Human Rights and the Will to be free
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Bahrain, MENA & Arab Spring
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Why Palestine Should Take Israel to Court in The Hague

Why Palestine Should Take Israel to Court in The Hague | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

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The Palestinians’ first attempt to join the I.C.C. was thwarted last April when the court’s chief prosecutor at the time, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, declined the request on the grounds that Palestine was not a state. That ambiguity has since diminished with the United Nations’ conferral of nonmember state status on Palestine in November. Israel’s frantic opposition to the elevation of Palestine’s status at the United Nations was motivated precisely by the fear that it would soon lead to I.C.C. jurisdiction over Palestinian claims of war crimes.

Israeli leaders are unnerved for good reason. The I.C.C. could prosecute major international crimes committed on Palestinian soil anytime after the court’s founding on July 1, 2002.

Since the outbreak of the second Palestinian intifada in 2000, the Israel Defense Forces, guided by its military lawyers, have attempted to remake the laws of war by consciously violating them and then creating new legal concepts to provide juridical cover for their misdeeds. For example, in 2002, an Israeli F-16 dropped a one-ton bomb on an apartment building in a densely populated Gaza neighborhood, killing a Hamas military leader, Salah Shehadeh, and 14 others, including his wife and seven children under the age of 15. In 2009, Israeli artillery killed more than 20 members of the Samouni family, who had sought shelter in a structure in the Zeitoun district of Gaza City at the bidding of Israeli soldiers. Last year, Israeli missiles killed two Palestinian cameramen working for Al Aksa television. Each of these acts, and many more, could lead to I.C.C. investigations....

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UN rights chief urges Syria war crimes probe

UN rights chief urges Syria war crimes probe | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

Navi Pillay, the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, has cited the increasing casualty count in Syria as a basis for an International Criminal Court investigation into war crimes in the nearly two-year-long conflict.

Speaking after a closed meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Friday, Pillay said there was little indication the 15-member body would take action on the 22-month conflict.

"I firmly believe that war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed, are being committed, and should be investigated," Pillay said citing the UN figure of 60,000 deaths in Syria.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, Pillay, said the 60,000 death toll was "a conservative figure". The United Nations also estimates that by June, there could be 1.1 million Syrian refugees in the region, double the current figure of 540,000.

"I have urged the Security Council to refer the situation to the International Criminal Court for investigation of war crimes and crimes against humanity on the part of all parties engaged in this conflict," she added....

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Muftah » The International Criminal Court and the Arab World

Muftah » The International Criminal Court and the Arab World | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

The International Criminal Court (ICC) officially began its work ten years ago on July 1, 2002. While it has come to include over 120 member states from around the globe, the Court’s expansive geographical ambit has been less than obvious from its caseload. Until now, the ICC has exercised its jurisdiction in only one particular part of the global, Africa, raising concerns its work is guided by political, rather than legal, considerations.
The ICC’s recent adventures in the Middle East and North Africa have furthered criticisms about its biased, political tendencies. With cases currently pending against Libyan and Sudanese officials, the ICC’s involvement in the Arab World has occurred through the most political of all mechanisms – UN Security Council referral. At the same time, the Court’s recent decision to withhold membership from the Palestinian Authority has further undermined its reputation as a neutral arbiter of justice.
The revolutions of the Arab Spring provide a prime opportunity for the ICC to carry through on its mission to end impunity for the worst international crimes. Perceptions about its political biases, however, undermine the Court’s chances to positively impact the ongoing transitional processes in the Middle East and North Africa. To ensure this opportunity is not squandered, the Court must address criticisms about its politicization. ...

First, it impacts the Court’s reputation. Most obviously, the Security Council is driven by the interests and agendas of its five permanent members. As such, referrals to the ICC carry the Council’s politicized edge and potentially transform the Court into a political toolin inter-state power struggles. There is, however, also more at play. The Council’s referral powers hinge on the existence of a threat to international peace and security, pursuant to Chapter VII of the UN Charter. As such, cases referred to the ICC will typically involve large-scale ongoing violence. The ICC’s effectiveness in these situations will, as a result, be highly contingent on the development and outcomes of these conflicts. Given the unstable and unpredictable nature of these situations, the ICC may be unable ultimately to make substantial progress in these cases, a circumstance that undermines the Court’s authority and impacts perceptions about its effectiveness.

 

[How about prosecuting the internationally recognized war-criminals:  Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Blair?  In Bahrain:  Why isn't Hamad Al-Khalifa, the PM, and Nasser, the torturer, Al-Khalifa all on charges?! ]

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Palestine threatens Israel with ICC if further settlements built — RT

Palestine threatens Israel with ICC if further settlements built — RT | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it
Palestine declared Wednesday that they will be left with ‘no choice’ but to take Israel to the International Criminal Court (ICC) if the Jewish state proceeds with plans to build settlements in occupied areas of East Jerusalem.
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Tutu: Bush, Blair should face trial at the Hague

Tutu: Bush, Blair should face trial at the Hague | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

LONDON – Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Desmond Tutu called Sunday for Tony Blair and George Bush to face prosecution at the International Criminal Court for their role in the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq


Tutu, the retired Anglican Church's archbishop of South Africa, wrote in an op-ed piece for The Observer newspaper that the ex-leaders of Britain and the United States should be made to "answer for their actions."
The Iraq war "has destabilized and polarized the world to a greater extent than any other conflict in history," wrote Tutu, who was awarded the Nobel prize in 1984.
"Those responsible for this suffering and loss of life should be treading the same path as some of their African and Asian peers who have been made to answer for their actions in the Hague," he added.
The Hague, Netherlands, based court is the world's first permanent war crimes tribunal and has been in operation for 10 years. So far it has launched prosecutions only in Africa, including in Sudan, Congo, Libya and Ivory Coast. ...."

 

[Amen!  ]

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Bush, Blair found guilty of war crimes

Bush, Blair found guilty of war crimes | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

A Malaysian tribunal has found former US President George W Bush and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair guilty of committing crimes against humanity during the Iraq war, Press TV reported.

[ICC warrants for arrest are NOW needed to get these monsters off the streets!]

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