Iraq: UN must take lead on human rights investigations

The organisation proposes a UN commission of experts should be established to consult with Iraqi society on how to bring justice to Iraq.

Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said:

'The human rights abuses suffered by thousands of Iraqis have now been compounded by reports of serious violations of international humanitarian law committed by all parties to the war.

'The most difficult challenge lies ahead: ensuring that in the post-conflict period human rights stand at the centre of the reconstruction effort.

'Addressing impunity for past violations, building a fair and effective justice system, ensuring respect for the rights of minorities and Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights, and insisting that the Iraqi people themselves drive the process forward, will be of central importance.'

In its briefing on Wednesday 9 April 2003, Amnesty International stressed the need for UN human rights monitors to be deployed throughout the country as originally agreed by the General Assembly in December 2002 in order to ensure the immediate and long-term protection of human rights of the Iraqi people. In addition, the organisation called for a moratorium on the use of cluster bombs, an end to the use of unlawful tactics by Iraqi forces, and an investigation into abuses of international humanitarian law.

'The immediate challenge for the Security Council is to ensure respect for the laws of war, including accountability for violations,' said Kate Allen.

'The broader task is to secure order and ensure that occupying powers respect their obligations to all the people of Iraq.'

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