Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq


For information on Iraq since May 2003, please visit

Press release

Petition to lift sanctions on Iraq launched on their ninth anniversay

6 August, 1999

Prepared by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq for the National Petition Against Sanctions on Iraq project

The Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq (CASI) is a registered society at the University of Cambridge. It is concerned about the humanitarian consequences of sanctions on Iraq. It does not support Saddam Hussein's regime and is not opposed to military sanctions on Iraq.

On 6 August, the ninth anniversary of the imposition of UN sanctions on Iraq, a national petition to lift them is being launched. The most careful independent estimates suggest that an additional quarter of a million Iraqi children under five have died since the start of sanction and continue to do so at a rate of 130 per day [RG]. A special panel established by the UN Security Council found that a quarter of the surviving children under five are chronically malnourished [HP].

"The sanctions have hurt Iraq's weakest", explains Colin Rowat, the coordinator of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq, a Cambridge-based student group supporting the petition. "This might be acceptable if it had brought about a greater good but we are now nine years into a weapons inspection regime intended to last 90 days while Forbes magazine tells us that Saddam Hussein is one of the world's richest men. Even members of the Iraqi opposition in the UK have told us that the sanctions have strengthened Saddam. Questions of fault aside, the non-military sanctions on Iraq are contributing to the deaths of innocents and are not encouraging the Iraqi regime to cooperate in disarming; they are not working and have no place in any foreign policy with ethical aspirations. The non-military sanctions must be lifted."

In Cambridge the petition is being launched by two local groups, CASI and the Cambridge Campaign for Peace, outside the Guildhall from 11am to 2pm. In London it is being launched outside of 10 Downing Street by Voices in the Wilderness UK, a direct action campaign group that has taken medicine and toys to Iraq. Their open letter to Prime Minister Blair is signed by Emma Thompson, Ralph Steadman, Iain Banks, Benjamin Zephaniah, Julie Christie, the Bishop of Monmouth, Andy de la Tour, Adrian Mitchell, Victoria Brittain and Bruce Kent. The September issue of the New Internationalist magazine, devoted to Iraq, will carry copies of the petition. The petition will be handed to the government on 20 November, Universal Children's Day.

Britain and the United States are the only two permanent members of the Security Council that have continued to support the non-military sanctions on Iraq. Since their bombing of Iraq began again in December 1998 UN weapons inspectors have been barred from Iraq.


[HP] 30 March, 1999. United Nations. Annex II of S/1999/356. Report of the second panel established pursuant to the note by the president of the Security Council of 30 January 1999 (S/1999/100), concerning the current humanitarian situation in Iraq.

[RG] July, 1999. Dr Richard Garfield, School of Public Health, Columbia University. Morbidity and Mortality Among Iraqi Children from 1990 Through 1998: Assessing the Impact of the Gulf War and Economic Sanctions.

The National Petition Against Sanctions on Iraq project is supported by the British Afro-Asian Solidarity Organisation, Cambridge Campaign for Peace, Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq, Institute for Independence Studies, Leicester CND, New Internationalist magazine, Sheffield Committee Against War in the Gulf, Socialist Democracy, United Nations Association (UK), Voices in the Wilderness UK, and Wokingham Peace Group.


This archive site is hosted by the Iraq Analysis Group, to whom queries should be directed