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Kuwaiti Weeps for Iraq at Human Rights Conference
June 9, 1999 - Reuters
CAIRO, June 9 (Reuters) - A Kuwaiti human rights activist burst into tears while giving a speech on sanctions-hit Iraq at a conference in Cairo on Wednesday, witnesses said.
Jassem Abdel-Aziz al-Katami, the head of Kuwait's human rights group, said his country had a problem with President Saddam Hussein and his government, not the Iraqi people.
"No one can disagree with the fact that the suffering of the Iraqi people under the unjust sanctions, the hardship and destruction of all living forces, has had a totally negative impact on development," he told the conference.
Katami, who also heads the Arab Organisation for Human Rights (AOHR), then broke down and could not finish his speech.
Delegates at the regional conference on human rights and development, organised jointly by the AOHR and the United Nations Development Programme, applauded Katami warmly.
Wameed Nozmi, an Iraqi professor, said he welcomed most of Katami's remarks, but noted that the United States still used Kuwaiti air bases to launch military attacks on Iraq.
Iraq has endured nearly nine years of stringent U.N. trade sanctions, imposed after its 1990 invasion of Kuwait. A U.S.-led force drove the Iraqis from Kuwait seven months later.
This material came from the Institute for Global Communications (IGC), a non-profit, unionized, politically progressive Internet services provider.
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