Iraq: Fear of War Crimes by Both Sides
26 - There are reports giving rise to concerns that war crimes
may have been committed by both sides in the recent fighting,
Amnesty International said today.
have confirmed attacking the main Iraqi television station early
on Wednesday. According to reports from the BBC, US Central Command
in Qatar has said that missiles struck Iraq's main TV station.
The Pentagon is reported to have said that the purpose of the
operation was to counter the command and control abilities of
the Iraqi regime, and also to deal with propaganda and the disinformation
campaign of Baghdad.
of a television station simply because it is being used for the
purposes of propaganda is unacceptable. It is a civilian object,
and thus protected under international humanitarian law," said
Claudio Cordone, Senior Director for International Law at Amnesty
such an attack Coalition forces would have to show that the TV
station was being used for military purposes and that the attack
properly balanced the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated
with the incidental risk to civilian life."
a civilian object and carrying out a disproportionate attack are
war crimes. The onus is on the Coalition forces to demonstrate
the military use of the TV station and, if that is indeed the
case, to show that the attack took into account the risk to civilian
"At times of
war many civilian activities can be seen as supporting, in a general
way, the war effort. But to accept that all such activities can
be targeted is to accept the logic of 'total war'. Preventing
the devastation of such 'total wars' has been one of the key underpinnings
for the development of the rules of war in recent decades," Claudio
are reported to have deliberately shelled civilians in Basra and
to placing military objectives in close proximity to civilians
and civilian objects. There have also been reports of Iraqis dressed
in civilian clothes in order to allow surprise attacks on coalition
attack on civilians is a war crime. Those who blur the distinction
between combatants and civilians undermine the very foundations
of humanitarian law," said Claudio Cordone.
|Common Dreams NewsCenter is a non-profit news service
providing breaking news and views for the Progressive Community.
press release posted here has been provided to Common Dreams NewsWire by
one of the many progressive organizations who make up America's Progressive Community.
you wish to comment on this press release or would like more information,
please contact the organization directly.
*all times Eastern US (GMT-5:00)
Read our Guidelines
for Submitting News Releases
1997-2003 Common Dreams.