Pax Christi Australia call for end to Falluja violence
Pax Christi Australia has condemned the "heartless atrocities" suffered by Iraqis - particularly in the city of Falluja in the past month - at the hands of overwhelming military force.
The organisation - part of Pax Christi international Catholic peace movement - has reasserted its position that weapons of war cannot win political battles and that terrorism cannot be brought to an end in this way.
"Faced with the brutal attacks on a people who resist invasion, we cannot remain silent and refuse to be silent," said the statement, which was released yesterday by convenor Fr Claude Mostowik MSC.
"Where one tyrant was removed for having made war on his own people, the invaders have appointed a leader who himself has authorised war against his own people."
The statement cites Amnesty International's assessment that the rules of war protecting civilians and wounded combatants have been broken by both sides in the fighting in Falluja.
"Pax Christi Australia joins Amnesty International in demanding that all violations be investigated and those responsible brought to justice," it says. "We are particularly concerned by the deliberate targeting of civilians, indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks, and the killing of injured persons, all of which are serious breaches of international humanitarian law."
Pax Christi's other humanitarian concerns include acute shortages of food, water, medicine and electricity, and the obstruction preventing medical and other relief supplies from reaching those in urgent need.
After more than a week of intense fighting Falluja has become the symbol of a country ravaged by occupation. Most of its inhabitants have fled to an uncertain future in other parts of the country. The few that remained have seen their lives and bodies shattered.
Pax Christi has invited all Australians, together with the Federal Government, to disengage from the continuing "unlawful occupation of Iraq", and to "contribute generously to the costly but necessary economic and political reconstruction of Iraq under the direction and supervision of the United Nations".
Pax Christi Australia Calls for an End to the Violence in Falluja and the Illegal Occupation of Iraq (Pax Christi Australia 19/11/04)
Appeal to stop violence in the world (Vatican Information Service 18/11/04)
Scenes of horror from Baghdad (Aid to the Church in Need 18/11/04)
Execution an Affront to Idea of "Muslim Mercy," Says Cardinal (Zenit 17/11/04)
L'Osservatore condemns killing of British hostage (Catholic World News 17/11/04)
Mystery remains over who killed Margaret Hassan (The Guardian 18/11/04)
Mourners remember Iraq aid worker (BBC 17/11/04)
Pax Christi Australia
Pax Christi International
Pax Christi call for US to act as "honest broker" (CathNews 31/5/04)
Pax Christi International urges end to iraq war (CathNews 1/5/04)
19 Nov 2004