Campaign Against Depleted Uranium


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CADU News 11
Summer 2002

Contents
- Anti Du International Day of Action a Success
- Action at Army Recruitment Office
- BBC Slammed for Speaking the Truth
- Court Makes Landmark Ruling on Gulf War Syndrome
- But Other UK Veteran Still Face Pension Fight
- US Congress to Hold Gulf War Hearing in London
- Controversy on DU Weapons Resurfaces in Italy
- DU in Sardinia
- Norwegian Study Finds No Health Damage to Soldiers From DU Ammunition
- Unconfirmed: DU Bullets Used Against the Palestinians
- DU 'Clean-Up'
- Council of European Union: No DU Was Used in Afghanistan
- Nuclear Safety Experts to Evaluate Risk to Public of DU in Old Aircraft Parts
- Malaysian Soldiers Blame Lung and Kidney Ailments on Balkans Stint
- European Solidarity Delegation in Iraq
- Quakers Reject US Sanctions Policy
- Iraq Says UK and US Blocking Cancer Drugs
- Campaign to Adopt a Vieques Prisoner of Concsicence
- US Prisoners
- Response to Royal Society

ANTI-DU INTERNATIONAL DAY OF ACTION A SUCCESS
PRODUCERS AND USERS OF DEPLETED URANIUM PRESSURISED WORLDWIDE

The 29th May was the first “Target DU - International Day of Action Against Depleted Uranium” and successful actions were completed in three continents with at least six targets visited, many more contacted and thousands of leaflets explaining the dangers of depleted uranium distributed to workers and the general public.

In the UK the Campaign Against Depleted Uranium (DU) visited two sites in Chester, in the North of England. Firstly a group visited the headquarters of BNFL (British Nuclear Fuels Limited) on a quest to find out which locations were involved in the production, storage and disposal of depleted uranium. Two people managed to get inside the building before the doors were locked and demanded to speak to management about the company’s activities. After being told there was no one available to speak to them, tenacity paid off and a spokesman from their corporate affairs appeared. He was unsurprisingly, rather reticent to give any information at the meeting, promising to answer our questions more fully by post. However we managed to uncover the useful information that BNFL still has a contract to dispose of waste containing DU at a municipal dump at Freckleton, near Preston. We await their further answers with interest…

The second place on our itinerary was the uranium enrichment site at Capenhurst, which is a joint operation between Urenco and BNFL. We arrived to find that the police had already “got wind” of out visit and were waiting for us with big vans, dogs and cameras! However we managed to leaflet over 300 workers coming out for shift change and also students at the nearby technological college. One of the staff at the college told us they were trying to move the college because of fears of the site’s safety.

Phone calls also came from all around the country to companies involved with DU to demand information on their activities and to confront them with public concerns at their behaviour.

In Vieques, the Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques (CRDV) held an event in recognition of this day at Camp Justice and Peace, located directly outside the gates of Camp Garcia, the U.S. Navy’s training facility and bombing range. Camp Garcia is where the use of DU weapons was finally admitted to in 2000 after a military cover-up and is one of the reasons that Vieques has a 27% higher cancer rate than mainland Puerto Rico.

The event included a video on the topic of DU, as well as a discussion by three members of the CRDV: Ismael Guadalupe, who was one of the first people to discover and denounce the Navy’s use of DU in Camp Garcia, Dr. Rivera Castaño, a retired epidemiologist who will discuss the effects of DU on the population of Vieques, and Ernesto Peña, who attended a conference in Manchester, England in 2001 on the use of DU. A resolution was also presented, written by Fernando Martin Garcia (Puerto Rican Independence Party) that is currently before the Puerto Rican Senate. This Resolution joins in solidarity with Puerto Rican environmental and peace activists for the declaration of May 29th as the Day of International Action Against Depleted Uranium.

In Tucson, USA, a picket of the local Air Force Base, where pilots are trained to fly DU armed A-10 aircraft, had to be called off on the day due to a dangerous forest fire that was covering the nearby mountain ranges. But in Minnesota, a successful “Speakout” at Alliant Techsystems corporate HQ was held with over 40 people attending and workers picketed. Alliant Techsystems is Minnesota’s largest weapons producer and one of the largest producers of DU weapons. Given the numbers of US servicemen damaged by DU it is ironic that some heckled demonstrators with shouts of “Why do you hate your country so much!”.

