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The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights

Egyptian human rights organizations welcome diplomatic solution of the Iraqi crisis and condemn US practices

Cairo, 17 November 1998

Egyptian human rights organizations welcome diplomatic solution of the
Iraqi crisis and condemn us practices

The Egyptian human rights organizations issuing this statement express
their relief  at the ease of tensions in the Iraqi crisis, particularly as
it represents the triumph of diplomacy over the American military threats
which endanger peace and security in the whole region. They also welcome
strongly the expressed will  of the UN Security Council to thoroughly
revise the sanctions imposed on Iraq eight years ago, and its decision to
support the full and active application of a humanitarian aid program in

Based on these positive developments, the signing human rights
organizations believe that the triumph of diplomacy provides a suitable
opportunity for regaining respect for the principles of international
legitimacy and activating the role of the United Nations and the Security
Council to reach a comprehensive and final solution to the Iraqi crisis.

Meanwhile, the organizations view the American and British statements about
 a possible overthrow of the Iraqi regime, and the threat that, if the
crisis  re-emerges in the future, the United Sates will strike Iraq without
prior notice, reflect the obstinacy of the American stance towards Iraq,
its disregard of the lives of the Iraqi people, the insistence on
destroying Iraq's capabilities, and a deliberate transgression of the
principles of international legitimacy.

The signing organizations affirm their complete condemnation of the
attempts by the American Administration to use 'international legitimacy'
to support their policy of 'double standards', a policy which has become
the main characteristic of their foreign policy. The organizations warn
against the consequences of the US insistence on violating the principle of
state sovereignty by using or threatening to use military force and
imposing collective punishments on peoples in the name of 'international
legitimacy'.  They also warn that the continuation of its selective policy
will lead to the erosion of the principle of international legitimacy.

The signing organizations call on the Security Council to revoke the Iraqi
sanctions in  the near future in order to uphold the right to life of the
Iraqi people. They also call on international human rights organizations
everywhere to promote the resolution of crises by peaceful means, defend
the right to life of the Iraqi people, work towards ending American plans
to strike Iraq, and advocate the setting of legal restrictions to prevent
the use of human principles in the interest of powerful states.

The signing organizations also call on the Arab League, and Arab
governments, to announce their firm rejection of any future attempts to
attack Iraq, and to announce their full solidarity with the Iraqi people in
the face of the American threats.

Egyptian human rights organizations also call on Arab civil society
institutions to  seek all peaceful means to express their solidarity with
the Iraqi people in the face of the American threats, which continue in
spite of the latest diplomatic solution.

Signing organizations:

Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR)
Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS)
Group for Democratic Development (GDD)
Center for Human Rights Legal Aid (CHRLA)
Human Rights Center for the Assistance of Prisoners (HRCAP)
Arab Center for the Independence of the Judiciary and the Legal Profession
Arab Program for Human Rights Activists (APA)

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