UN expert: Coalition forces starving Iraqis contrary to Geneva Conventions

[JURIST] A top UN expert has accused coalition forces in Iraq of purposefully denying food and water to civilians as a means of driving out insurgent strongholds. Jean Ziegler [official profile], UN special rapporteur on food rights, told reporters Friday that US and British soldiers have turned away aid convoys from occupied cities, including Fallujah, depriving Iraqi citizens of food, water and other basic supplies. Ziegler called the actions a clear violation of the Geneva Conventions on warfare [Laws and Customs of War on Land, Article 58] and insisted that "[the] coalition's occupying forces are using hunger and deprivation of water as a weapon of war against the civilian population[.]". US Military spokesperson Lt. Col, Steve Boylan denied Ziegler's allegations, and defended the denial of aid convoys into areas of heavy fighting during the first two weeks of the war, citing high security risks. Boylan insists that the military is working to ensure the health and welfare of all civilians. Ziegler is expected to issue a report on the matter to the UN General Assembly [official website] later this month. AP has more.

 

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