More photos of this action can be seen at: http://www.circlevision.org/alliantaction.html

This is the first time there has been an International Day of action highlighting DU and the successful actions and increased networking between anti DU campaigners are testimony to its success.

If you took part in an action around May 29th or would like a hand in organising future actions please contact CADU.

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Action at Army Recruitment Offices

CADU also took action against DU on 25th April, when we arrived unexpectedly at the Army Recruitment Offices in Manchester. While some people held banners and leafleted passers-by outside, three of us proved very difficult to evict, insisting that we explain about DU to every person in the office. The office was busy, as coincidentally we had chosen a special 6th Form recruitment day to do our action. This may also explain why the staff were more reluctant to use force to chuck us out. What was interesting was that many of the staff were fully aware of DU. One Naval Officer berated CADU members for not referring to how DU affects soldiers in the navy, saying how they had to load the weapons, and were therefore as much at risk as others. Another army officer claimed that the army was phasing out use of DU, saying it was being retained in the arsenal, but they didn’t now plan to use it ever.

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BBC slammed for speaking the truth

THE BBC has been accused of peddling propaganda on behalf of Saddam Hussein after it broadcast a report highlighting claims that DU shells used in the Gulf war caused cancer in Iraqi children.

The Telegraph reported (7/4/02) that there is now speculation - denied by the BBC - that it was trying to curry favour with the Iraqi regime in order to get access to the country in the event of war.

Rageh Omaar, the BBC journalist reporting from Basra, stated that Iraqi doctors reported a 20-fold increase in cancers since the end of the Gulf war. He quoted Iraqi claims that such cases were non-existent before the outbreak of the conflict. The news showed harrowing footage of children suffering from eye and brain cancers, and focused on the case of a six-year-old girl who has cancer of the cervix.

The report has been subjected to a barrage of criticism from all quarters of the establishment. Peter Hain, the Foreign Office minister, said: “Any British journalist, especially one working for the BBC reporting from Iraq, must surely be aware that they are doing so only because the Iraqi regime wants them to. Objective journalism in Iraq is well-nigh impossible.” Other reports imply that the report was inaccurate because it “was not based on any new scientific research by the BBC and did not interview any Western scientists”.

Not only will campaigners be aware of how specialist a task it is to research DU in Iraq (and therefore the BBC cannot be expected to undertake such), but the idea that only western scientists have the truth is nothing short of racism. The Telegraph ‘reported’ that links between DU and cancer are ‘discredited’ by a huge body of scientific evidence. It quotes the Royal Society, the National Radiological Protection Board (whose interests are in maintaining the status quo), and claims that it was possibly Saddam’s use of chemical weapons which caused cancers. CADU has never denied that there are other potential causes of cancers in the Gulf, but the fact that DU can cause cancer has been backed by much scientific evidence.

It is disgusting that journalists are subjected to such abuse when they report a different side of the story to that favoured by the government & nuclear industry.
CADU has written a letter of support to Mr Omaar.

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Court makes landmark ruling on Gulf war syndrome...

The Gulf War vets in Britain won a fantastic victory in court at the end of May. Shaun Rusling, who CADU has worked with for some years, and who served in the Gulf War, won his case at the Pensions Appeal Tribunal when the court recognised Gulf War Syndrome for the first time. This is a legal breakthrough, as before now, it has never been legally accepted that the vets such as Ray Bristow and Shaun, suffered and became ill as a direct result of their military service in the Gulf War conflict.

The Ministry of Defence said it was looking at the ruling and “considering its possible implications”, and it is likely that they may be able to appeal.

The National Gulf Veterans & Families Association, which has been campaigning for a public inquiry into the issue, said that the ruling should help hundreds of other veterans of the conflict, who have subsequently had medical problems, claim pensions.

Meanwhile, David Laws, a Liberal Democrat defence spokesman, said the tribunal decision was “a landmark ruling which forces the government to recognise that Gulf war syndrome is a serious medical condition”.

The NGVFA contends that there are various causes of the syndrome, but that these include vaccines that were given to protect against Iraqi biological weapons, depleted uranium used as an anti-tank weapon, and certain insecticides.

The MoD’s long-held position, by contrast, is that it recognises some Gulf war veterans have been suffering from illnesses, but contends that these do not represent a “syndrome” in the sense of a defined set of symptoms. It set up a medical assessment programme, under which 51,000 veterans deployed in the Gulf conflict could seek tests and diagnosis. But the MoD says there is no evidence to link illnesses to the conflict, although it maintains an open mind pending research.

Mr Rusling submitted a claim for post-traumatic stress disorder and Gulf syndrome to the authorities in 1993, but had these rejected. The War Pensions Agency told him that it would accept that “symptoms and signs of ill-defined conditions” had been caused by his service - but not that he was suffering from the syndrome.

Mr Rusling continued to pursue an appeal, and after a hearing in April the Pensions Appeal Tribunal concluded “that the secretary of state has failed to show beyond reasonable doubt that Gulf war syndrome is not attributable to Mr Rusling’s service”.
A longer version of this article appeared in the Financial Times, May 24 2002.

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But...Other veterans still face pension fight

Despite Shaun’s victory, Mandy Duncan, whose husband Kenny has Gulf War Syndrome was told by the Veterans Agency that the diagnosis was unique to Shaun’s case, and had no bearing on other claims. Even though one person has Gulf War Syndrome on paper, the War Pensions Agency/Ministry of Defence still don’t recognise it.

Mrs Duncan, from central Scotland, is appealing against an MoD decision to award her husband, only half the full pension. Her three children suffer from low immune systems and deformed toes, symptoms she says are similar to those of her husband, and that’s more than coincidence. She said: It’s pathetic. You think you’ve made a landmark but then you’re told it’s not recognised.

About 4000 Gulf War veterans have outstanding pensions claims against the MoD for illnesses they believe were caused by their role in the conflict. Veterans are now criticising the way that the MoD is now going to waste taxpayers money by forcing each of them to appeal.

Full story - Yorkshire Post 6/6/02

The Liverpool Echo also reported on the same day, the fundraising that Stephen McDougall, another Gulf Vet from Runcorn (UK) is doing to fund DU detox treatment in the US.

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US Congress to hold Gulf War Hearing in London

Shaun Rusling of the National Gulf Veterans & Families Association has been invited to speak at an unprecedented hearing in London as CADU News goes to press. The US Congress has moved its hearing on Gulf War syndrome to Westminster to take evidence from British sufferers. The congressional subcommittee on national security, veterans affairs, and international relations is to hold an all day hearing in parliament as part of a renewed investigation into undiagnosed illnesses which have affected many thousands of gulf veterans.

It is said to be the first time a congressional committee has held a hearing in the UK parliament, and comes at a time when Bush has just given the CIA carte blanche to kill Saddam Hussein, in preparation for another assault on Iraq. Veterans hope that the hearing will put pressure on the Ministry of Defence to recognise the suffering of gulf vets, especially in view of the potential that British soldiers may once again be part of forces attacking Iraq. The MoD has commissioned research which will be reported on next year.

There will be two sessions in the hearings to discuss medical findings about the use of multiple vaccines, exposure to depleted uranium and organophosphates in pesticides, and epidemiological studies on gulf war illness. The hearing will be followed by an address to 150 peers and MPs by Ross Perot, former presidential candidate who has financed US gulf veterans medical treatment. The hearing was organised by Lord Morris of Manchester, who said that the committee was a “terrier for the truth”.

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Controversy on DU Weapons Resurfaces in Italy

At the beginning of May, Italian Defence Minister Antonio Martino said that a scientific committee’s report on the unusually high number of cancer cases, widely believed to have been related to the use of depleted uranium weapons, among Italian soldiers who took part in NATO peace-keeping operations in Bosnia and Kosovo would be made known. This will be the third time the committee reports to the Italian government on the issue.

The controversy over the use of depleted uranium (DU) weapons resurfaced in Italy around the same time after a state-run radio show revealed that a number of children fathered by Italian soldiers who served in the Balkans and Somalia had been born with genetic malformations. The program said it had found seven cases of genetically malformed children born to troops who had served on peacekeeping missions in which DU weapons were deployed. The fathers, who preferred to remain anonymous, said their children suffered from the same sort of illnesses found among many of the offspring of soldiers who took part in the 1991 Gulf War operation Desert Storm and numerous children in Iraq. In particular, they cited bone deformations

RAI-News 24 produced evidence showing that Italy possessed DU munitions from 1985 on and that these weapons were used by Italian peacekeeping forces serving in Somalia in 1992-94 and were even used on some Italian firing ranges up until 2001. Senator Lorenzo Forcieri, who is head of Italy’s parliamentary delegation at NATO, called for an immediate parliamentary inquiry into the allegations. ''This isn’t a question of creating alarm but of taking courageous action in a bid to find out the truth ...Our troops cannot be treated like cannon fodder,''” he said.

The DU controversy exploded early in 2001 after Italy, Belgium, Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands reported a spate of cancer cases among soldiers who took part in peace-keeping operations in Bosnia and Kosovo. During the 1999 Kosovo war, U.S. planes were reported to have fired about 31,000 rounds of DU ammunition at Serbian targets while in 1995, U.S. bombers fired 10,800 rounds in Bosnia. But an Italian government report issued in March last year said there was no evidence of a link between DU weaponry and the 25 or so cases of cancer encountered in Italian Balkan veterans.

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DU in Sardinia

At the end of April, all the Italian newspapers reported on the deaths, illnesses and children born with genetic damages associated with the DU test firing range in Sardinia. (See CADU News 10)

The italian toll is:
- 134 ill - military, 15 deaths, 12 children of military personnel with genetic damages, 11 children with genetic damages from civilian people around the Firing Range in Sardinia
Also on the SAT channel RAINEWS-24 there was a program about the fact that DU weapons were burned in Bosnia 18 times per day for some weeks.
Marco Saba, Istituto Europeo Ricerca e Sviluppo del Sociale, via Santa Sofia 27, Milano, Italy tel 340 5006545

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Norwegian study finds no health damage to soldiers from DU ammunition

A study of Norwegian peacekeepers that was released in May this year indicated that exposure to DU ammunition had not increased their risk of cancer.
The inquiry was prompted by European concerns over the use by U.S. aircraft of DU armor-piercing munitions during the 78-day air campaign against Yugoslavia in 1999, as well as in Bosnia in 1994/5.

The Norwegian Supreme Defense Command offered health checks for former peacekeepers in January 2001. It also asked nearly 20,000 veterans who had served as peacekeepers between 1990 and 2001 to fill out comprehensive questionnaires about their health. In line with other groups that have studied the issue, the command said it found nothing to indicate that Norwegian peacekeepers who had served aboard were at greater risk of cancer than other soldiers.

“The study does not give a basis for saying depleted uranium increases the danger of cancer. Such materials do not emit more radiation than normal background radiation,” said Maj. Gen. Leif Sverre Rosen, head of the military medical corps.
The study will form the basis of a new national register the military intends to use for a long-term follow up of soldiers’ health.

NATO denies the ammunition could have triggered cancer in soldiers and many European Union and other experts have concluded over the last year that the risk was negligible.

CADU welcomes the fact that in Norway, veterans are given the option of a DU health check, but would question how the tests for DU were carried out. The fact that Maj Gen Rosen is still saying that DU is no more dangerous than background radiation shows a lack of understanding about how low-level radiation can affect health.

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Unconfirmed: DU bullets used against the Palestinians?

People coming from the occupied Palestinian territories and experts at UNRWA said that they found in Jenin camp internationally banned weapons and bullets of 5 mm caliber used by the Israeli occupation forces against the Palestinians.

Jordanian medical sources said that one of the wounded who was admitted in one of the Jordanian hospitals was hit by a uranium depleted bullet.

Full story on the Arabic News website - http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/020419/2002041911.html

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DU ‘Clean-up’

Not pictured are two of the images obtained by AlliantAction (Minnesota, USA) showing the ‘clean-up’ of a former DU production site at the Twin City Army Ammunition Plant in Arden Hills. The photos were obtained at the NukeWorker web site (a pro nuclear site for industry workers). They have since removed the pages containing the photos, probably under pressure from Alliant. NukeWorker has ordered AlliantAction to remove said images because they claim copyright violations. AlliantAction will not do this unless ordered by a court. The pictures show actual DU penetrators left scattered around the production building, yellow dust on the floor, workers in full radiation gear and more. Please go to the alliant action website for more info http://www.circlevision.org/alliantaction/atk/scoop/scoopindex.html

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Council of European Union: No DU was used in Afghanistan

On April 9, 2002, Spanish Minister of Defence Federicio Trillo-Figueroa confirmed on behalf of the Council of the European Union in an answer to a question by MEP Paul Lannoye (Greens) that no depleted uranium was used in Afghanistan. See http://www.europarl.eu.int/plenary/default_en.htm (Select “Verbatim report of proceedings” and “by date”then select April 9, 2002, and download PDF file) for a fuller account

The proposition that weapons containing DU may have been used in Afghanistan was raised by Dai Williams with the UK Government via MPs on 16th October and 1st November, and is available on the internet at http://www.eoslifework.co.uk/du2012.htm

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Nuclear-safety experts to evaluate risk to public of DU in old aircraft parts

The Montreal Gazette reported in May that Nuclear-safety inspectors are to visit a South Shore scrapyard to investigate a report that radioactive (DU) waste is being stored on the site.

A spokesman for the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission said his agency was contacted April 29 about six radioactive aircraft engines as well as a pile of contaminated pipes on the property, which is surrounded by farmland.

James Leveque said commission officials will visit the scrapyard with personnel from Quebec's Environment Department. Leveque played down the potential for health risks. Any radioactivity will likely be at low levels, he said. The radioactivity would have come from depleted uranium that was used in aircraft as ballast, Leveque said.

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Malaysian Soldiers blame lung and kidney ailments on Balkans stint

23 Malaysian soldiers, who did a stint as UN peacekeepers during the Balkan conflict of 1996 say they are suffering from chronic lung and kidney diseases brought on by exposure to DU ammunition used by US forces in Bosnia. They want the Malaysian government to undertake an investigation into their illnesses, which they believe may have been caused by exposure to the radioactive material, while on duty in the Balkans, the leading Malay-language daily Utusan Malaysia reported in May. War veteran Major Zainudin Wahin, 50, speaking on their behalf, said many of his colleagues were suffering from chronic lung and kidney diseases. ''These two diseases may be common in this part of the world but we are told that many soldiers from other countries, who had served in Bosnia suffered similar ailments on their return from duty. This has been an old issue in the West but unfortunately our soldiers were ignorant of the effects of radiation on their health.''

Major Zainudin, now retired, spoke to newsmen after filing his complaint with the Complaints Bureau of the Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s ruling United Malay National Organisation (Umno)Youth wing.
http://www.irna.com/en/world/020517134313.ewo.shtml

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European Solidarity Delegation in Iraq

Around 100 people from 15 European countries and 30 Algerian university professors visited Iraq from April 13-27th on a fact finding mission. This delegation was organised by SOS Iraq, Belgium and Dutch-Iraqi-Friendship association. Along with 83 Journalists, TV crews, students and physicians, a Scottish and French veteran participated in the delegation. Both had taken part in the war on Iraq in 1991 & as a result they are affected due to the use of depleted uranium (DU) ammunition. The soldiers want to come together with Iraqi veterans to exchange information about their common state of health and apologise for their participation in the war.

Dr. Al Hashimi, president of the Organisation of Friendship, Peace and Solidarity/Iraq, Minister of Health in Iraq and former Iraqi Ambassador to Germany, said “We are prepared for the worst. If the US decides to attack Iraq, they will do, no matter which international laws rule against it. They will call a reason for their attack, whether it is the truth or not does not play an important role”

Being part of the DU team, we were able to visit the children’s hospitals in Basra and Bagdad, and the teaching hospital in Bashra. We had conversations with the atomic physicist Dr. Baha Marouf and heard talks by the Minister of Health, Dr. Mubarak; Dr. Al-Azzawi of the Environment Energy Dept; Dr. Jawad Al-Ali and Dr. Abdel Abbas of the children’s hospital in Bashra; and General Abdul Wahab. Some of these people were suggested to us, others we contacted directly, and we had no problems organising independent meetings with them.

During our stay in Bashra, an independent Iraqi DU expert accompanied us to the battlefield known as the „Highway of Death“ at the Kuwaiti border. Our deep fear - to be bombarded with incorrect propaganda information by the Iraqi government - now seems to be partially unfounded. Each misunderstanding was immediately resolved, while contradictions disappeared within some honest conversations that led to a deeper understanding of the situation.

Effects of the DU ammunition in Iraq

For checking the existence of DU you have to find an increase of gamma radiation. This is an indicator that alpha is also present, but can´t be detected directly in the field. We measured radiation levels at tank impact holes as more than 200 times that of current background levels, and found similarly high readings at an oil pumping station which still had 30 millimeter ammunition lying around openly! The un-measured alpha radiation in this area must be much higher and poses a big danger through inhalation and also through direct contact, i.e. through internal and contact exposures.

The Scottish veteran Bernard McPhillips underlined how governments downplay the dangers of DU: “They fear the call for priceless compensation. Soldiers of all involved parties were directly touched by use of DU.“

We have to organize an independent study with international experts in collaboration with international media ourselves. Even if I do not like to say these words, a study like this would express very well the genocidal character of these weapons, and the actual sorrow of the Iraqi population. What we have experienced in Iraq today can be seen as a preview of what will await us in Yugoslavia. The solidarity of the international community with independent doctors will in the future play a more important role than before.

Marion Küpker of Gewaltfreie Aktion Atomwaffen Abschaffen (GAAA), http://www.gaaa.org, Marion@motherearth.org

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Quakers Reject US Sanctions Policy

On June 2, 2002, a Quaker/American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) delegation arrived in Baghdad, travelling to Iraq in violation of the US laws which threaten prison and/or fines for such activities. Prior to their departure, the delegates learned that an American, who had just returned from Iraq, received a $10,000 fine for a prior visit.

In addition to advocacy and education, the Campaign has sent four gas chlorinators (water purifiers) for use in hospitals in violation of US law.

The delegates met with experts from Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), United Nations agencies, Iraqi government officials, as well as a host of technicians, doctors, artists and teachers, including United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator Tun Myat, UNICEF Representative in Iraq Carel de Rooy, Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz and former Iraqi Ambassador to the UN Sayeed Al-Masawi.

Their chief concerns center on the condition of education, water, health, and the lack of a cash component under the Oil for Food Program. Prior to 1990, 92% of Iraqi children attended primary school, and Iraq had one of the highest literacy rates in the Middle East. Today 23.7% no longer attend due to economic reasons, while those who do attend suffer from a limited curriculum, increased class size and an almost total lack of books and supplies.

Wendy Vasquez, a member of the Iowa Yearly Meeting of Friends.

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Iraq says UK and US blocking cancer drugs

Iraq has stated to the UN that the United States and Britain are waging a campaign of genocide against its people by blocking medical supplies crucial to the treatment of cancer.

In a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri said depleted uranium (DU) ammunition used by the U.S.-led forces during the 1991 Gulf War have caused a rise in cancer cases in Iraq. “The United States and Britain are engrossed in a policy of genocide against the people of Iraq and disregard the facts about their crimes of contaminating the environment of Iraq and its neighbouring countries,” Sabri said in a copy of the letter faxed to Reuters last week.

''Their envoys to the (U.N.) Sanctions Committee are putting on hold contracts for medicines and medical equipment for the treatment of people with cancer, claiming they have dual usage,'' Sabri said. He said he held the two countries responsible for “contaminating the environment in the centre and south of Iraq”, saying “these effects will continue for generations to come.” ''The catastrophic effects of the use of depleted uranium against Iraqi civilians... are reflected in the great rise in cancer cases, strange diseases and congenital deformities previously unknown in Iraq,'' Sabri said.

He attached to the letter a list of 21 contracts for medical supplies for treating cancer blocked by the United States and Britain.

''The United States and Britain bear a double responsibility by preventing the delivery of medicines and medical equipment to treat victims of the aggression they launched against Iraq in 1991,'' Sabri said. He urged Annan to intervene and release those contracts on hold “so that specialised medical parties can begin the treatment of the victims of the crime of the use of depleted uranium.”

