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Iraq

Volume 403: debated on Monday 14 April 2003

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To ask the Prime Minister pursuant to his oral answer of 2 April 2003, Official Report, column 910, what evidence he has received that (a) the Iraqi authorities have used children as human shields in battle zones, (b) the Iraqi authorities plan to desecrate religious shrines and blame the damage on United Kingdom and United States invasion forces and (c) the Iraqi authorities have placed military assets on or near ancient historical and religious monuments as deterrents. [107597]

As I said in the House on 2 April, we have a concern, based on intelligence, that the Iraqi regime intended to damage holy sites with a view to blaming the coalition falsely for that damage.I am aware also of media reports that children have been used as human shields and we have seen indications from the field and coalition partners that the Iraqi authorities have placed military assets near schools and hospitals.

To ask the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the steps he has taken to press the UN to create an international court to try Saddam Hussein for (a) war crimes and (b) genocide. [108275]

I refer the hon. Member to the statement I gave in the House today.

To ask the Prime Minister pursuant to his oral answer of 2 April 2003, Official Report, column 912, on postage to Her Majesty's forces in Iraq, when he expects that a free mail service will be available for families wishing to send parcels to British forces serving in Iraq. [109397]

I refer the hon. Member to the written ministerial statement by my hon. Friend the Minister of State, Ministry of Defence on 10 April 2003, Official Report, columns 32–34WS.

To ask the Prime Minister (1) whether it is his policy to endorse the rearmament of Iraq following the conflict in the Gulf; [108546](2) what discussions he has had relating to the rearmament of Iraq following the conflict in the Gulf. [108549]

I have had no discussions concerning the rearmament of Iraq. Iraq is currently subject to UN sanctions prohibiting the import of all military and dual use goods. It will be for the UN Security Council to decide whether and when the conditions are in place to lift these sanctions.