Rights group urges special sitting of UN Human Rights Commission on Iraq Bernard Hibbitts at 6:02 PM ET
[JURIST] In a letter Monday, the New York-based monitoring group Human Rights Watch [advocacy website] urged the Chairman of the UN Human Rights Commission to call a special sitting to monitor human rights during the conflict in Iraq:
During the high-level segment opening this 59th session of the Commission, several speakers, including yourself, focused on the possible human rights consequences of the war in Iraq. The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights has also called on all parties to the conflict to respect fully international human rights and humanitarian law. The current war may have devastating consequences for the civilian population of Iraq: civilians may suffer as a result of indiscriminate or disproportionate attacks by US and allied forces; Iraqi military forces may commit abuses or use civilians as human shields; local armed groups opposed to the Iraqi government may commit revenge killings and other abuses; hundreds of thousands of people may be displaced from their homes and prevented from seeking refuge in neighboring countries; the destruction of infrastructure and disruption to basic services may threaten public health and safety. Human Rights Watch believes the Commission should not wait until human rights abuses occur, but convene a special sitting now to anticipate these concerns and take effective preventative action.
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