Human rights in Iraq and Iran

BMJ 1994; 308 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.308.6927.536c (Published 19 February 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:536
  1. D Summerfield
  1. Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture, London NW5 3EJ.

    EDITOR, - The evasion and dissembling by British government ministers at the inquiry into illegal arms sales to Iraq (the Scott inquiry) come as no surprise. It has long been clear, not least to purchasers like Saddam Hussein, that Western governments sell arms on the basis of their geopolitical and business priorities and that records regarding human rights generally do not count. These imperatives are robust enough to tolerate even genocide: ministers secretly agreed to “tilt” towards Iraq with regard to exports related to arms in December 1988, only eight months after the bombing of Kurdish villages with …

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