News


DATE=4/14/98
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
NUMBER=2-229623
TITLE=IRAQ / RIGHTS  (L ONLY)
BYLINE=LISA SCHLEIN
DATELINE=GENEVA
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 

INTRO:  A UNITED NATIONS SPECIAL INVESTIGATOR HAS ACCUSED THE 
IRAQI GOVERNMENT OF SYSTEMATIC AND WIDESPREAD HUMAN RIGHTS 
VIOLATIONS -- INCLUDING SUMMARY EXECUTIONS AND DISAPPEARANCES.  
BUT AS LISA SCHLEIN REPORTS FROM GENEVA, IRAQ REJECTED THE REPORT
AS -- IN ITS WORDS -- "BASELESS LIES."

TEXT:  THE REPORT -- SUBMITTED TO THE U-N HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
-- ACCUSES IRAQI PRESIDENT SADDAM HUSSEIN OF HEADING A GOVERNMENT
OF TERROR WHICH SETS OUT TO CRUSH ALL CRITICISM AND POLITICAL 
DISSENT.  

THE U-N SPECIAL INVESTIGATOR, MAX VAN DER STOEL, SAYS IRAQ TOPS 
THE U-N LIST OF COUNTRIES WITH THE LARGEST NUMBER OF WHAT ARE 
CALLED "FORCED DISAPPEARANCES."  HE SAYS THE IRAQI GOVERNMENT IS 
RESPONSIBLE FOR NEARLY 20-THOUSAND SUCH DISAPPEARANCES IN THE 
PAST 10 YEARS.. 

MR. VAN DER STOEL SAYS THAT DURING THE SAME PERIOD, IRAQI 
OFFICIALS FORCIBLY DISPLACED ABOUT ONE-HALF-MILLION KURDS AND 
KURKOMANS IN THE KURDISH-DOMINATED NORTHERN PROVINCES.  AND HE 
SAYS IRAQ CARRIED OUT MORE THAN 15-HUNDRED POLITICAL EXECUTIONS 
LAST YEAR IN WHAT HE CALLS A "PRISON CLEANSING CAMPAIGN."  

                   ///  VAN DER STOEL ACT  ///

         EVERY IRAQI WHO SHOWS THE SLIGHTEST  INCLINATION TO BE 
         CRITICAL OF THE REGIME IS IN DANGER -- EVEN IN DANGER OF
         HIS LIFE.  SO, THAT MAKES IT EXTREMELY IMPORTANT THAT 
         THE  INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY INCREASES THE PRESSURES ON 
         IRAQ TO CHANGE ITS WAYS. 

                        ///  END ACT  ///

THE INVESTIGATOR SAYS HE REJECTS ARGUMENTS THAT U-N SANCTIONS ARE
RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SUFFERING OF THE IRAQI PEOPLE AND THAT THINGS
WOULD IMPROVE IF THE SANCTIONS WERE ENDED.  HE SAYS PRESIDENT 
SADDAM IS RESPONSIBLE BECAUSE HE REFUSED FOR FIVE YEARS TO GO 
ALONG WITH THE U-N PROGRAM THAT PERMITS IRAQ TO SELL OIL TO BUY 
FOOD AND MEDICINE. 

MR. VAN DER STOEL QUESTIONS PRESIDENT SADDAM'S ASSERTION THAT 
IRAQ CAN PUMP ONLY FOUR-BILLION DOLLARS WORTH OF OIL.  HE SAYS HE
WOULD LIKE TO SEE SOME EVIDENCE OF THIS.

                   ///  VAN DER STOEL ACT  ///

         IN THE PAST, THERE HAVE BEEN SEVERAL INDICATIONS THAT 
         OIL HAS BEEN SMUGGLED, NOTWITHSTANDING THE SANCTIONS, 
         OUT OF IRAQ.  SO, THAT MAKES ME WONDER WHETHER IT SHOULD
         LIKE TO CONTINUE THIS PRACTICE.  AND THEN, AS I PUT IT 
         -- SAID IN MY SPEECH -- NOT IN ORDER TO BUY THINGS FOR 
         HUMANITARIAN PURPOSES. 

                        ///  END ACT  ///

MR. VAN DER STOEL SAYS PRESIDENT SADDAM HAS BEEN KNOWN TO USE HIS
OIL MONEY TO BUY WEAPONS.  

IRAQ CATEGORICALLY REJECTED THE REPORT, CALLING IT A "MERE 
REPETITION OF THE SAME ALLEGATIONS AND FALSE ACCUSATIONS."  
(SIGNED) 

NEB/LS/JWH

14-Apr-98 11:26 AM EDT (1526 UTC)
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Source: Voice of America
.