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Wednesday, November 3, 1999 Published at 20:49 GMT

UK Politics

MP goes sanctions busting

The MP and human rights activists arrive in Amman, Jordan

Labour MP George Galloway is taking his campaign for an end to sanctions on Iraq all the way to Jordan - in a bright red double-decker bus.

The colourful Big Ben to Baghdad bus is designed to draw attention to a campaign urging Arab governments and citizens to break the United Nations embargo.

Mr Galloway arrived in Amman on Wednesday, where his red bus - adorned with Iraqi flags and slogans such as Sanctions Kill - drove through the streets with music blaring from loudspeakers, surprising people who knew nothing of the event.

Mr Galloway said: "The only way for these sanctions to end is if the people implementing them, the Arab countries principally, stop implementing them."

[ image: MP helped Mariam Hamza receive treatment in Scotland]
MP helped Mariam Hamza receive treatment in Scotland
The Glasgow Kelvin MP is accompanied by 11 human rights campaigners on a journey which has taken the converted Routemaster through Europe and North Africa.

He told reporters in Amman that the US and UK Governments would "never willingly accept lifting the sanctions because that means facing public opinion and saying: 'We killed a million children for nothing'".

"To make such an admission would put them in the museum of genocide," he added.

His remarks followed a meeting with 20 Jordanian lawmakers at the National Assembly in the heart of Amman.

On Thursday, Mr Galloway will visit Mariam Hamza, a 5-year-old Iraqi girl whom he helped receive leukaemia treatment in Scotland last year.

Health problems

Hamza was admitted to an Amman hospital last week with neurological disorders like blindness, seizures and body weakness.

Mr Galloway believes she is a victim of the effects of depleted uranium used in weapons by the Allied Forces during the Gulf War.

He believes that sanctions are exacerbating such health problems for millions in Iraq.

The MP's group is scheduled to travel by road to Iraq on Friday.

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