United Nations


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

25 September 1995


Fiftieth session
Item 114 (c) of the provisional agenda*


Letter dated 20 September 1995 from the Permanent Representative
of Iraq to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General

  On instructions from my Government, I have the  honour to transmit to  you
the  reply of the  Government of  Iraq to the report  entitled "Situation of
human rights in Iraq"  submitted by the Special Rapporteur van der Stoel  to
the Commission on Human Rights at its fifty-first session, in 1995.

  I should be grateful  if you would have this  letter and its  annex, which
comprise the reply of  the Government of Iraq,  circulated as a  document of
the General  Assembly at  its fiftieth  session under  item 114  (c) of  the
provisional  agenda,  entitled  "Human  rights  questions:    Human   rights
situations and reports of special rapporteurs".

(Signed)  Nizar HAMDOON     
Permanent Representative


  *  A/50/150.

95-28960 (E)   111095  121095/...

Reply of the Government of Iraq to the report of the Special
Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Iraq


Subject  Paragraphs  Page

Introduction ...............................................1 -103

A.  The politico-legal order of repression in Iraq .........11 -274

B.  Some examples of repressive decrees .................... 288

C.  Access to food and health care .........................29 -399

Conclusions ................................................1 -511

1.    The  Government  of the  Republic  of  Iraq  has  studied  the  report
(E/CN.4/1995/56) submitted  by the Special  Rapporteur to  the Commission on
Human Rights at its  fifty-first session and has found that it resembles his
previous reports in employing distortions of  the facts, renewing claims and
allegations and using the same sophistry which has been repeated year  after
year.  In  response to this, we can only  give the reference numbers of  the
documents  which  contain  the  relevant  official   replies  of  the  Iraqi

2.  The Government  of Iraq, as it has previously stressed, always  welcomes
any  objective,  equitable and  impartial  measures  which genuinely  aim to
protect and strengthen human rights in Iraq.   These cannot be dealt with in
isolation  from the  difficult circumstances  endured  by the  Iraqi  people
since  August 1990  as a  consequence  of  the military  aggression and  the
complete  economic  embargo  imposed on  Iraq  in  the  name  of  the United

3.   While the  Special Rapporteur  expresses regret in his  report that the
Government  of Iraq refuses to  meet him and  addresses its replies directly
to the United Nations and its organizations, it  must be mentioned that  Mr.
van  der Stoel  has, ever  since his  appointment as  Special  Rapporteur on
human rights  in Iraq, taken a  hostile attitude towards  Iraq which is  far
from the  non-selectivity, impartiality  and objectivity  the importance  of
which was affirmed by  General Assembly resolution 47/131  in 1992.  When he
presented his  report to the Security  Council he  overstepped the authority
with which he was invested by the resolution  which granted him his mandate,
Commission  on Human  Rights resolution  1991/74.   He has  held many  press
conferences  with the aim of  insulting and pillorying the reputation of the
Government of Iraq.  He has ignored the  official replies and the scientific
studies  which Iraq  has  submitted, relying  completely  and  absolutely on
sources  of information  known for  their  antagonism  to the  Government of
Iraq, although they are sources which are not completely reliable.

4.   Mr. van  der Stoel  also treats  the issue of  the embargo  as a purely
political matter, demanding that the Government  of Iraq should comply  with
Security  Council  resolutions 706  (1991)  and  712 (1991),  despite  being
assured of  the underlying political  goals of both  and indifferent  to the
damaging  effects that this  embargo has  had on  Iraqi society, considering
them outside his mandate.

5.  The  complete embargo which has been imposed  on the people of Iraq  for
the last five years, depriving the  Iraqi people, including women,  children
and elderly,  of their most basic  legitimate right, which  is the right  to
life, is not considered  as a violation of  human rights, since  it was  the
wish of  the  forces  hostile to  Iraq,  with which  Mr.  van der  Stoel  is

6.    The  Government  of  Iraq,  guided  by  paragraph  31  of  the  Vienna
Declaration on Human Rights, which states that food and medicine should  not
be used  as a tool  for political pressure, looks to  the United Nations and
its  humanitarian organizations  to  study  the grave  political, legal  and
humanitarian  consequences  of  the  imposition  of  the  economic  embargo,
requesting that a mechanism should be  sought to minimize those consequences
and  their dangerous repercussions on  all human rights.   It is unthinkable
that we  should be living in  the age of  human rights and at  the same time
using food and medicine as weapons to damage peoples.

7.   In his  introduction, the  Special Rapporteur  gives the  terms of  his
mandate in  exhaustive detail  and reviews  the resolutions  adopted by  the
Commission  on Human Rights  and the  General Assembly  and other procedural
steps.    He  also  repeats  the  recommendations  put  forward  in previous
reports,  in particular, that human  rights monitors should be sent to Iraq.
This is  in fact  one of  the fundamental  pivots of  his political  mission
which is biased against the country.

