Tracking Number:  191471

Title:  "Iraqi Answers on Human Rights Abuses Unsatisfactory." Fausto Pocar, the chairman of the UN Human Rights Committee, criticized Iraq for unsatisfactory answers to questions regarding its compliance with international human rights standards, citing dissatisfaction with Iraq's responses regarding its actions during the invasion of Kuwait. (910724)

Translated Title:  L-Irak bafoue les droits de l-homme. (910724)
Date:  19910724


07/24/91 HIRAQI ANSWERS ON HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES UNSATISFACTORY SH(Avoided dealing with issues, U.N. panel says) (430) BYBy Robin Newmann BIUSIA European Correspondent

TGeneva -- The chairman of the U.N. Human Rights Committee criticized Iraq in Geneva July 24 for "unsatisfactory" answers to questions about its compliance with international human rights standards.

Fausto Pocar, human rights expert from Italy, told a news conference that the committee "had not been satisfied at all" with Iraq's answers to questions about its actions surrounding the invasion of Kuwait last August. In some cases the answers had been "nonexistent," he said.

The committee, which will conclude its summer session in Geneva July 26, oversees states' compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The committee sought information on a number of topics related to Iraq's invasion and occupation of Kuwait last August, including the right to self-determination of the Iraqi Kurds, the status of rights during states of emergency, the application of the death penalty, casualties and disappearances in Kuwait, damage of the right to life resulting from the burning of the oil wells in Kuwait, and questions concerning the fate of all Kuwaitis taken to Iraq as prisoners after the Iraqi invasion.

A U.N. press release on the meeting said that Iraq had "avoided dealing with the real issues of compliance with the covenant," and that the committee's experts said that "the most basic questions they had raised had not been answered."

"Iraq's answers constituted an 'admission by omission' to human rights violations," the release said. It said Iraq was trying to "justify the unjustifiable," and its lack of willingness to provide information on the human rights situation in Iraq and Kuwait, before and after the invasion, constituted "stonewalling."

"Frequent violations of the right of life, persecution of the Kurds and the Shias, the widespread practice of torture, the ill-treatment of detainees, disappearances, summary executions and the use of chemical weapons, the death penalty and the excessive use of force were among other concerns expressed by the...committee," the release noted.

Pocar said that among the reasons Iraq gave for not answering all of the committee's questions was that they concerned matters of "domestic jurisdiction." Pocar said it was now "rare" that countries still attempted to use this excuse to avoid the competence of a U.N. body.

He said the subject of Iraq's compliance with the covenant was not over, and that Iraq would be asked to answer further questions at the committee's next session in Geneva, October 21-November 8. NNNN

File Identification:  07/24/91, PO-304; 07/24/91, AE-308; 07/24/91, AR-322; 07/24/91, EP-309; 07/24/91, EU-306; 07/24/91, NE-304; 07/25/91, AF-405; 07/24/91, NA-306
Product Name:  Wireless File
Product Code:  WF
Languages:  French; Arabic
Thematic Codes:  1NE; 2HA; 1UN
Target Areas:  AF; AR; EA; EU; NE
PDQ Text Link:  191471; 191647