From a statement issued by Amnesty International before the House Foreign Affairs Committee Jan. 8:

The {human rights} violations by the Iraqi forces in Kuwait reported since Aug. 2 are consistent with abuses that Amnesty International has documented being committed in Iraq over the past decade... . Amnesty International has repeatedly reported on Iraq's policy of brutally suppressing all forms of internal dissent and regrets that until the invasion of Kuwait, the international community did not see fit to apply serious pressure on the Iraqi government to put an end to these abuses.

For over two years prior to the invasion of Kuwait, Amnesty International also took every opportunity to bring the widespread violation of human rights in Iraq to the attention of the United Nations. In September 1988, an unprecedented appeal was issued to the U.N. Security Council seeking immediate action to halt the massacre of Kurdish civilians. In March 1989 Amnesty International distributed its most recent report on Iraq to all 43 government delegations at the U.N. Commission on Human Rights. Despite the extensive evidence produced on Iraq by Amnesty and other organizations at this session of the commission, {it} chose not to act... .

On June 15, Amnesty International and others testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and asserted that it found a gross and consistent pattern of human rights violations in Iraq. Unfortunately, a spokesman for the administration was unable to concur in that assessment.

Amnesty International welcomes the recent efforts of President Bush and Congress to focus public attention on the egregious human rights abuses being committed in Kuwait. We hope, however, that the U.S. government will express equal concern about human rights abuses in other countries ... .