8.   Iraq has made  its position  on this  proposal clear, with  an absolute
refusal,  since  it would  represent flagrant  interference in  its internal
affairs and be blatantly incompatible with  the concepts of sovereignty  and
independence.  Furthermore,  it would  create  a  precedent  to  be used  to
threaten  third  world  peoples  and  any  State  desiring  to  preserve its
sovereignty  and independence. Iraq  has already  made its  position on this
issue clear,  in document  A/C.3/47/2, paragraphs 18  and 19.   Despite  the
clear  official stance  of Iraq  in this regard,  the Special  Rapporteur is
sending officials from  the Centre  for Human Rights  as monitors on  short-
term  assignments  to collect  information  in  neighbouring  countries  and
countries in which the so-called Iraqi  opposition has headquarters, as well
as  to border areas  on intelligence  operations which  are totally divorced
from the working methods of United Nations personnel.  

9.  In  paragraph 3 of his report,  the Special Rapporteur repeats the  same
claims  and allegations  which have  appeared  in  all his  reports, namely:
"repression,  oppression,  discrimination, torture,  executions,  detentions
and the draining of  the marshes".  He  depicts Iraq as a  country in  which
there  is no one  left alive.   Faced  with such repetition,  we will merely
refer  to the  documents  in which  the Iraqi  Government has  submitted its
official   replies:     A/49/394,   E/CN.4/Sub.2/1994/54,   E/CN.4/1995/138,
A/48/875, A/C.3/47/2, A/48/378-S/26424 and A/46/647.

10.  In  paragraphs 4 to 16 of  the report, the  Special Rapporteur sets out
the number  of missions he dispatched,  the places visited by those missions
and their  sources of information.  As  usual, he relies on the same methods
and  sources,  and considers  the  information  as  reliable and  completely
trustworthy,  while wilfully  ignoring and  belittling  the replies  of  the
Iraqi  Government,  thereby confirming  both  his  disposition  to  conspire
against it and his role in the attacks made against the country.

A.  The politico-legal order of repression in Iraq

11.  This section of  the report clearly reflects the  way in which  Mr. van
der Stoel  exploits the issue of  human rights for  political ends that  are
totally removed  from the noble  purposes of human  rights and  makes them a
means of interfering in the internal affairs of States.   In paragraph 21 of
the  report,  the  Special  Rapporteur  states:    "Nor  has  there  been  a
significant change in any of the structures of  the State which the  Special
Rapporteur believes are the  cause of widespread  and systematic  violations
of  human rights in  Iraq".  It  is clear to  any impartial  observer of the
manner  in  which  the  Special  Rapporteur  deals  with  the  human  rights
situation  in Iraq and his activity in this area that Iraq's position on him
is correct and why Iraq accuses him of  bias and lack of objectivity  and of
being an  instrument for  the implementation of  the schemes  of States  and
parties hostile  to  Iraq that  aim  at  overthrowing its  national  regime,
rending asunder its territory and fragmenting  its population.  The  mandate
of  the  Special Rapporteur  as  set  forth  in resolution  1991/74  did not
empower him to advocate  changing the structure  of authority in Iraq.   The
Government  of  Iraq  has  already  submitted  a  detailed  account  of  the
structure  of authority in Iraq  in document A/49/394, which may be referred
to for further details (paras. 129-141).

12.  In this  connection, we should like to recall that the establishment of
a new  and evolved formula for  the exercise of  democracy in  Iraq has been
one  of the  foremost of  the  Iraqi leadership's  concern since  the  early
1980s.   Perhaps the  most outstanding element  thereof was the  election of

the President of the  Republic and the related popular referendum.  However,
the leadership deemed it  appropriate to postpone that until the end of  the
Iran-Iraq war.   The Revolution Command  Council discussed  the matter after
the  end of  the war and  a new draft constitution  was drawn up.   This was
submitted  for broad democratic  discussion to  the people  and the National
Assembly.   However, the  circumstances of  the 30-Power  aggression in 1991
and  the consequent  unrest and  unjust  sanctions halted  any move  in that
direction.   The subject was put before the leadership for a second time two
years ago  by the President  of the  Republic, but  the country's  difficult
circumstances, particularly the anomalous situation in northern Iraq,  which
was  subjected  to  quasi-occupation  by the  Coalition  forces,  caused the
leadership to  delay the  matter  until the  sanctions were  lifted and  the
situation  in the north was restored to normal.  In spite of these difficult
circumstances, the leadership  has found that the supreme national  interest
and  the  need  to  tackle  fundamental  issues  required  the  exercise  of
authentic  direct democracy.   On  the basis of  this, the  Constitution was
amended, and the nominee  for the position of President of the Republic  was
submitted to  a national referendum, in  accordance with Revolution  Command
Council decision No. 85 of 1995.

13.   In paragraph  25 of  the report,  the Special  Rapporteur alleges  the
occurrence of  "extrajudicial executions ...  in particular  in relation  to
military operations  in  the southern  marsh  area  of Iraq  where  civilian
settlements are said to  have been shelled  and razed".  In this  regard, we
should like  to  point  out  that  these  allegations  are  not  factual  or
accurate.    The   Special  Rapporteur's   allegations  regarding   military
operations and  the  shelling of  civilian  settlements  in the  marsh  area
actually refer to an  attack carried out by Iranian forces in February 1995,
using various heavy weapons, including artillery  and boats.  Iraqi military
units presented resistance to  this attack, and this  is a matter  that lies
solely  within its domestic authority and constitutes  legitimate defence of
its territory and the security and safety of its citizens.

