Condemn Iraqi Health Ministers visit

Condemn Iraqi Health Ministers visit

The Independent: Friday 9 February 1990

Letter to Editor: Visit of the Iraqi health minister

From Mr Zanyar Pizishk: Sir: The Iraqi Minister for Heath has come to Britain as a guest of the Department of Health and is being escorted on an official tour of some of Britain's hospitals and nursing colleges. he will be meeting ministers and officials including Mr William Waldegrave, Minister of State at the Foreign Office. We cannot but express a sense of outrage that an emissary of the Iraqi regime, with its proven record of violation of human rights and its documented use of chemical weapons against its own people, should be accorded an official welcome in this country.

Only last Saturday you carried a report of the mass poisoning of 2,000 Kurdish refugees in South east Turkey, allegedly at the hands of Iraqi agents who contaminated the bread supply at the Diyarbakir camp. This incident represents the latest in a succession of horrific attacks on Iraqi Kurds, beginning with the use of chemical weapons against the population of Halabja in Iraqi Kurdistan in March, 1988.

Rather than extend the hand of friendship to the Iraqi minister, the British government and heath organisations should officially demand that the regime cease the production and barbaric use of such weapons against the Kurdish minority.

Yours faithfully,


Kurdish Scinetific and Medical Association

London WC1

7 February 1990