IRAQ/USA "Iraq Sanctions Challenge"
New York/Vienna, 25 April 1998/P/K/15932c-is
A 100-person delegation from the United States, led by former U.S. Attorney-General Ramsey Clark, member of the Executive Board of the I.P.O., and Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, will travel to Iraq with medical aid to challenge United Nations sanctions. The "Iraq Sanctions Challenge" will be the largest U.S. delegation ever to defy the sanctions, and will bring one of the largest shipments of humanitarian aid.

An article highlighting the Iraq Sanctions Challenge and other medical aid efforts appeared in the New York Times on 23 April. In the article, entitled "Americans, Flouting U.N. Embargo, Organize Relief for Iraqis," reporter Barbara Crossette wrote: "Little by little, in small efforts linked by new networks, Americans are beginning to react against a policy of continued sanctions against Iraq by organizing their own relief projects for the Iraqi people."

"In New York, a coalition called the Iraq Sanctions Challenge is being formed by Ramsey Clark, United States Attorney General in the Johnson Administration. The coalition intends to defy American policy wherever it can on this issue. It also plans to send volunteers and medical supplies to Iraq and to stage a week of protests in the United States from May 6 to 13," the Times said.

"In the spirit of the civil rights movement, we refuse to abide by unjust U.S. laws or U.N. resolutions that result in death and destruction for Iraqi children, women and men," says a flyer being circulated to potential coalition members around the United States. It alleges that more than 1.5 million people have been killed by the sanctions.

A national send-off rally for the delegates will be held in New York on Tuesday, May 5. The delegation will visit Iraq from 6 to 13 May. To schedule an interview, or for more information, contact the Iraq Sanctions Challenge at (212) 633-6646.

See also news release of  7 May 1998