14.   The nature of this part of Iraq is constantly exploited by the Iranian
side  to infiltrate  its agents  for the  purpose of  carrying out  acts  of
sabotage  aimed at  undermining security  and  stability.   We  have already
described  in detail the  nature of  this area and the  incidents that occur
there in  document A/C.3/47/2, paragraphs 8  to 17,  A/48/875, paragraphs 12
to 32 and A/49/394, paragraphs 96 to 104.

15.   In  paragraph 26  of the  report, the  Special Rapporteur,  as  usual,
touches  on  the  subject of  arbitrary arrest  and  detention, exaggerating
greatly and distorting the  facts.  He alleges that:  "Thousands of families
of Iraqi  citizens 'of Persian ancestry' who were expelled from Iraq between
1980 and 1990 in the  course of which many able-bodied men were arrested and
detained ... at Qalat  al-Salman prison in southern  Iraq."  In this regard,
we should like  to explain that the expulsion  of persons of Iranian  origin
took place following the  defensive war that Iraq waged against Iran  within
the  framework of defence  of Iraq's  security.  The details  of this matter
are given in Iraq's  reply of 1991 (A/46/647).  Moreover, no one is detained
in the Qalat al-Salman  prison because this prison  has been abolished.   We
have given an account of this in document A/49/394, paragraphs 40 to 43.

16.  With regard to the repetition of  the allegations on the  disappearance
of Iraqi persons, it  would be lacking in objectivity to deny the occurrence
of  such  instances,   which  were   always  the  result  of   extraordinary
circumstances relating to incidents that were  impossible, not only for  the
Government  of   Iraq  but  also  for   any  other   Government  in  similar
circumstances,  to control  without suffering  of which  human beings  would
have been  the first to be affected, namely, the events of the Iran-Iraq war
and then the aggression  against Iraq during the Gulf war and the subsequent
troubles.    We  have  already  given  account  of  this matter  in  earlier
documents, including A/49/494, paragraphs 9 to 12.

17.  As for the other allegation concerning the disappearance of  foreigners
and  Kuwaitis, Mr. van  der Stoel  is so far  unaware of any  of the Kuwaiti

cases having been resolved.   Here again the Special Rapporteur is exceeding
the limits  of his mandate as  set forth in  the resolution appointing  him.
The  subject of Kuwaitis  and third-country  nationals was  taken up  by the
Security Council  and referred  to the  International Committee  of the  Red
Cross.   The  subject is  linked  to  international humanitarian  law, which
deals  with such  matters clearly  and  precisely,  within the  framework of
well-known  special procedures.  We  have already dealt  with this matter in
detail, although it in no way concerns  the Special Rapporteur, in  document

18.  In paragraph 29 of  the report, Mr.  van der Stoel turns once again  to
the  subject  of freedom  of  movement  and  directives  relating to  travel
outside  Iraq, particularly  those  relating to  professors,  engineers  and
physicians.  In this regard, we  would refer to a reply of Iraq contained in
document A/49/394, paragraphs 26 to 39.

19.   With  regard to  emigration from  Iraq,  to  which Mr.  van der  Stoel
refers, no  one can deny  that the wars  and economic  crises, including the
economic embargo that is crushing Iraq, cause  people to leave the  country.
This  is  well  known.  Accordingly,  lifting  the  economic  embargo  would
definitely lead  to a return  of normal life and help  many people to return
to their country.

20.  As usual, the Special Rapporteur cites  data without bothering to check
it and ascertain its accuracy.  One example of that is his allegation that
"information has  been received that persons  not resident  in Baghdad prior
to April  1991 may  be forced to leave  Baghdad as a measure  to relieve the
pressure of economic  demands on the city".  This allegation is  absurd.  As
everyone is  aware, all the towns  and villages of  Iraq are suffering  from
the pressure of  economic demands owing to  the embargo.   Accordingly, this
allegation can only be described as illogical.

21.  As in  all of his reports,  the Special Rapporteur reverts  to what  he
calls ethnic  and religious  communities and  the rights  of minorities  and
attacks on the Marsh Arab community  and the predominantly Kurdish region in
the north.   In this regard,  we should point out  that all Iraq's  previous
replies  contain  an  extensive  account  of  these  matters,  and  Iraq has
submitted  a document concerning  the manner of treatment  of the subject of
minorities in Iraq, namely, document E/CN.4/Sub.2/1994/54.

