The Initiative of a British Member of Parliament, Ann Clwyd

January 15, 1997

INDICT
The campaign to indict Iraqi War Criminals

INDICT CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED AT PARLIAMENT ON THE SIXTH
ANNIVERSARY OF THE GULF WAR

LONDON (15 January): INDICT, the international campaign to indict Iraqi
war criminals, was launched at the House of Commons in London today,
INDICT, a group of individuals and organizations across the world, has been
launched for the purpose of bringing Saddam Hussein and other leading
figures in the current regime in Iraq before an international tribunal to face
charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes against peace and the
crime of genocide.

The host of the launch was Ann Clwyd said, “Saddam Hussein should not
continue to escape prosecution for his war crimes and the crime of genocide.
It is essential he should not cheat justice and the launch of the campaign will
help ensure that justice is done.” She also read out messages of all-party
support INDICT has received from the Prime Minister John Major, Rt. Hon.
Tony Blair leader of the Labor Party, former Prime Minister Lady Thatcher,
the Liberal Democrats, the Government of Kuwait, EU Commissioner Emma
Bonino, and Madame Danielle Mitterrand among others.

The Prime Minister said in his letter to INDICT, “I fully share your political
objective of bringing those responsible, particularly Saddam Hussein, to
justice for the atrocities committed by the Baghdad regime. The international
community is right to condemn such actions and we need to ensure that
these actions remain in the public eye. I am sure your campaign will help”.

Ahmad Chalabi, President of the Executive Council of the Iraqi National
Congress, the main Iraqi opposition group, said, “We are using the sixth
anniversary of the start of the Gulf War to draw the world’s attention to the
fact that Saddam and his criminal regime are still there. They must be
brought to justice.”

INDICT will lobby the international community, and particularly the
members of the UN Security Council, to establish a tribunal for Iraq similar to
the ones already established for former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. INDICT will
hold a similar event at the US Congress in March.

Contact: Ann Clwyd MP (0171) 219 6609/INC Press Office 233 9034

Speech by Ann Clwyd MP at the launch of INDICT Grand Committee Room
11.00 – 12.30
15 January 1997

INDICT, a group of individuals and organizations across the world, was
created in 1996 for the purpose of bringing Saddam Hussein and other leading
figures in the current regime in Iraq before an international tribunal to face
charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes against peace and the
crime of genocide.

Saddam Hussein continues to escape prosecution for his crimes against
humanity, After Kuwait, the United Nations Security Council called on states
to collect evidence of Iraqi war crimes, but the UN never established a
tribunal to consider the ample evidence of atrocities.

But crimes of the Iraqi dictator are well documented. Like Pol Pot’s
Organization on High and Hitler’s SS, Saddam Hussein’s security police kept
meticulous records, some of which fell into the hands of the Kurds during
the 1991 uprising and have been thoroughly sifted by human rights
organizations and are held by the US Foreign Relations Committee.

As President of Iraq and commander of its armed forces, Saddam Hussein has
contravened a wide range of international laws, including the Geneva
Convention. His crimes against humanity include the deportation and
extermination of Iraqi citizens, scientific experiments on human beings and
the elimination of whole village populations in ‘reprisal’.

Saddam committed the crimes of genocide in the 1987-8 ‘Anfal’ operation
against the Kurds, when thousands had to flee; in the campaign against the
Marsh Arabs in Southern Iraq; and against the Faili Kurds of eastern Iraq in
the build-up to the Iran-Iraq war.

His crimes against the peace include the invasion of Iran, Kuwait and -with
his attack on the town of Khafji during the Gulf War- Saudi Arabia. His
repeated war crimes include shelling civilian hospitals, the torture and
execution of prisoners of war, and the use of prohibited chemical weapons.

Yet despite the vast body of evidence, Saddam has not been charged. More
than 50 years after the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal tried the Nazi
leaders, progress towards establishing a permanent international criminal
court has been painfully slow.

Britain has had a special responsibility towards Iraq since it governed the
country under international mandates between 1921 and 1932. In supplying
Saddam’s war machine in the 1980’s, Britain bears a direct moral
responsibility for the horrendous consequences.

Reports of terror and repression in Iraq in late 1978 led many British
Parliamentarians – including myself- and others from across the political
spectrum, to sponsor the formation of CARDRI with the aim of exposing the
brutality of the Baath regime and developing solidarity with those in Iraq
struggling for human and democratic rights in immensely difficult and
dangerous conditions.

By bringing to justice, through the INDICT campaign, those individuals who
are responsible for mass crime, the Tribunal will emphasize the distinction,
in law, between the Iraqi people and the present leadership. It will further
deter Saddam Hussein from aggression, cripple any diplomatic moves of
those indicted, undermine the remainder of his legitimacy inside Iraq and in
the region, and help secure, in due course, the recovery of Iraq under a new
leadership and its reintegration into the international community.

INDICT has received all party support from a wide range of national and
international figures, including the Prime Minister John Major, Tony Blair –
Leader of the Labor Party, the Liberal Democrats, Lady Thatcher, the
Government of Kuwait, Madame Danielle Mitterrand, European
Commissioner Emma Bonino and many others.

Prime Minister Major wrote: “I fully share your political objective of bringing
those responsible, particularly Saddam Hussein, to justice for the atrocities
committed by the Baghdad regime. The international community is right to
condemn such actions and we need to ensure that their actions remain in the
public eye. I am sure your campaign will help.”

The Leader of the Labor Party Tony Blair wrote: “Labor condemns atrocities
committed by Saddam Hussein against the people of Iraq. The international
community has a responsibility to press Saddam Hussein to respect the rights
of all Iraqi civilians. Labor would support action by an International Criminal
Court to investigate atrocities in Iraq. The peace and security the Iraqi people
deserve will be hard to achieve if those committing atrocities against them
are going unpunished. May I take this opportunity of wishing you well with
the meeting and success in your campaign.

INDICT’s Mission

INDICT, a group of individuals and organizations across the world, was
created in 1996 for the purpose of bringing Saddam Hussein and other leading
figures in the current regime in Iraq before an international tribunal to face
charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes against peace and the
crime of genocide.

Since 1979, the Baathist regime in Iraq has committed repeated acts of
brutality against the people of Iraq and the citizens of the other countries. The
charges against Saddam and his associates would include the invasions of
Iran and Kuwait, the occupation and destruction of Kuwait, the use of
chemical weapons against the Kurdish citizens of Iraq and against Iran, the
genocide Anfal Campaign against the Iraqi Kurds, the continued and
systematic repression of Iraqi citizens, including repeated massacres of tens of
thousands of Iraqi civilians, the systematic destruction of the land inhabited
by the Marsh Arabs,
politically motivated assassinations inside and outside Iraq, the abduction and
continued detention of Kuwaiti citizens, and the continued violation of
Security Council resolutions. These well-documented acts violate
international law as well as the most basic norms of behavior recognized and
accepted by the civilized world. Evidence to be presented to the Tribunal exists
in the form of eye-witness accounts, survivors’ testimonies, and several tons
of captured Iraqi documents which are in the custody of the US Senate
Foreign Relations Committee.

By bringing to justice those few individuals who are responsible for mass
crime, the Tribunal will emphasize the distinction, in law, between the Iraqi
people and the present leadership. It will further deter Saddam Hussein from
aggression, cripple any diplomatic moves of those indicted, undermine the
remainders of his legitimacy inside Iraq and in the region, and help secure, in
due course, the recovery of Iraq under a new leadership and its reintegration
into the international community.

INDICT will endeavor to persuade the members of the world community,
and particularly the members of the United Nations Security Council, to set
up an international tribunal to try the members of the Baathist regime in Iraq
for the above-mentioned charges.

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