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Gill: Time to count the dead in Iraq

April 7, 2005 3:09 PM

Parmjit Singh Gill making his Maiden Speech to the House of CommosParmjit Singh Gill, MP for Leicester South, recently laid an Early Day Motion calling on the Government to count the number of civilian deaths in Iraq resulting from the latest conflict, as an absolute matter of urgency.

To date, the best estimates on the loss or life is provided by the Lancet, a British Medical Journal using a sophisticated methodology:

* The most probable number according to the study in October 2004 is almost 100,000

* However, this ranges from 8,000 to a possible 194,000 people

* What the study does conclude is that with a 90% certainty, over 40,000 Iraqi people have died

The coalition forces made no attempt to accurately measure the degree of human or material destruction that the campaign inflicted. Such a failure fundamentally violates the spirit of the Geneva Conventions that outline the rules of war and the need to minimize the loss of civilian life.

It was bad enough that the Government took the country to war on a flawed prospectus by doctoring intelligence information. This lack of legitimacy has been exacerbated by the failure to measure the damaged inflicted, as well as the gross abuses of human rights committed at the Abu Grhaib prison.

Gill stated, "The coalition forces have utterly failed to keep check on the death count in Iraq, so it is very difficult to see whether the rules of war have been properly followed...

...We know with 90% percent certainty that over 40,000 people have died, but we need to find out exactly how high this number goes. NATO powers made it their interest to know how many people were dying in Kosovo, but when it was not in coalition interests to have such numbers published in Iraq, the death count went untold".

"...this kind of action should not be allowed to stand in what is supposed to be the bastion of Liberal Democracy, we should start acting as such..."

ENDS

Notes to Editors

1. For an overview of the Lancet report and the methodology it used, see The Economist, 4th November 2004

2. An early day motion (EDM) is a colloquial term for a notice of motion given by a Member for which no date has been fixed for debate. EDMs exist to allow Members to put on record their opinion on a subject and canvass support for it from fellow Members. In effect, the primary function of an EDM is to form a kind of petition that MPs can sign.

3. The EDM reads:

That this House notes that Iraqi civilians have been afflicted by a series of large-scale military interventions since 1990 resulting in considerable loss of human life; recognises that there is an urgent need to attempt to count the number of civilian deaths resulting from the latest conflict in Iraq; and calls on the Government to work with the new administration in Iraq to carry out such an investigation beyond NGO efforts as a fundamental tenet of upholding the jus in bello and to fulfil the spirit of the Geneva Conventions.

4. Signatures have drawn cross party support from as laid out below:

Conservative Party

Bottomley/Peter <<a href="http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem">http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem=BottomleySlAsHcOdEsTrInGPeter>

Open: 1

Labour Party

Abbott/Diane <<a href="http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem">http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem=AbbottSlAsHcOdEsTrInGDiane>

Clarke/Tony <<a href="http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem">http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem=ClarkeSlAsHcOdEsTrInGTony>

Corbyn/Jeremy <<a href="http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem">http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem=CorbynSlAsHcOdEsTrInGJeremy>

Cryer/Ann <<a href="http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem">http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem=CryerSlAsHcOdEsTrInGAnn>

Griffiths/Win <<a href="http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem">http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem=GriffithsSlAsHcOdEsTrInGWin>

Hamilton/David <<a href="http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem">http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem=HamiltonSlAsHcOdEsTrInGDavid>

Jackson/Glenda <<a href="http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem">http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem=JacksonSlAsHcOdEsTrInGGlenda>

Jones/Lynne <<a href="http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem">http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem=JonesSlAsHcOdEsTrInGLynne>

Mahon/Alice <<a href="http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem">http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem=MahonSlAsHcOdEsTrInGAlice>

McDonnell/John <<a href="http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem">http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem=McDonnellSlAsHcOdEsTrInGJohn>

Simpson/Alan <<a href="http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem">http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem=SimpsonSlAsHcOdEsTrInGAlan>

Stringer/Graham <<a href="http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem">http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem=StringerSlAsHcOdEsTrInGGraham>

Taylor/David <<a href="http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem">http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem=TaylorSlAsHcOdEsTrInGDavid>

Open: 13

Liberal Democrats

Brooke/Annette <<a href="http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem">http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem=BrookeSlAsHcOdEsTrInGAnnette>

Cable/Vincent <<a href="http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem">http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem=CableSlAsHcOdEsTrInGVincent>

Cotter/Brian <<a href="http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem">http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem=CotterSlAsHcOdEsTrInGBrian>

Doughty/Sue <<a href="http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem">http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem=DoughtySlAsHcOdEsTrInGSue>

George/Andrew <<a href="http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem">http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem=GeorgeSlAsHcOdEsTrInGAndrew>

Gill/Parmjit Singh <<a href="http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem">http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem=GillSlAsHcOdEsTrInGParmjit%20Singh>

Hancock/Mike <<a href="http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem">http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem=HancockSlAsHcOdEsTrInGMike>

Harris/Evan <<a href="http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem">http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem=HarrisSlAsHcOdEsTrInGEvan>

Jones/Nigel <<a href="http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem">http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem=JonesSlAsHcOdEsTrInGNigel>

Oaten/Mark <<a href="http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem">http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem=OatenSlAsHcOdEsTrInGMark>

Opik/Lembit <<a href="http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem">http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem=OpikSlAsHcOdEsTrInGLembit>

Stunell/Andrew <<a href="http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem">http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem=StunellSlAsHcOdEsTrInGAndrew>

Tonge/Jenny <<a href="http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem">http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem=TongeSlAsHcOdEsTrInGJenny>

Tyler/Paul <<a href="http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem">http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem=TylerSlAsHcOdEsTrInGPaul>

Younger-Ross/Richard <<a href="http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem">http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem=Younger%2dRossSlAsHcOdEsTrInGRichard>

Open: 15

Plaid Cymru

Thomas/Simon <<a href="http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem">http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/member.html/mem=ThomasSlAsHcOdEsTrInGSimon>