Rights Group Blasts Attacks on Extremists, Urges Lifting of Iraq Embargo
CAIRO, Egypt (AP) _ Human rights are being violated by both Arab governments and the militant Islamic groups that oppose them, The Arab Organization for Human Rights said Thursday.
The group also appealed for the lifting of the U.N. embargo imposed on Iraq after its 1990 invasion of Kuwait, calling the measure ``a war of starvation″ against Iraq’s 20 million people.
The sanctions imposed on Libya three years ago after the bombing of a Pan Am passenger jet were also causing severe hardship, the independent Cairo-based group said in its annual report.
It condemned the U.N. decision to impose sanctions on Libya, saying ``it forms a collective punishment, which is internationally outlawed.″
Mohammed Fayek, the group’s secretary-general, urged dialogue as the only solution to clashes between governments in Algeria and Egypt and Islamic rebels fighting to replace the regimes with stricter Islamic rule.
``We condemn completely all the violence, whether it is coming from the government or the other organizations,″ Fayek said.
``We believe this cannot be solved with security action alone. It also needs a political solution, and we encourage dialogue between the parties,″ he added.
More than 30,000 people have been killed in Algeria’s three-year civil war, most of them government forces and Islamic rebels.
In Egypt, where 780 people have died in the clashes since 1992, the human rights organization blasted the government for ``extra-judicial killings″ of suspected rebels and for detaining family members of wanted men to force their surrender.
The Egyptian government has denied similar charges in the past.
The group noted that three other countries not normally identified with conflicts between the government and militant Islamic opposition groups had also experienced problems in 1994:
_In Mauritania, for the second year running, clashes were reported between authorities and rebels, mainly members the Islamic Call movement.
_In Morocco, the leader of the opposition Justice and Good Works group is under house arrest, and rebels killed two Spanish tourists.
_In Oman, authorities detained more than 200 people in the past six months for suspected membership in a militant Islamic opposition group.