Thursday, February 03, 2005

Conservatives challenge Straw to explain why Darfur atrocities are not 'genocide'

A press release dated February 3, 2005, by Britain's Conservative Party is copied here in full for future reference:

Shadow Foreign Secretary Michael Ancram, today wrote to Jack Straw requesting under the Freedom of Information Act, that he reveal the basis for the government's decision not to label the atrocities in Darfur, as genocide. He said:

"I can only think that you must have received advice suggesting that genocide was/is indeed taking place in Darfur but have chosen deliberately to ignore it.

"If it is the case that you have ignored advice on the scale of atrocities being committed by the Janjaweed militia, and supported by the Sudanese Government, then you now need to explain yourself. If you have not then you will have no problems with releasing the information I seek.

"I hope that you will not use the Freedom of Information Act as a shield or smokescreen. It is only right that the British public learn what sort of decision-making processes you undertake. After all is not the Act designed to hold Ministers to account regarding the decisions that they have made?"

Rt Hon Michael Ancram QC MP

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