Saturday, April 21, 2007

No visa for Lancet study researcher

By Libby Spencer

It's difficult to read this as anything other than suppression of relevant research.

Riyadh Lafta and his colleagues have been trying for months to get a U.S. travel visa so the doctor could speak at a medical conference at the University of Washington today.

The State Department has cited miscommunication as the reason for the visa holdup.

As an alternative, Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, B.C., invited Lafta to deliver his lecture today, which was to have been broadcast by video to the UW. But this week, the British government denied him a four-hour transit visa for a stopover between the Middle East and Canada.

Despite the State Department's protestations, it's painfully clear the co-author of the controversial Lancet study on civilian deaths in Iraq is deliberately being prevented from sharing his work with his US peers and it's no surprise that the UK would aid and abet this campaign. Both governments have a vested interest in protecting their shady statistics from challenge.

Interestingly, Dr. Lafta wasn't scheduled to speak on civilian deaths but rather was to present his findings on cancer rates, particularly among children, in southern Iraq. I suppose our governments would rather that subject not be publicly broached either. It just might get the people all worked up about DU weaponry again. I suspect there is a connection between the two that could be made.

(Cross-posted at The Impolitic.)

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share


Post a Comment

<< Home