- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 22, 2001

Iraq asks U.N. to give ICRC file of missing
BAGHDAD — Iraq urged the United Nations yesterday to hand over the file on Kuwaitis missing from the 1991 Persian Gulf war to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the official INA news agency reported.
In a letter published by INA, Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri called on U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to "pass the issue of the missing Kuwaitis to the ICRC, a neutral body."
"The insistence of the United States and Britain to leave this business in the hands of the U.N. Security Council is aimed at allowing them to use it as a tool of political pressure on Iraq," the letter stated.

Lebanon frees Christian activists
BEIRUT — The Lebanese government continued yesterday to face harsh criticism over its crackdown on anti-Syrian Christian activists despite the overnight liberation of several dozen detainees.
Judicial sources said two of those arrested in a sweep by army intelligence this month could face the death penalty for reputed links to Israel.
Tufiq Hindi, political adviser to the outlawed Lebanese Forces militia, and journalist Antoine Bassil of Saudi-owned MBC television were accused late Monday of "contacts with the enemy" and other charges.
Security forces this month arrested about 200 partisans of jailed Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea and exiled Gen. Michel Aoun, both of whom oppose Syria's influence in Lebanon, which goes back to the Ottoman Empire.

Female Irani lawmakers angry over sentencing
TEHRAN — Women lawmakers threatened to walk out of Iran's parliament yesterday over a 22-month jail sentence imposed on a colleague accused of insulting the Islamic establishment.
The hour-long protest came on the third day of debate in the Majlis over a Cabinet list proposed by President Mohammed Khatami. His appointees have drawn criticism from reformists and hard-liners alike.
Ten of Iran's 11 female legislators were about to walk out when the convicted lawmaker, Fatemeh Haqiqatjou, asked them to stay and participate in the "more important" debate over the Cabinet appointments.

Weekly notes
Former Jordanian Prime Minister Taher al-Masri was named an Arab League general commissioner to coordinate the league's activities with nongovernmental organizations, the pan-Arab group announced yesterday. Arab League chief Amr Mussa, appointed in May, created the post as part of his restructuring of the organization. Turkey opened a legal offensive yesterday against the head of a new Islamist party, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, seeking to remove him from the party leadership and jail him for insulting state officials. Chief Prosecutor Sabih Kanadoglu asked Turkey's constitutional court to suspend Mr. Erdogan's chairmanship of the Justice and Development Party, arguing he was ineligible because of a 1998 political ban.


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