Islamic Human Rights Commission
For Immediate Release
26th April 2001
Saddam War Criminal, What About Sharon?
New investigation is selective, biased and inconsistent
British police have begun investigations of allegations that the Iraqi President, Saddam Hussein, committed war crimes during the conflict in the Gulf in 1990 and 1991. The criminal case concerns the plight of 4,500 British citizens and thousands of people from other countries who were held hostage in Iraq and Kuwait a decade ago, and could eventually lead to a war crimes indictment against Saddam Hussein, and his deputy prime minister, Tariq Aziz.
The Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) welcomes this important step to prosecute the Iraqi President for war crimes, yet expresses deep concern at the fact that his more serious record of acts of genocide, atrocities and human rights abuses – much of which occurred with the military and financial support of the United Kingdom, the United Kingdom, and European powers – is conspicuously missing from the current war crimes probe. Saddam is responsible for the deaths of up to 2 million people, through attacks including the use of chemical weapons on his own population as well his war against Iran. One of the most horrific examples of this is the March 1998 massacre of an estimated 5,000 Iraqi civilians in Halabja by Saddam’s forces, utilising mustard gas and nerve toxins. The materials, technology and know-how to manufacture and use such weapons of mass destruction were siphoned to the regime by the West throughout its crimes against its own population, as well as during its war with Iran.
IHRC Chairman Massoud Shadjareh said:
“If the new investigations are rooted in genuine regard for justice, then they should be applied consistently not only to the taking of British hostages, but also to the other horrific war crimes perpetrated by Saddam’s regime as well as other regimes. This selectivity is a disgrace to the memory of all those men, women and children who were brutally killed by Saddam’s forces. One can only see signs of racism in this.”
IHRC therefore calls on the British Government to investigate all crimes consistently and in proportion to their seriousness. Other war criminals of similar standing should also face similar investigations with the prospect of prosecution and indictment. War criminals such as Ariel Sharon, the new Prime Minister of Israel, who masterminded the invasion of Lebanon killing thousands of Palestinian and Lebanese refugees, must also be tried for their crimes.
“Failing to apply standards of justice to other perpetrators of war crimes, and to all such crimes permitted by war criminals, is evidence of a gross double standard among those who claim to advocate human rights”, said Massoud Shadjareh. “Unless international law is applied consistently, the perception that the United Kingdom as well as the international community at large, is willing to tolerate atrocities against innocent civilians as long as they are committed by the leaders of friendly regimes, will continue to be vindicated.”
For more information on the above, please contact the IHRC Press Office on (+44) 20 8902 0888, (+44) 958 522 196, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
IHRC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
Islamic Human Rights Commission
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Telephone: (+44) 20 8904 4222