Media Echoes: Family fears for Iraqi who sought help from UN - From James Bone, The Times, London UK

 
 

We have argued elsewhere in this journal that whether or not a transnational entity is necessary, it definitely isn't the United Nations. Here is yet another apparent failure of the United Nations that has received little attention. The original can be viewed here.

Family fears for Iraqi who sought help from UN From James Bone in New York

THE family of an Iraqi man hauled from the vehicle of a UN inspector in Baghdad have appealed to Amnesty International to help to save him.

Like television viewers around the world, Adnan Abdul Karim Enad’s relatives were shocked to see him clambering into a UN inspector’s jeep on January 25 clutching a notebook and screaming “Save me! Save me!” in Arabic. A UN inspector sat motionless in the front seat as Iraqi guards pulled the 29-year-old man out of the car and carried him away by his arms and legs.

Abidalrahim Al-Nuimi, a relative living in America, said the family was involved with the Iraqi opposition abroad and Adnan may have feared retaliation by Iraqi authorities.

“I believe he did that to get refugee (status) because he cannot wait too long. I know this guy very well. He is aggressive. He ran away from the Iraqi army because he did not think he could serve Saddam. They put him in jail for two years.

“We just want to make sure he is alive. We tried to call. Our relatives in Baghdad cannot say anything.” Mr AlNuimi, who asked that his precise relationship with Adnan not be disclosed, said the family feared not just for his well- being but also for the fate of other family members in Iraq. They have written to President Bush and Amnesty International seeking their help.

Hans Blix, the chief UN inspector, appeared flummoxed when questioned about the case this week but said that he would consider raising it in his talks tomorrow in Baghdad.

He said the inspectors did not know the identity of the man pulled from the vehicle and were awaiting a report on the incident from the Iraqi authorities. The UN had not taken any other steps to ascertain whether the man might have been an Iraqi scientist or otherwise in possession of information he wanted to share with inspectors about Iraq’s secret weapons programmes.

“I’ve just talked to our security chief in Baghdad . . . and he said there was nothing in the booklet he seemed to be carrying,” Dr Blix said. He added that Iraqi scientists could find “more elegant ways” of approaching UN inspectors.

Mr Al-Nuimi said that he had no idea whether Adnan, who works in a market, might have had information about Iraq’s weapons. “I cannot say he had some information about weapons, but what was going on with the file?”

Aziz Al-Taee, chairman of the Iraqi-American Council, said that the incident would discourage other dissidents from trying to seek sanctuary with UN inspectors. “They did not even listen to him. They just pushed him to the security forces. The security forces took him away and he has disappeared,” he said. “They should have taken him into the UN barracks and interviewed him to see if he has a case.”


 
 
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