22.   We  should like  to  put to  the Special  Rapporteur  a  question that
presents itself concerning the sources of  his information, namely, why  did
he not touch on the human rights violations  to which our Kurdish people  is
subjected at  the hands  of Kurdish elements  and the militias  that control
the north,  even though  they have  been publicized  in a sizeable  document
issued by  Amnesty International,  which is,  as we  know, one  of the  main
information sources relied on  by Mr. van der  Stoel.  It may  be useful  to
cite a short  excerpt from this  report, which  was issued  under the  title
"Human rights abuses in  Iraqi Kurdistan since 1991".   The report, which is
over 140  pages  long,  deals in  detail with  the  numerous and  widespread
violations of  human  rights committed  by the  "Kurdish administration"  as
represented in the "Council of Ministers"  and Kurdish political parties  in
the area.  They include detention,  torture, ill-treatment, and first-degree
murders.  Amnesty International in its  report placed the responsibility for
these  violations  and for  similar violations  perpetrated  by the  Islamic
movement  on the leaders  of Kurdish  political parties,  especially the two
main  parties,  the Kurdistan  Democratic  Party  and the  Kurdish Patriotic
Union.  We expect  that the Special Rapporteur's  excuse would be that these
violations do not  fall within his mandate  because they were not  committed
by the "Government of  Iraq", although those who  suffer from them  and have
fallen victim to them are thousands of the Iraqi Kurdish people.

/...  A/50/471


23.   It  may  be useful  to suggest  that  Mr. van  der  Stoel,  instead of
repeating  the same allegations  in each  report, should  address himself to
the  real  human suffering  resulting  from  the  ferocious  war and  bloody
fighting that has  taken place in Iraqi Kurdistan,  which has turned into  a
war of the streets which has taken  a toll of thousands of  innocent victims
from  the Kurdish  people.    Add to  this the  human rights  violations and
suffering arising  from the  Turkish invasion  of northern  Iraq, which  has
caused  thousands of Kurds  to flee  from their villages,  leave their homes
and take  refuge in  safer areas  far from the  site of  the fighting.   The
Turkish forces have used heavy weaponry and aircraft,  which has destroyed a
number of villages and caused the death of many innocent citizens.   This is
in  addition to  the arrests  and humiliating treatment  to which  the local
population is subjected  by the invading forces.   These are the real  human
sufferings  to  which  the  innocent  Iraqi  Kurdish  people  is  subjected.
However,  Mr. van der Stoel does not view it like that as long as these acts
are not committed by the Government of Iraq.

 24.   The Turkish  invasion of  northern Iraq was  accompanied by  flagrant
violations committed  by the invading  forces through intensive  utilization
of weapons that  were not commensurate  with the  number of  those who  were
subjected  to the military  campaign, in  which military  aircraft and heavy
military equipment were used, causing great  damage to property and  killing
Iraqi  Kurdish citizens.  Large  numbers of them were deprived of practising
their daily work  and enjoying their natural life, owing to the restrictions
imposed by  the invading  forces.  The  slaughter of women  and children  in
Zakho  and Dohuk and  near the  town of  Sarsank and  the detention  of many
Kurdish  citizens whose fate remains  unknown all confirm the  volume of the
immense dangers to which civilians are exposed.

25.   In addition,  the Turkish  invasion of  northern Iraq has  led to  the
exodus of  waves of refugees.   Many  of the  inhabitants of areas  in which
military operations were  conducted, particularly the Zakho area, have  left
their  villages  and property  and  fled,  under  the  protection of  United
Nations guards to safer areas. 

26.  In the  course of the military  operations, the invading Turkish forces
raided homes  in order  to separate the  men from the  women and to  rob and
loot.  This is  in  addition to  the humiliating  practices  carried  out by
Turkish soldiers  against citizens  through  the arbitrary  imposition of  a
state of emergency in their areas.

27.   As a  result  of these  operations, it  has  been  difficult to  bring
humanitarian relief to the area controlled  by the invading Turkish  forces,
which prevented  United Nations guards  from reaching  Kurdish villages with
the area of fighting.

B.  Some examples of repressive decrees

28.  In this subsection, the Special Rapporteur  discusses what he refers to
as  "repressive  decrees", thus  reiterating  the  content of  his  previous
report.   There is no  harm in restating  what we  have already said, namely
that  the  punitive measures  contained  in  the Revolution  Command Council
decrees  in  respect of  thieves  and  the  perpetrators  of crimes  against
society cannot be viewed,  as is the wont of Mr. van der Stoel, in isolation
from the  overall situation in  Iraq.  That  situation is  epitomized by the
unjust comprehensive embargo  that has been imposed  on Iraq for almost five
years, leaving an inhumane impact  on various aspects of  life and producing
social conditions alien to our society, which  adheres to high moral  values
and is distinct in its security and stability.   The most prominent of those
conditions are  theft and burglary, which  occur mostly  in conjunction with
acts of  killing.   As a  result, persons,  property and  lives are  greatly

endangered,  in turn  placing  Iraqi  society in  grave peril.   As  we have
previously mentioned, these  punishments are  applied in very few  instances
and  only in the  case of  utmost necessity,  which indicates  the temporary
nature of the measure.   The truth  of our assertion that these  punishments
constitute a  temporary measure is affirmed  by the  recent promulgation, on
22 July 1995,  of Revolution Command Council Decree No. 61, which prescribes
the pardon of all inmates  and convicts, as well as  the final cessation  of
the measures taken in respect of any  person having perpetrated the  offence
of evasion of, or  absence or desertion from,  military service.   Under the
provisions of  that  decree, convicted  persons  are  also exempt  from  the
punishment of severance of  the ear auricle and amputation of the hand.  For
further  details,  reference  may  be  made  to  Iraq's  reply  contained in
document E/CN.4/1995/138.  It is further  worth pointing out that, under the
same  decree,   the  death  penalty  is   commuted  to  life   imprisonment.
Revolution  Command  Council  Decree  No.  64,  which  prescribes  the  full
exemption  of all political  prisoners from  the provisions  issued in their
regard (see annexes I and II), has also been promulgated.

C.  Access to food and health care

29.   In section I,  subsection C,  relating to  "access to food  and health
care", the Special Rapporteur,  on the basis of "the reports and assessments
of United Nations specialized agencies in  the context of the United Nations
Inter-Agency Humanitarian  Programme in Iraq", states  that he  has had "the
sad duty of recording  a constantly deteriorating situation for most of  the
population, especially the  most vulnerable segments comprised of  children,
pregnant and lactating  mothers and  the elderly".   Although true, Mr.  van
der Stoel's  words are intentionally  misleading in  that he claims  to feel
sorry for the  children of Iraq, yet at the  same time fails to request  the
lifting  of the  embargo  against  them;  on  the  contrary,  he  holds  the
Government of Iraq  responsible for such human  suffering on account of  its
non-implementation  of  Security Council  resolutions  706  (1991)  and  712
(1991), despite  being  satisfied as  to  their  political objectives.    In
common with those  States working in their own  interests, he none the  less
persists in exploiting that human suffering for perverse political  purposes
in  contempt  of all  international human  rights  instruments which  affirm
human  dignity and  the  right to  life.   In  any  event, this  subject has
already been expounded  in detail on  more than one occasion,  most recently
in   document  E/CN.4/1995/138,  in  which  we  explained   that  those  two
resolutions were aimed at prejudicing the  sovereignty of Iraq and  dividing
its people  on an ethnic  and sectarian basis,  rather than  at ensuring the
humanitarian needs  of the Iraqi  people.  Despite  this, the Government  of
Iraq  has  made  efforts  to  arrive  at  an  acceptable  formula  with  the
Secretariat in New York and Vienna.  Those  efforts, however, have failed to
produce a valid solution  due to the pressures exerted by the United States.

30.  We also anticipate that  Mr. van der Stoel will create a further outcry
over the recently adopted Security Council  resolution 986 (1995), which  is
actually a draft that was submitted to the Council  by the United States and
Britain  as being  the only  available  solution  for addressing  the tragic
situation of  the Iraqi  people spawned  by the  continued economic  embargo
against it.   At this point, we should like to highlight  certain facts with
a view to explaining  Iraq's position on the aforesaid resolution to Mr. van
der Stoel  and to  any follower of  the subject's background  and the  human
rights situation in Iraq.

31.  The new  resolution relies on the same machinery contained in  Security
Council  resolutions  706 (1991)  and 712  (1991)  in the  shape of  imposed
control mechanisms  for the  distribution  of foodstuffs  and medicines  and
specified routes for the export  of petroleum, thereby divesting Iraq of its
will  and its autonomy  of decision and  choice concerning  the export route
for  petroleum  and  petroleum  products.     It  also  entails  an   odious
intervention in the life of Iraqi citizens on the pretext of monitoring  the
adequacy and  fairness of  the distribution  of the  enormous quantities  of

foodstuffs to be purchased pursuant to  the resolution and further  bolsters
the  state of  insurrection in  the  north  of Iraq,  thus violating  Iraq's
sovereignty and territorial integrity.  This  resolution divests Iraq of its
natural right as an  independent sovereign State to dispose of its assets in
the interests of the  Iraqi people with a view to providing essential  needs
in accordance  with international law  and the international rules governing
inter-State trade. 

32.   The aim  of the draft  resolution was  to rule out  discussion by  the
Security  Council concerning the  fulfilment of its obligations towards Iraq
under  Security  Council  resolution 687  (1991).   The  timing  of the  new
resolution affirms as much, having been  introduced to the Security  Council
with a  view to impeding  the future of the Iraqi people  and not to lifting
the embargo.  Iraq therefore rejected the resolution,  which it deemed worse
than  Security  Council  resolutions  706  (1991)   and  712  (1991).    The
resolution  was adopted  behind  a  humanitarian screen,  with the  adopting
States offering as a pretext the  critical humanitarian situation and  human
suffering in Iraq.  We  anticipate that Mr. van der Stoel will do  likewise,
as  he can be relied upon in  that respect on any occasion.   The resolution
encompasses  dubious political  objectives such  as deceiving  world  public
opinion in order to eliminate the growing pressure  to end the suffering  of
the Iraqi people  and lift  the unjust embargo  imposed on  it in  a bid  to
divert  efforts to that  end within  the Security Council  and thus ensuring
the continued imposition of the embargo for as long as possible.

