By Humphrey Carter

THE Iraqi ban on Spanish human shields entering the country stands and last night the two Majorcans and the Minorcan who left last Wednesday for Amman, were still trying to get a visa to enter the country. The three Balearic human shields and two other Spanish volunteers applied for a second time for a visa at the Iraqi embassy in Amman yesterday, only to be knocked back and last night they were weighing up their options. One has decided that if he can not get to Baghdad, he will come back to Majorca, possibly as early as Saturday, while the others are talking to aid organisations in Amman to see if they can be of any use helping refugees once and if the attack is launched. It appears that there are three reasons why Spanish human shields are barred from Iraq. The first being the taking of the abandoned Spanish embassy in the Iraqi capital last week by a Spanish “peace brigade,” the second the anti-Iraq and Hussein comments apparently made by a Catalan journalist and the third is that Iraq does not want any Spaniards because of the country's support for the United States. The five also handed in a signed letter to the Iraqi Embassy in Amman denouncing Spain's support for Bush. Amidst all the confusion about the Iraq ban on Spanish human shields, Spanish speakers are being allowed in. Iraq has allowed in volunteers from South America which has come as a blow to the Spanish branch of Human Shields.

What was clear however last night is that the human shields in Iraq are in an increasingly tense situation. Rose Salleras, representative for “escudos humanos” in the Balearics said that the Iraqis have started to “place” the human shields and they are being given a simple choice, be placed where they are told or leave Iraq and go home. At the moment, the humans shields are being taken to two power stations, an oil refinery and a water plant, when the idea was to join the Iraqi people and prevent civilian casualties, if not the war all together. While the Majorcans, stuck on the border since Saturday decide what to do, the Ibizan Peace Movement announced it intends to collect over 10.000 signatures against the war.


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