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Ireland cannot continue to collude in Iraq scandal

5 May, 2004

Sinn Féin Justice spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD today raised in the Dáil the issue of the torture of Iraqi prisoners by their US and British captors and the continued use of landing privileges in this country for US military despite overwhelming opposition.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh asked that the Dáil be adjourned to debate this crucial issue saying:

"Following revelations that US and British occupation troops have tortured and murdered Iraqi prisoners in their custody, there is an urgent need for this state to cease its ongoing shameful collusion in the illegal occupation of Iraq, and also a need to afford this House the opportunity to vote for an immediate end to overflight and landing privileges for the US military in Ireland."

Ó Snodaigh added: "It is an international scandal that US and British troops, while claiming to be liberators of Iraq, are covertly subjecting these prisoners to inhumane, degrading and totally unacceptable treatment. Any prisoner, in a war situation, is entitled to humane treatment under the Geneva Convention relative to the treatment of prisoners of war and I would call on the Minister for Foreign Affairs Brian Cowen to confirm for the Coalition forces (and their governments) our commitment to human rights internationally and our abhorrence of these recent revelations. As a neutral country, we must lead by example and speak out against such abominal abuses.

"I also call on Mr. Cowen and on the Minister for Transport Séamus Brennan to ensure an end to the practice of stopover facilities for US troops at Shannon as a final protest at Ireland's objection to this invasion." ENDS

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