33.  The Special Rapporteur repeats the same allegations concerning what  he
calls "discriminatory  policies" and the "internal  blockade on the  north".
In the face  of such repetition,  suffice it  for us to  refer to our  reply
contained in the aforesaid document and to document A/49/394.

34.  Section I,  subsection D, which  the Special Rapporteur devotes to  the
situation  of  Iraqi  refugees,  mentions  the  causes  of  flight  as being
"increased oppression  from the Iraqi  Government, ... deteriorating  living
standards; ...  draining of the  marshes ...".  He focuses  on what he calls
"draining of the marshes"  and states that the inhabitants of the area  have
lost their  habitat, as  well as  their livelihood  of  fishing and  raising
livestock,  and  that draining  has  made  access to  the  area  easier  for
Government troops pursuing suspected criminals. 

35.   In so far as  the matter is connected with such claims, we should like
to state that  war and crisis situations are  the main causes of  migration,
something which  no two persons would dispute; the economic  embargo and its
adverse repercussions on individuals and society  have caused many Iraqis to
migrate  due to difficult  economic circumstances  in the  hope of improving
their  living conditions.   Life will  unquestionably return  to normal with
the lifting of the embargo. 

36.    Similarly,  the  projects  implemented  by  Iraq,  which  the Special
Rapporteur  still  mentions in  all his  reports  and about  which he  makes
accusations  at  large, are  in  fact  British,  United  States, German  and
Brazilian  projects suspended  after the  events  of  August 1990  and since
completed.   We  should like to  point out that  most of the  land reclaimed
with  the  completion  of  some  of  these  development  projects  has  been
distributed among the inhabitants of the  area and that initial agricultural
production has begun.   The benefits to be yielded by this project are cited
in the reports  of United States and British  experts and have already  been
explained  in  documents A/48/875  and  A/CN.4/1995/138,  as  well  as in  a
special document (A/C.3/49/23) distributed on the subject.

37.  There is  no harm in summarizing,  for the  fourth time, some of  these
benefits, which may be sufficient to satisfy the Special Rapporteur: 

  1.  The drainage of salt water from  agricultural land and the  consequent
increase in areas suitable for agricultural production;

  2.  Maintenance  of the excellent  quality of  water from  the Tigris  and

Euphrates  rivers and  verification of its suitability  for local industrial
and agricultural use;

  3.  Settlement  of the sand dunes in  the regions through  which the river

  4.  Use of the river for navigation purposes.

38.  In the context  of this subsection on refugees, we should like to  draw
Mr. van der Stoel's  attention to the  exoduses which occurred in the  north
of  Iraq as  a  result  of the  Turkish incursion  to which  the  region was
subjected. Thousands of  inhabitants from  the Kurdish  villages located  on
the  borders with Turkey  were forced  by the shelling to  which their areas
were exposed  to leave  their villages  and homes  and seek  refuge in  more
secure places.  This  is in addition to  the ongoing exodus  attributable to
the bloody fighting between the elements in control of Iraqi Kurdistan.


  A  perusal of  Mr.  van der  Stoel's  report  leads  us to  the  following
conclusions, which  do not differ in substance from the conclusions which we
reached from his earlier reports.  One notes the following:

1.   Repeated  allegations  of human  rights  violations  in  Iraq based  on
information provided, on the one hand, by forces and organs known for  their
hostility to Iraq or,  on the other hand,  through missions sent  to certain
countries,  in particular the  United Kingdom,  Iran and  Kuwait, which meet
with what is referred to as the "Iraqi opposition".  Such sources,  needless
to say, are neither impartial  nor objective; consequently,  the information
obtained  is highly  questionable  and  lacks  the  requisite  criterion  of

2.   The report, like its predecessor,  deals with the situation in Iraq and
the  difficult  conditions   prevailing  as  a   result  of   the  continued
application  of the economic  sanctions in  a manner  thoroughly remote from
reality.   It  speaks  of human  rights  violations, yet  glosses  over  the
flagrant  violation  of all  human rights  in Iraq  caused by  the continued
application of the  sanctions.   Indeed, the  continued economic  sanctions,
with the deaths and suffering they  have caused and continue to cause in all
areas of life among the weaker segments  of society, in particular children,
women and the elderly, amount in fact to  nothing less than genocide,  which
is prohibited by international law and  whose perpetrators are punishable by
the international community.  When  Mr. van der Stoel is forced to touch  on
the tragedy and destruction  caused by the sanctions  in all areas  of life,
he  places the  responsibility  for  them  on  the  Government of  Iraq  for
rejecting resolutions 706 (1991)  and 712 (1991).  Yet he knows better  than
anyone that those two resolutions are political and  have nothing to do with
human rights, but simply  serve as a  pretext, as mentioned in our  previous
replies to his reports.

