Iraq approves $400 mln payment to U.S. "human shields"

BAGHDAD Sat Apr 30, 2011 11:25pm IST

Related Topics

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq's parliament on Saturday agreed a $400 million deal to compensate Americans who accused Saddam Hussein's regime of using them as human shields during the 1990-91 Gulf War, lawmakers said.

MPs passed a law authorising the payment to settle all claims by Americans, some of whom said they were tortured by Saddam's supporters.

Iraq hopes the deal will help protect its funds abroad, particularly money in the United Nations Development Fund for Iraq (DFI).

The law still needs to be signed off by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani.

"Today, the majority of parliament voted in favour of the law to settle claims with the United States," Hamid al-Mutlaq, a lawmaker with the Iraqiya bloc, said.

Scores of Americans were captured by Iraq in 1990 and used as human shields to deter allied air strikes.

In court cases filed in the United States, the former prisoners alleged they suffered death threats, mock executions, starvation, sleep deprivation and had medical care withheld.

The Iraqi government signed a compensation agreement with the United States over the claims last September, which helped pave the way for the lifting of U.N. sanctions imposed during the rule of Saddam, toppled by the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

After the 1991 war, the U.N. Security Council ordered Iraq to compensate countries that suffered as a result of its Kuwait occupation. Baghdad now sets aside 5 percent of its oil revenues for reparations payments, most of which go to Kuwait.

The U.N. Compensation Commission (UNCC), set up by the Security Council to evaluate damages claims related to the Gulf War, said on Thursday it had paid out a further $880 million for Kuwaiti corporate and governmental claims against Iraq.

It brings to $32.2 billion the total paid out to date by the Geneva-based body to individuals, companies and countries worldwide. A further $20.1 billion worth of claims already approved remains outstanding, to be paid from Iraqi oil proceeds, it said.

Bahaa al-Araji, a lawmaker belonging to anti-U.S. cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's bloc, said the faction did not vote in favour of the law.

(Editing by Serena Chaudhry and Andrew Heavens)

FILED UNDER:

WORLD NEWS

A relative of Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh, who was captured by Islamic State after his plane crashed in northeastern Syria in December during a bombing mission against them, holds a picture of him at the family's headquarters in the city of Karak January 29, 2015. REUTERS/Ahmad Abdo

Jordan still holding prisoner demanded by Islamic State as deadline passes

Jordan said on Thursday it was still holding an Iraqi would-be suicide bomber as a deadline passed for her release set by Islamic State militants who threatened to kill a Jordanian pilot unless she was handed over by sunset.  Full Article 

Reuters Showcase

MH370 an "Accident"

MH370 an "Accident"

Malaysia declares MH370 an "accident", airline to proceed with compensation.  Full Article 

Uber Case

Uber Case

Delhi Uber passenger who alleges driver rape sues in U.S.  Full Article 

Vodafone Tax Issue

Vodafone Tax Issue

India's Vodafone decision eases tax worries for Shell, others  Full Article 

Hostage Crisis

Hostage Crisis

Jordan still holding prisoner demanded by Islamic State as deadline passes.  Full Article 

Cricket World Cup

Cricket World Cup

Batting holds key for team India in World Cup  Full Article 

Egypt Attack

Egypt Attack

Islamic State's Egypt wing claims attacks that killed 27 - official Twitter.  Full Article 

Afghanistan Violence

Afghanistan Violence

Three U.S. contractors killed in "insider attack" in Afghan capital.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage