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MARCH 24, 2003
12:31 PM
CONTACT: Amnesty International 
+44 20 7413 5566

Iraq: Humanitarian Needs of Civilians Must be Met
March 24 - Amnesty International today lent its voice to concerns expressed by the International Committee of the Red Cross at the plight of civilians in Basra, in Southern Iraq, who have been without water since Friday afternoon. Basra has been under fire by the USA and its allied forces for the last three days.

"We are concerned that the situation in Basra may be mirrored in other cities and regions in Iraq. Military authorities have a responsibility to carefully assess the implications on civilians of any object that they target. All parties to the conflict in Iraq have a responsibility to ensure that the humanitarian needs of the civilian population are fully met."

"With the escalation of military activity in Iraq it is vital that the health and safety of ordinary civilians is given increasing consideration," Amnesty International said.

Both the Iraqi authorities and the military authorities of the USA and its allies must facilitate access and the operations of humanitarian organizations.


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