3.  Mr. van  der Stoel's political  objective is clearly apparent day  after
day  in his  reports.   He  goes beyond  mere  allegations of  human  rights
violations in Iraq and  is conducting an offensive against the structure  of
the authority and the  institutions of the  State, thus leaving no room  for
doubt that he  is calling for interference in  the internal affairs of  Iraq
and  in matters  belonging  to  the  internal  authority  of the  State,  an
endeavour that  fits into  the framework  of a  plot  against the  political
system in Iraq with a view to changing it.

4.   All the  allegations made by Mr. van der  Stoel in his report have been
concretely answered  in the past by the  Government of Iraq.  We do not deny
the existence  of  a number  of  emergency  laws  imposed by  the  difficult
conditions prevailing in Iraq;  however, we must not  lose sight of the fact
that those laws are  temporary, being intended first and foremost to  ensure
the safety of the  citizens and society.   We cannot assert,  moreover, that

there do not exist  some cases that  constitute violations of human  rights,
arising  from our  long defensive  war with  Iran and  from the  unrest  and
sabotage that followed the 30-Power aggression  against Iraq, such as  cases
of  disappearance,  which   are  unavoidable  occurrences  imposed  by   the
conditions of war  and unrest.  Nor does  the Iraqi Government deny that  it
has adopted  maximum penalties, even including execution, against anyone who
wilfully engages in sabotage of  the economy or fraudulent dealings with the
food and drugs of the people under  the conditions of continued  application
of  the economic  sanctions, for  the fundamental  task of  the  Iraqi State
under the  current circumstances  is to provide  food and  medicine for  the
citizens, no other task having greater priority.

  We  do not  deny the existence of  such cases; however, Mr.  van der Stoel
continually points  to those emergency  laws and cases  and dwells  on them,
adding  to them  a large  portion  of exaggeration,  in isolation  from  any
mention  of  the conditions  that distinguished  those cases  or led  to the
enactment of such laws.

  Mr. van der Stoel  looks at human rights  situations from a viewpoint that
serves his  political aims, not from  an objective point  of view, which  he
should maintain  in dealing with  an issue as  important and  vital as human

5.  All of  the above leads us to a  fact to which we have referred  before,
namely that Mr. van  der Stoel has adopted a  hostile stance with  regard to
Iraq.  That stance  is  not in  keeping  with a  technical  approach,  which
implies  the use of reliable sources  or aims at  accuracy and the desire to
report information  and make  sure of  its correctness,  but is rather  of a
political order.   Indeed, Mr. van  der Stoel has become a  party hostile to
Iraq,  participating  in  the  designs  intended  to  tear  Iraq  apart  and
fragmentize its  people, in a manner totally contradictory to  the nature of
work in  the field of  human rights  referred to by the  General Assembly in
its resolution  47/131 on the "strengthening of United Nations action in the
field of  human rights  through the  promotion of  international cooperation
and the importance  of non-selectivity, impartiality  and objectivity".   In
that  resolution  the   General  Assembly  affirmed  "that  the   promotion,
protection  and  full  realization  of  all  human  rights  and  fundamental
freedoms  as legitimate concerns of  the world community should be guided by
the principles of non-selectivity, impartiality and objectivity, and  should
not be used for  political ends".   In that connection it further  requested
"all human rights  bodies within the United Nations  system, as well as  the
special  rapporteurs and  representatives, independent  experts and  working
groups, to take duly  into account the content  of the present resolution in
carrying out  their mandates".  Furthermore,  Mr. van  der Stoel's approach,
to  which we have  referred, is  incompatible with the  standards of conduct
for  international  civil  servants  referred  to  in  the  1954  Report  on
Standards of Conduct in the International Civil Service.

Republic of Iraq
Revolution Command Council
Decree No. 61
Date of Decree:  23 July A.D. 1995


  In furtherance  of the national,  educational and humanitarian  guarantees
included  in  the speech  of  His  Excellency  President  and Leader  Saddam
Hussein on  the twenty-seventh  anniversary of  the beginning  of the  great
revolution of 17 to  30 July, to  the effect  that the opportunity would  be
given to  anyone who has  been corrupted by one factor or  another or by the
temptation of  the devil, to  take a step  forward, correct  his mistake and
return  from the  chasms of  deviation to  the firm  and  excellent national

  On  the basis  of  the  provisions of  article 42,  paragraph (a),  of the
Constitution, the Revolution Command Council has decided as follows:

  First:  Iraqi inmates  will be excused the remainder of their sentences as

1.  Anyone having served three years of a sentence of more than 10 years;

2.   Anyone having served two  years of a sentence  which did not exceed  10

3.  Anyone given a prison term who has served one year of his sentence.


1.   Any  Iraqi  prison inmate  will be  excused the  remainder of  his term
provided that  his relatives  guarantee to  ensure his  good behaviour,  and
that that is endorsed by a member of the Arab Baath Socialist Party.

2.   The provisions laid out in  the first clause of this Decree shall apply
to those convicted of first degree murder.

  Third:  Those  sentenced to amputation of the  hand shall be excused  that
punishment if a period exceeding two years has been spent in detention.

  Fourth:  Those  sentenced before this Decree  entered into force shall  be
included  in the amnesty  once they have completed  the periods specified in
the first, second and third clauses of this Decree.


