Iraqi Sanctions -- Human Rights
Joint Appeal by the International Organization for Muslim Women and the International Progress Organization

Vienna, 19 February 1996/MS/15064c-is

The International Organization for Muslim Women and the International Progress Organization have sent the following appeal to the General Secretaries of the United Nations, Dr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, of the League of Arab States, Esmat Abdel Meguid, and of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, Hamid Al-Ghabed.

"Nearly five years have passed since the end of the Gulf War 1991. Although the sovereignty of Kuwait has been restored, the people of Iraq are still being subjected to a total economic boycott that has caused death, starvation and illness of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians, foremost among them the sick, the elderly and the children.

This kind of  'collective punishment' exercised against a whole people is unprecedented in the history of the United Nations. This sanctions policy not only violates basic principles of morality, it is in open contradiction to basic norms of international law and to many international conventions as explained in the study 'The United Nations Sanctions Policy and International Law' published by the I.P.O.

The political leaders of the U.N. member states and of the member states of the Security Council in particular have a special personal responsibility not to admit the use of the Council's provisions for genocidal policies which are contrary to the aims of the Charter, to all Human Rights Covenants and to the jus cogens of general international law. Those leaders who actively pursue the prolongation of the sanctions not only act in contradiction to the sacred ethical principles of Islam and Christianity and other world religions, they make themselves accomplices to a crime against humanity that is unheard of in the 50-years history of the United Nations.

We therefore solemnly appeal to You to exercise all Your efforts so that the world organization will not further be used for immoral and strictly illegal policies and that the genocidal sanctions imposed by the Security Council against the people of Iraq will be terminated immediately."