Saturday, October 31, 2009

War Crime Commission Hearing: Statutory Declaration of Dr Soud Naji Al-Azzawi

I, Dr SOUAD NAJI AL-AZZAWI (Iraqi Passport No. G1630368) of full age and a citizen of Iraq do hereby solemnly and sincerely declare as follows:

1. I am 57 years old. I am an Associate Professor in environmental engineering. I am a consultant for scientific affairs to private universities in Iraq and Syria.

2. I currently live in Mosul, Iraq and Aleppo, Syria.

3. The purpose of making this declaration is to put on record that the intentional use depleted uranium and other banned weapons till todate by the United States of America (USA) and United Kingdom is a crime against humanity because it targets not only the armies but also the civilians for decades to come due to their radioactive contamination that will be continuously present after military engagement.

4. Depleted Uranium (DU) is a radioactive and chemically toxic heavy metal. If ingested, inhaled, or it enters the human body through wounds or the skin, it remains there for decades.

5. Laboratory studies and scientific evidence prove the link and causal relationship between exposure to Depleted Uranium and the increased risk of inducing neurodegenerative diseases, immune and hormonal system damage, initiation or promotion of cancer, Tetratogenic Toxicity which causes mental retardation and congenital malformations, miscarriages, and sterility.

6. The medical research by Dr Rosalie Bertell research showed that how the internal exposure is more dangerous then external exposure to radioactive because it generates free radicals which will attack the antioxidants and create total oxidative stress in the human body. This stress causes failure to protective enzymes, leaving cells vulnerable to viruses. Free radicals can also totally disrupt the folding process and manufacturing of the molecule proteins which is sequenced by DNA and manufactured by the RNA. Some of the diseases resulted from misrouted proteins include cystic fibrosis, diabetes insipidus and cancer. Research by Dr Alexandra C Miller and her team proved in 2005 that the depleted uranium causes malformations of foetuses and attacks the immune system of laboratory animals and causes sterility specifically in males.

7. A crime is committed against the people of Iraq wherein thousands have died and are continuing to die from cancer. The contamination is an ongoing process. There was a six-fold increase in congenitial malformations since 1991 during the first Gulf War. During this period Basra was the site of contamination of depleted uranium in Iraq. And in 2003 this contamination extended to other regions of Iraq such has Baghdad, Fallujah, Samawa and other regions during the invasion of Iraq.

8. During and after the invasion in 2003 the invading forces also used napalm, white phosphorus besides depleted uranium. The use of these banned and illegal weapons defies the conventions of the international community, which have prohibited the use of these weapons. The Hague and Geneva conventions and its protocols and subsequent treaties clearly declare that weapons which cannot discriminate between civilians and military or combatants are prohibited from not only use but also from manufacture and sale

9. In 2007 and 2008 the Environmental Minister of Iraq admitted that Iraq is going through a cancer epidemic and called upon the international community to help Iraq to clean the environment and to offer medical care for the Iraqi people. The Minister also declared that there are more then 300 sites contaminated with depleted uranium.

10. The USA and UK armed forces used Depleted Uranium ammunition for the first time in the history of their wars during the Gulf War of 1991. About one million bullets, projectiles, and missiles were fired along the highway from Kuwait to Basrah then up to Nasriya and other Iraqi cities.

11. Spreading and dispersion of DU contamination to surrounding areas also occurs through wind storms, dust storms, sandstorms, and rainstorms. Published data indicate a significant increase in the frequency of annual dust storms in both Iraq and Kuwait areas. The first 8 months of 2009 witnessed 20 dust storms, as declared by the Iraqi Ministry of Health

12. After 18 years, Kuwait required US department of defense to remove the DU contaminated wreckage from their land. Over 6,700 tons of contaminated soil, sand and other residues were collected and shipped back to the USA for burial by American Ecology at Bios, Idaho. The US administration and Pentagon officials still insist that DU has no significant health hazards, yet they shipped back their dirty radioactive wreckage back home from Kuwait.

13. The court in Florence, Italy made a decision on 13 January 2009 ordering the Italian Ministry of Defense to compensate Gianbattista Marica with Euro 545,061, a parachutist who was deployed in Somalia for eight months in 1993. This decesion is very important because it states “the casual link between the presence of depleted uranium and the illness (cancer) of the Soldier”. The courts statement includes the report of a technical consultant who maintains that there is a causal link between the Hodgkin Lymphoma developed by the soldier and the exposure to DU.

14. However, Uranium radiation hazards are covered up and misrepresented through the obsolete models of risk and derived standards of allowable exposure set by the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP). This model was derived from invalid assumptions due to secrecy and cover up about the health effects of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs then, around the cold war developments of nuclear power and weapons.

15. The ICRP risk model was built from studies of the atomic bomb survivors, which overlooked the effects from the internal radiation source and ignored cancer that in some cases takes decades to appear. It was certainly developed before the DNA and the human genome knowledge existed the way it does to date.

16. Intentional denial and refusal of the US and UK administrations to release any information about the types, locations, and amounts of DU weapons that have been used against Iraq have caused additional radioactive doses, and health damages to the people in contaminated areas. Both administrations should be held responsible for this crime.

17. The drastic increase of cancer incidences in Iraq since 1995 to date and the DU related diseases like congenital malformation, miscarriages, etc, are all attributed to the use of prohibited weapons including Depleted Uranium.

18. DU contaminated areas all over Iraq are a continuous source of radioactive pollution. Without cleaning and other measures, resuspension of these contaminants with each dust and sand storm can be considered as systematic attacks by the US and UK armies on civilians in an armed conflict.

19. A copy of my paper on the matters stated above is attached as Exhibit SA-1.

20. This is a crime against humanity to its undifferentiated harmful health impacts on civilians for a long time to come after the military operations have concluded.

And I make this solemn declaration conscientiously believing the same to be true and by virtue of the provisions of the Statutory Declaration Act 1960.

Subscribed and solemnly declared by the above named Dr SOUAD NAJI AL-AZZAWI on __ October 2009 at ______.

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