1.   The  amnesty  provisions specified  in  the first,  second  and  fourth
clauses of this Decree  shall not apply to  those convicted of  first degree
murder unless a settlement has been reached with the injured party.

 2.  "The injured party" means the legal successor of the victim.


  Any  prisoner  able  to  memorize  four  suras  of  the  Holy  Qur'an  and
understand  the  ideology of  the  revolution  shall  be  exempted from  the
periods of time specified in the first and third clauses of this Decree.

  Seventh:   Sentences of death passed before this Decree entered into force
shall be commuted to life imprisonment once they have been finalized.


1.    All  proceedings taken  against  anyone  who committed  the  crime  of
deserting  from  the army  or  absented  himself  from  or avoided  military
service shall be completely halted  if that person repented and gave himself
up or was arrested before this Decree entered into force.

2.  The provisions  of paragraph 1 of  this clause shall be  applied to  all
fugitives  from  and those  who  failed  to  perform  or avoided  performing
military service who gave  themselves up within two weeks of the entry  into
force of this Decree if inside Iraq, and within a month if outside Iraq.

3.   All those sentenced to have the auricles of  their ears amputated shall
be pardoned this punishment.

  Ninth:   Anyone pardoned under  the terms of  this Decree who subsequently
commits  a  similar  crime or  deliberate  misdemeanour  shall  receive  the
punishment from which he had been pardoned.

  Tenth:   Those covered by  the amnesty contained  in this  Decree shall be

prisoners convicted of the following crimes:

1.  Drug-dealing;

2.  Spying;

3.  Murder connected with apostasy;

4.  Embezzlement and theft of State funds;

5.  Attacks on  officials or those carrying out  public duties in the course
of their duties or because of them;

6.  Bribery;

7.  Kidnapping;

8.  Homosexuality;

9.  Illicit sexual relations.

   Eleventh:   The President  of the  Presidential Council  shall issue  the
instructions necessary  to facilitate the  implementation of the  provisions
of this Decree.

  Twelfth:    This Decree  shall  come  into  force from  the  date  of  its

Saddam HUSSEIN      
Chairman of the     
Revolution Command Council


             Decree of the Revolution Command Council granting amnesty
             to Iraqis inside or outside Iraq who have been convicted
of political crimes


Republic of Iraq
Revolution Command Council
Decree No. 64

Mission Date:  30 July A.D. 1995

  Drawing  inspiration  from  the  enlightened,  humanitarian and  patriotic
statements made by His Excellency President  Saddam Hussein in his  historic
speech of  17 July  this year;  believing that  every zealous  citizen is  a
fighter in the July  Revolution when he is motivated by patriotism to  carry
out his  duty to  oppose backwardness and  its causes  and to  take part  in
building a great Iraq,

  Convinced  that even  if a  citizen  has  turned away  from his  patriotic
commitment, having been too  weak to bear  the burden or to resist  unlawful
and illusory  temptation, he is capable  of resuming  his responsibility for
the  nation's honour  and the national  struggle, with will  and reliance on

  Intent on  preserving the role  of the revolution  to help  those who need
help in  appreciating the true meaning  of the  revolution without resorting
to invention,  and to  rehabilitate those who  have stumbled  from the  true
path, so they may be a vital part of their people,

  Confirming that this opportunity  is now available  to all those who  have
erred  and that  those  who are  sincere and  renounce  their past  will  be
welcomed back,  so they may continue  on their  original revolutionary path,
in the spirit of salvation, noble patriotism, strength and virtue which  our
nation requires from its true sons,

  Pursuant  to  the  provisions  of  article   2,  paragraph  (a),  of   the
Constitution, the Revolution Command Council has decreed as follows:

I.  A general  amnesty is granted to Iraqis  inside or outside Iraq who have
been found guilty of political crimes.

II.   A complete halt shall  be put to legal procedures taken against Iraqis
inside or outside Iraq who have been found guilty of political crimes.

III.  No  legal steps shall  be taken against Iraqis inside  or outside Iraq
who have committed political offences or  crimes, before the  implementation
of this Decree.  No action may be  brought against them on account  of these
offences or crimes.

 IV.  Those to whom articles I or II of this  Decree apply shall be released
from custody, providing that  they have not been convicted of or detained on
account of other matters.

V.   Not included  in articles I, II and III  of this Decree are persons who
have committed  the following crimes  even though these  are related to  the
crimes referred to in those articles:

1.  Espionage.

2.  Premeditated murder.

3.  Embezzlement of State funds.

4.  Rape.

VI.   Those to  whom this  amnesty applies shall have  restored any property
which has been seized from them.

VII.   Those to whom articles I, II and III of this Decree apply must return
to Iraq  within two months of its  entry into force, if they are outside the
country, or  must report to the appropriate authorities within  one month of
the date of its entry into force, if they are inside Iraq.

VIII. This Decree shall enter into force from the date of its promulgation.

Saddam HUSSEIN     
Chairman of the Revolution
Command Council    



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