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British Human Shields Exit Iraq for Home

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  • Joseph M. Hochstein
    British Human Shields Exit Iraq for Home By Associated Press March 2, 2003, 10:16 AM EST http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/wire/sns-ap-britain-iraq-
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 2, 2003
      British Human Shields Exit Iraq for Home

      By Associated Press
      March 2, 2003, 10:16 AM EST
      http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/wire/sns-ap-britain-iraq-
      human-shields0302mar02,0,1909805.story?coll=sns%2Dap%2Dnationworl
      d%2Dheadlines

      LONDON -- A dozen peace activists who went to Iraq to serve as
      human shields in the event of war returned home amid fears for
      their safety, a spokesman said Sunday.

      The protesters were among a group of mostly European activists
      who drove from London to Baghdad in two double-decker buses last
      month, intending to guard civilian sites from a U.S.-led military
      attack.

      Those who returned home had safety or financial concerns,
      spokesman Christian Biggs said. About a dozen British citizens
      were among several dozen human shields who remain in Baghdad.

      "The aim was always a mass migration and if we had had five to
      ten thousand people here there would never be a war," he said.
      "We do not have those numbers."

      Briggs told Britain's Press Association news agency that Iraq
      limited the sites that human shields could visit. "Now we are
      being told we cannot go to certain sites, such as hospitals, so
      we are reassessing our strategy," he said.

      U.S. officials have said that it is a war crime to use civilians
      as human shields and that there's no way of guaranteeing their
      safety.

      On Friday, the head of Sweden's largest peace organization urged
      human shields to leave Iraq, saying they were being used for
      propaganda purposes by Saddam Hussein.

      Maria Ermanno, chairwoman of the Swedish Peace and Arbitration
      Society, cited reports that Iraqi officials were arranging
      transportation, accommodations and news conferences for the human
      shields.

      "To go down to Iraq and live and act there on the regime's
      expense, then you're supporting a terrible dictator. I think that
      method is entirely wrong," Ermanno told Swedish Radio.
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