Press release

September 3, 1996

US applies its own criteria to protect human rights in Iraq!

CHRLA received with great concern news of the US missile strike near Baghdad, the capital of Iraq, and on different areas in the north and south.

The missile strike, which is a violation of human rights international standards, was presented as being some sort of humanitarian protection to Kurds in the north of Iraq, and to force Iraq to obey UN resolutions on the matter.

The US attack only assures the dualism of its standards on the protection of human rights. The US has repeatedly applied two standards when providing humanitarian aid and dealing with human rights protection. Throughout the years, this selective attitude toward human rights issues has stopped the international community from forcing occupation forces in the Palestinian occupied territories to stop the violations and massacres of the Palestinian people. Last April, those who carried out the Qana massacre were protected by the American veto. This veto refused to allow any resolution condemning Israel for its crime, which violated international standards by bombing civilians in a UN shelter.

Under the banner of human rights, the US led the international community to enforce an embargo on three Arab nations, and acted as an international police force when it interfered in the affairs of Somalia and Sudan.

The selectivity of the US in applying human rights standards has harmed the credibility of these standards and damaged the image of the international human rights movement - a movement we proudly support and consider ourselves part of.

CHRLA condemns the missile attack carried out by US bombers early this morning, and assures that this is a violation of international law. It is also a violation of the principles and goals of the UN Charter, which guaranteed the sovereignty of states over their own land. The Charter prohibited the interference in the internal affairs of any member state. CHRLA also condemns the missile strike for being a violation of the international humanitarian law, risking the lives of hundreds of civilians.

CHRLA calls on all civil society institutions and international human rights organizations to condemn the missile strike, and asks that they refuse to accept any violations carried out in the name of human rights.

CHRLA believes there is a need to strengthen the credibility of human rights principles by establishing firm rules which put an end to using human rights as a method of obtaining political gains.

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