Academics from Cambridge and Oxford have written to the Independent expressing concern about the effect of sanctions on civilians, which, they say, are "counter-productive and indefensible".
"Allowing the people of Iraq to suffer malnutrition and poor health is like refusing food and medicine to the passengers in a hijacked plane."
The Labour MP George Galloway, who has been campaigning against non- military sanctions, yesterday hosted a press conference by experts who have first-hand experience of Iraq to "counter government propaganda". Haris Gazdar, a London School of Economics researcher, said the average income of an Iraqi had fallen from around pounds 150 a month before the Gulf war to around pounds 3 a month now. The country, whose national income was comparable with that of South Korea and Brazil before the war, is now on a lower level than Bangladesh.