McKinney Supports Protestors Against Iraqi
August 16, 2000
Washington - Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (D-GA), a member
of the International Relations Committee and Ranking Member of the
International Operations and Human Rights Subcommittee, commends
the young people in Los Angeles who held a protest Tuesday to save
The "Save the Iraqi Children Coalition" held a rally at Staples
Center, site of the Democratic National Convention, to protest continued
UN-led sanctions against Iraq. Coffins with pictures of Iraqi Children
who have died as a result of the sanctions littered the area in
front of Staples Center.
"The young people at the rally on Tuesday have a better idea of
what is needed in Iraq than the doubletalking bureaucrats at the
UN." said McKinney. In a press release just last week, McKinney
said, "These US-led sanctions hit the weakest of Iraqi society and
victimize them yet again for being powerless and poor. This is certainly
no way to effect change in the regime, but rather to prolong its
life--as we have amply seen."
Because of the lack of medical supplies and equipment, the sanctions
have caused the death of over 500,000 children while many more await
inevitable suffering and death. One such little girl was recently
granted a visa to visit the US for medical testing and treatment
Six year old Mariam Hamza suffers from Acute Lymphatic Leukemia
and blindness and has not been able to receive the proper medical
attention in her home of Iraq. Thanks to McKinney's intervention
with the US Embassy in Jordan, little Mariam will now be tested
and cared for at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
and her bills, food, and lodging will be taken care of by private
donors, including local doctors.
In her original letter to the embassy, McKinney stated, "The child
has endured much suffering and it would be a significant humanitarian
gesture on the part of our nation to allow her to come to the US
for urgent and necessary medical care not available to her."
Sadly, Mariam is only one out of thousands of children in Iraq
who has suffered because of the sanctions. "The Marchers on Tuesday
did a great job of bringing attention to the thousands of children
in need in Iraq. For this, their cause should be embraced by anyone
with a soul or a conscience." McKinney concluded.