> News Release Issued by the International Secretariat of Amnesty
> AI INDEX: MDE 14/082/2003     10 April 2003
> Iraq: immediate measures needed to restore law and order
> As widespread looting and disorder continue in many parts of Iraq,
including Baghdad, Amnesty International is reminding the Coalition forces
as occupying powers of their specific responsibilities under international
human rights and humanitarian law.
> "As forces of an occupying power they should urgently take measures to
enforce law and order in the areas under their control, specifically by
preventing acts of pillage, destruction, and violence to persons," the
organization said.
> The US and UK authorities were respectively warned in advance of the
conflict, including by Amnesty International, that there was a grave risk
that the fall of the Iraqi regime might precipitate such disorder and grave
human rights violations, including reprisal killings.
> "The Coalition forces must live up to their responsibilities and do all in
their power to protect the right of all the people in Iraq."
> In addition, the health situation in Iraq is very critical with many
hospitals, especially in Baghdad, unable to deal with the very high number
of casualties. Access to health care and medicines is becoming very
difficult as stocks are running low. There are acute shortages of badly
needed drugs such as pain-killers, antibiotics and anaesthetics.
> "The Coalition forces also have the obligation to ensure the provisions of
food and medical supplies to the inhabitants in the areas under their
control. They are also required to maintain the medical and hospital
establishments and services, public health and hygiene," Amnesty
International added.
> Background
> Art.43, Hague Regulations spells out the specific responsibilities of
occupying powers under international humanitarian law. These include the
duty to restore and maintain public order and safety.
> Article 55 of the Fourth Geneva Convention states that "to the fullest
extent of the means available to it, the Occupying power has the duty to
ensuring the food and medical supplies of the population; it should, in
particular, bring in the necessary foodstuffs, medical stores and other
articles if the resources of the occupied territory are inadequate."
> Iraq: People come first - protect human rights:
> Act now to protect human rights in Iraq!
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