Iraq: Open letter to President George Bush, Prime Minister Tony Blair, Prime Minister José Maria Aznar and President Saddam Hussein

AI Index: MDE 14/028/2003 (Public)
Irene Khan, Secretary General of Amnesty International is writing today to the Governments of the USA, UK and Spain who have declared their intention to launch military action against Iraq.

"Those intending to launch military action against Iraq have a particular responsibility to ensure that international human rights and humanitarian law are fully upheld. Amnesty International demands adherence to human rights obligations under international law in the event of war."

Amnesty International is making the same demand of the government of Iraq which must equally abide by its obligations.

In particular Amnesty International demands a public commitment from all parties to the conflict that it will abide by the basic and specific measures outlined below:

  • Protect civilians by strictly adhering to the rules of international humanitarian law

  • Refrain from using indiscriminate weapons

  • Treat civilian detainees fairly and humanely

  • Protect the rights of combatants

  • Ensure the security and humanitarian needs of the Iraqi population are fully met

  • Protect and assist refugees and internally displaced persons

  • Make sure that perpetrators of crime are brought to justice under international law

  • Commit to using the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission to investigate violations of the Geneva Conventions

  • Support and facilitate the deployment of human rights monitors in Iraq as soon as the security situation permits

  • Support the UN in their humanitarian and human rights work.

Please click here to see the document People come first: Amnesty International's 10-point appeal to all parties involved in possible military action in Iraq

For more information please call Amnesty International's press office in London, UK, on +44 20 7413 5566
Amnesty International, 1 Easton St., London WC1X 0DW. web: