Non-Aligned Movement Ministerial meeting in Malaysia next week should call on Bush to unreservedly apologise to Iraqis and the world for the US military atrocities against  Iraqi prisoners

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya, Thursday): The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) should call on United States President Bush to unreservedly apologise to Iraqis and the world for the American military atrocities against Iraqi prisoners. 

Although Bush had appeared on  two Arab-language TV channels, al-Hurra and al-Arabiya to denounce as “abhorrent”  the abuse of Iraqi prisoners in Saddam’s old prison at Abu Ghraib – the same jail in which thousands were put to death by the Iraqi dictator – he had not apologized for the mistreatment of the Iraqi prisoners. 

Unlike the alleged atrocities committed by British soldiers which await official United Kingdom government confirmation, there is a 53-page U.S. Army report written by Major General Antonio M. Taguba which determined that there were “sadistic, blatant and wanton criminal abuses” by US soldiers at Abu Ghraib – and that the evidence indicates that these abuses were not just the work of a few individuals, but part of a systematic effort by military intelligence to “break” prisoners so that they would divulge more information during interrogation. 

The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM)  ministerial committee on the Middle East, which is meeting in Malaysia on May 13, should not allow Bush to easily  shrug off responsibility and culpability and specifically demand on behalf of its 116 member countries, representing almost two-thirds of the United Nations with six crucial votes on the UN Security Council, a fulsome and unqualified apology from the US President for the American atrocities in the  Abu Ghraib prison outside Baghdad. 

The NAM Ministerial Committee at its meeting next week should adopt the initiative to table a resolution at the United Nations Security Council to establish an international commission of  inquiry into the US military atrocities, torture and abuse of Iraqi prisoners in Abu Ghraib prison and other Iraqi jails to ensure the minimum standards of human decency and standards are observed in US-occupied Iraq.


* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman & Member of Parliament for Ipoh Timor