"A United Nations human rights investigator on Friday accused U.S. and British forces in Iraq of breaching international law by depriving civilians of food and water in besieged cities as they try to flush out militants. Swiss Jean Ziegler, UN special rapporteur of the commission on human rights on the right to food, speaks, with regard to World Food Day on October 16, about the hunger situation in the world at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Friday, Oct. 14, 2005. But the U.S. military denied the charge and said that while supplies were sometimes disrupted by combat, food was never deliberately withheld. Jean Ziegler, a former Swiss sociology professor who is U.N. special rapporteur on the right to food, said the Geneva Conventions banned military forces from using 'starvation of civilians as a method of warfare.' But he said that in Falluja, Tal Afar and Samarra, Iraqi and U.S.-led forces had cut off or restricted food and water to encourage residents to flee before assaults on entrenched Sunni insurgents over the past year. 'A drama is taking place in total silence in Iraq, where the coalition's occupying forces are using hunger and deprivation of water as a weapon of war against the civilian population,' Ziegler told a news briefing."
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