NEWS

Greece and the European Union can help

As part of his effort to gather international support for an ad hoc tribunal for Saddam Hussein and members of his regime, Bakhtiar Amin was in Athens earlier this month for talks with Greek officials. Do you expect anything from the Greek presidency in the first half of next year? Yes, I do. Europe and Greece, certainly, as the president of the EU from January 1, will have Iraq on the top of its agenda. Greece alone and Greece through the EU can play a very positive role in helping the Iraqi opposition in reconstructing Iraq in the post-Saddam era, in building democracy in Iraq, creating a civil society and empowering it in that country. Greece can help, through the EU, in helping the Kurdish administration in Iraqi Kurdistan, to empower it. There is an emergence of democratic institutions and democratic experience that has risen from the ashes of the genocide which needs all kind of assistance from the European Union… The European Parliament has adopted Baroness Emma Nicholson’s report on Iraq from May of 2002. There are a lot of good ideas on the future of Iraq in that report. We hope that the report, including the idea of the creation of a tribunal, would be adopted as a European Union policy. We see it as natural for the Europeans to do it because the EU has co-sponsored the UN commission on human rights, all resolutions on Iraq and the UN General Assembly resolutions on Iraq – all in all, 23 resolutions and a score of reports by the UN special rapporteur. Those have been all violated and the Iraqi regime has been condemned for all pervasive and flagrant violations of human rights. We believe the EU can help go beyond this period of non-action in terms of applying the resolutions. Given the magnitude of crimes of this regime, action is imperative. Do you believe you will succeed in the end? Life, in the end, is for the people, not for dictators. Dictators come and go but the people will be there. I ask the international community to invest in their relationship with the Iraqi people, not the dictator. We believe that justice will be done, sooner or later. But the international community and public opinion can accelerate that process of freeing the Iraqi people from their prison. The Greek people have suffered themselves from dictatorship and a military junta. I think that they understand the voice of voiceless, powerless prisoners of dictators.