of Australia as a good global citizen.

John Hough"


N.B. A copy of The Ultimate War Crime was donated to all 120 New Zealand MPs. Following this, Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control, the Hon Phil Goff, responding on behalf of the Government, wrote:

"I agree that there are real concerns about the long-term implications of depleted uranium (DU) use for civilian populations as well as users."

"Since 2003, more than 900 DU-related urine tests have been administered to NZDF personnel either before or after their deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan. To date, all tests have been negative (i.e. less than 0.3 mcg/l) for urinary DU. Information on the potential risks that may be posed by DU, and by vehicles hit by DUY rounds, now forms part of all pre-deployment briefings for NZDF personnel going to areas where DU may have been used. This includes personnel deploying to Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo and Bosnia. The NZDF will continue to provide medical checks and support to any personnel who think they may have been exposed to DU."

Robert Anderson Tauranga New Zealand 6 March 2006

ENDS

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