NEW YORK – The Rev. Al Sharpton met with the Iraqi ambassador to the United Nations on Thursday to make a "moral appeal" to the Iraqi government that no harm come to American prisoners of war.
Sharpton, a Democratic presidential hopeful, met with Ambassador Mohammed Aldouri at the Iraqi mission to the United Nation, on East 79th Street.
"It is our moral requirement that, while stressing for peace, we also use our access to continue to ask that they be returned safely," Sharpton said.
Ron Daniels, executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, and Michael Eric Dyson, professor of religion at the University of Pennsylvania, joined Sharpton for the 20-minute meeting with the ambassador.
Sharpton said he asked Aldouri, whom he described as "cordial," to ensure that the Iraqi government "respect international law ... that these people (POWs) not be harmed.
Sharpton said the ambassador assured him that "our appeal would be communicated and that he would make clear we do not want to see POWs' lives risked."
Aldouri, who declined to speak to reporters as he entered the building for the meeting, did not appear with Sharpton and the others afterward.
Dyson said that under the Geneva Convention, Iraq "has to square up with international law."
Referring to pictures of captured Americans troops on Iraqi state television, Daniels said the Geneva Convention disallows POWs from being depicted in a "humiliating" way in the media.
"We want to make sure the troops are not harmed in any retaliatory or vengeful way," Daniels added.
All three men said that while they opposed the war, they supported the U.S. troops.
On Wednesday, Aldouri met with another American religious leader and activist, the Rev. Jesse Jackson.