Last year, the World Health Organisation began an in-depth study into the health impact of the shells used in Iraq. But in November, after lobbying from Washington, the U.N. General Assembly voted down an Iraqi proposal for a U.N.-backed study into the effects of depleted uranium shells.

A report by British Royal Society scientists published last month said top soil in areas heavily contaminated with DU should be removed and water quality monitored for contamination.

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Campaign to Adopt a Vieques Prisoner of Conscience

The Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques is organizing a Campaign: Adopt a Vieques Prisoner of Conscience. They are asking colleagues in the peace movement to choose one of the people recently imprisoned for civil disobedience during the recent military maneuvres in Vieques, and write and send news to them. They are also requesting any economic assistance, since prisoners cannot receive anything from their families but have to buy everything they need inside the prison. Only money orders are accepted and can be mailed to the following addresses;

At this moment the following people are in jail prisoners in the Federal Jail - the dates are their release dates:

July 12th, Carlos Zenón # 23214-069 and Yabureibo Zenón # 23213-069, will be freed
July 16th, Luis Rey Quiñones Soto # 25040-069
July 19, Rafael Feliciano # 22313-069
July 21, Oscar Charriez Lozada # 25019-069 and Iván Elías Rodríguez # 25020-069
August 19, Hiram Lozada # 25018-069
October 11, Robert Rabin # 20374-069
January 2003, Pedro Colón Almenas # 22192-069, will be freed after nine year in jail

The address of the prison is MDC Guaynabo, PO BOX 2147, San Juan, PR 00922-2147. Include the prisoner’s number and remember that all correspondence is read by the prison guards

Please support us and choose a prisoner and continue to struggle with us in this long process to expel the US Navy out of Vieques. We have received many accounts from the prisoners that by receiving letters, their moral has gone up and keep their spirits high.

Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques
PO BOX 1424, Vieques, Puerto Rico 00765
Te. 787 -741-0716 E-mail oficina@prorescatevieques.org

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US Prisoners

On Monday, May 20th six peace activists entered jail, after an act of civil obedience in November 2001 at Alliant Techsystems, corporate headquarters of the largest defense contractor based in Minnesota. A total of 15 activists were found guilty of trespass charges. Nine are doing 80 hours of community service/education and six chose jail. The six are Char Madigan, CSJ, Rita Foster, CSJ, Mary Ellen Halverson, Rita Steinhagen, CSJ, Steve Clemens and Tom Bottolene. Rita Steinhagen spoke to reporters "Silence means consent and I refuse to be silent".

Many of the weapons that Alliant makes are in violation of international law because they are indiscriminate. They are unable to differentiate between a civilian or a soldier. ATK has supplied the DoD with 16 million munitions containing depleted uranium penetrators. These weapons keep on killing long after the soldiers are gone. Wherever depleted uranium is used in the world, military and civilian populations are left a legacy of raised cancer rates, birth deformities and long-term environmental contamination.

Those of us who vigil at Alliant Techsystems every Wednesday morning oppose this company that profits from killing and destruction.
Wednesday, May 29th was the International Day of Action Against Depleted Uranium when we had a Speak Out against DU.

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Response to Royal Society

As mentioned in the last edition of CADU news, CADU has prepared a detailed response to the second part of the Royal Society Report into the ill-effects of Depleted Uranium on Health, and the UNEP Environmental Assessment Report of DU use in the Balkans.

The reports were analysed by Dr Paul Monk, a chemist at the Manchester Metropolitan University, who concludes that “the results are rather different from the summary printed in the media”.

Using the original data he describes how, despite playing down the risks of DU in their conclusions, these reports really show the “explicit ignorance” of scientific research relating to DU and the huge dangers it poses to human health and the environment. They in fact clearly show how DU spreads toxic and radioactive material over a massive area, which would then widen for many more years. These areas would need to be cordoned off and all water supplies monitored continuously. Its fascinating to see how top scientists will interpret and befuddle their data at will to disguise extremely alarming findings!

Read the full text of Paul Monk's Report

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Page last updated: 6th December 2002