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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Tracking Number:  166247

Title:  "Iraq Cited for Numerous Rights Violations in Kuwait." Amnesty International issues lengthy report. (901220)

Translated Title:  "Irak: Ses Violations des Droits de l'Homme au Koweit." (901220)
Date:  19901220


12/20/90 2Ha Re IRAQ CITED FOR NUMEROUS RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN KUWAIT (Amnesty International issues lengthy report) (800)

Washington -- Amnesty International, in a report released December 19 in London, cites Iraq for numerous violations of human rights in Kuwait and calls on the Iraqi government to end the imprisonment, torture and killing of thousands of people in Kuwait.

The human rights organization reports that Iraqi forces have tortured and killed many hundreds of victims, taken several thousand prisoners, and left more than 300 premature babies to die after looting incubators from at least three of Kuwait City's main hospitals.

The organization's report has been submitted to all members of the United Nations Security Council, which has requested information on the human rights situation in Kuwait, and to the Iraqi government.

The report cites 38 methods of torture used by the Iraqi military, including cutting off people's tongues and ears, shooting them in their limbs, applying electric shocks to their bodies, and raping them.

"The Iraqi forces' brutality in Kuwait has shocked many people in the past four months," Amnesty International said, "but such abuses have been the norm for people in Iraq for more than a decade."

While welcoming the release of Western nationals, Amnesty International said it fears that the plight of thousands of victims of human rights violations in Kuwait and Iraq might now be forgotten. The organization called on governments throughout the world to appeal to Iraq to stop the human rights violations.

The organization said it has collected evidence supporting earlier reports of the killing of premature babies by Iraqi soldiers. "We heard rumors of these deaths as early as August," the organization said, "but only recently has there been substantial information on the extent of the killings."

Amnesty's investigation team interviewed several doctors and nurses who worked in the hospitals where the babies died. All had seen the dead bodies and one doctor had helped to bury 72 babies in a cemetery near the hospital.

GE 2 POL402 In some hospitals, unofficial records were kept of the number of people who had been killed, including the babies.

The report was based both on medical evidence and on in- depth interviews with more than 100 people from about a dozen countries. Since the invasion, Amnesty International investigators have traveled to Bahrain and Saudi Arabia to talk to victims and the doctors who treated then, relatives and eyewitnesses and have interviewed dozens more in several other countries.

The investigators also talked to scores of people who had been arrested in their homes or on the streets. Most of those arrested were Kuwaitis, although many from other Middle Eastern, Asian, European and North American countries were also held.

The team collected the names of some 1,000 people who were arrested but believes the true figure to be much higher. Thousands of people -- some as young as 13 -- are reported to still be held in Iraqi and Kuwaiti prisons, detention centers and homes; others were killed shortly after their arrest, in police stations, before firing squads, or at their homes.

Following is the summary section from the Amnesty International report:

(begin text of summary section)

Widespread abuses of human rights have been perpetrated by Iraqi forces following the invasion of Kuwait on 2 August. These include the arbitrary arrest and detention without trial of thousands of civilians and military personnel; the widespread torture of such persons in custody; the imposition of the death penalty and the extrajudicial execution of hundreds of unarmed civilians, including children. In addition, hundreds of people in Kuwait remain unaccounted for, having effectively "disappeared" in detention, and many of them are feared dead. To date, an estimated 300,000 Kuwaitis have fled their country, as well as several hundred thousand foreign nationals working in Kuwait. Their accounts have received worldwide media coverage. This document details some of these abuses, confining itself to those violations which fall within Amnesty International's mandate.

Amnesty International takes no position on the conflict in the Gulf, and does not condone killings and other acts of violence perpetrated by the parties to the conflict. What concerns the organization are human rights violations taking place in that context. Those violations which have been reported since 2 August are entirely consistent with abuses know to have been committed in Iraq over many years, and which have been documented by Amnesty International in

GE 3 POL402 its numerous reports. Iraq's policy of the brutal suppression of all forms of internal dissent continues to be implemented, and the people of Iraq remain its victims. Amnesty International has repeatedly placed such information on the public record, and regrets that until the invasion of Kuwait, the international community did not see fit to apply serious pressure in an attempt to put an end to these abuses.

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File Identification:  12/20/90, PO-402; 12/20/90, AE-409; 12/20/90, AS-421; 12/20/90, AR-417; 12/20/90, EP-410; 12/20/90, EU-406; 12/21/90, AF-506
Product Name:  Wireless File
Product Code:  WF
Languages:  Spanish; French
Thematic Codes:   1NE; 2HA
Target Areas:  AF; AR; EA; EU
PDQ Text Link:  166247; 166268; 166444

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