US presents revised Iraq resolution to U.N. Security Council; Iraqi POWs claim they were tortured

Published May 16th, 2003 - 02:00 GMT

The United States presented a revised resolution to the U.N. Security Council to immediately lift sanctions against Iraq, but Russia and China signaled Friday they still want major changes.  


Russian Foreign Minister Yuri Fedotov told Interfax after meeting China's Deputy Foreign Minister Yang Wenchang that both countries "believe that provisions in this draft resolution require serious amendments."  


Despite his concerns, Russia's Fedotov also remained hopeful that a compromise can be found, saying only a compromise "may restore unity in the U.N. Security Council," Interfax reported.  


In Germany, Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said after meeting Secretary of State Colin Powell it "makes no sense" to keep punitive sanctions on the backs of the Iraqi people.  


Powell said in Berlin that getting a consensus on a resolution should be possible "within the next several days or a week."  


The new U.S. draft makes more than 25 changes to address council members' concerns about postwar Iraq, said Richard Grenell, spokesman for U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte. "We think we've moved significantly, Grenell said.  


But the revised draft does not significantly change two key concerns of many council members - the limited role of the United Nations in postwar Iraq and the powerful role of the United States and Britain as occupying powers.  


Meanwhile, at least 20 Iraqi prisoners of war, including civilians, said they had been tortured by British and US troops in central and southern Iraq, a spokesman for International Human Rights group Amnesty International said.  


"As of Wednesday we had interviewed 20 people," Amnesty researcher Said Boumedouha said, referring to prisoners of war who alleged they had been tortured by the British and US military in Nasiriyah and around Basra.  


When asked, the researcher insisted that torture was the correct word to use for the handling of the prisoners, many of whom may have been suspected of being members of Iraqi militia.  


After returning from Amnesty's first fact-finding mission in Iraq since 1993, Boumedouha said the alleged mistreatment included "beatings with fists, with feet, also with weapons."  


"In one case we are talking about electric shocks being used against a man and in others people are being beaten for the whole night and are still being kicked and their teeth broken, I think you would call that torture," he said, according to AFP.  


The man claiming to have received electric shocks was believed to have been a Saudi who had entered the country from Syria during the war and was suspected of being a volunteer for president Saddam Hussein. (

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