by South End Press –
US — The US publishers of Dr. Huda S. Ammash assert that there may be political motivations for her detention on Monday, May 5 in Baghdad by the U.S. military on allegations that she oversaw Iraq’s purported development of biological weapons. Dr. Ammash, Dean of Baghdad University, is the author of “Toxic Pollution, the Gulf War, and Sanctions,” a peer reviewed research paper published in Iraq Under Siege (South End Press, 2002) an anthology that examined the effects of the Gulf War and sanctions on Iraq.
United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) spokesperson Hiro Ueki has confirmed to South End Press that based on earlier research “UNMOVIC did not single Dr. Ammash out for interviews because UNMOVIC did not have clear evidence to link Dr. Ammash to BW [biological weapons] programs” when visiting Baghdad University on January 13, 2003.
“We are outraged at the US’s extra-legal detention of Dr. Ammash and its plans to interrogate her. We demand that Dr. Ammash be released immediately,” said co-publisher Alexander Dwinell. “The US government is trying to silence Dr. Ammash’s outspoken criticism of the US role in causing cancers and other illnesses in Iraq through its own use of biologically hazardous weapons such as radioactive deleted uranium.”
Dr. Ammash, an environmental biologist and professor at Baghdad University, received her Ph.D. from the University of Missouri. She has earned international respect for her publications, particularly her documentation of the rise in cancers among Iraqi children and war veterans since the Gulf War. In Iraq Under Siege, she writes: “Iraqi death rates have increased significantly, with cancer representing a significant cause of mortality, especially in the south and among children.”
When visited in Baghdad by a group of NGO representatives and former UN officials in January 2003, Dr. Ammash stated: “People here bear every respect for Western people and Western civilization. We respect your technological accomplishments and your values..Yet hatred is being manufactured by some to engineer a clash of civilizations.”
Dr. Ammash’s other publications include: “Impact of Gulf War Pollution in the Spread of Infectious Diseases in Iraq,” (Soli Al-Mondo, Rome, 1999), and “Electromagnetic, Chemical, and Microbial Pollution Resulting from War and Embargo, and Its Impact on the Environment and Health,” (Journal of the [Iraqi] Academy of Science, 1997).
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