Posts Tagged ‘crimes against humanity’

Stephen Lendman: Profile of a Rogue State

January 28, 2012

by Stephen Lendman, opednews.com, Jan 27, 2012

America’s unmatched globally. However, pound for pound, based on size, its policies, and regional threat, Israel stands out.

Daily, its crimes against humanity continue. On January 23, Jerusalem police arrested two Palestinian officials, Khaled Abu Arafeh and Mohammed Totah.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said both men were wanted for unspecified “Hamas activities” with no further comment.

Hamas, of course, is Palestine’s legitimate government. Israel and America spuriously call it a terrorist organization. Hamas spokesman Mushir al-Masri said arresting both men was a “Zionist crime.” Palestine’s parliament hasn’t functioned since Hamas and Fatah split in 2007.

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Erasing Iraq. The Human Costs of Carnage

May 26, 2010

By Ludwig Watzal,  MWC News, Thursday, 27 May 2010

Erasing Iraq

Nobody seems to talk anymore about the human sufferings and the costs of the US-led invasion of Iraq. Under President Barack Obama the US is still unwilling to end the illegal occupation of this country and take the partners of the “coaltion of the willing” and live the country. All the talk about a prospective “withdrawal” from Iraq seems mere rhetoric.

Large military facilities are popping up like mushrooms all over the place, and in Baghdad they are building an embassy of the size of Vatican City. Modern history tells us that when the US takes over a country it will stay until it is thrown out like was the case in Vietnam or Iran. The long-term prospects of remaining an occupier in Iraq or Afghanistan are rather dim, taking the history of resistance against foreign occupation in both countries into account.

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Tony Blair stands accused of crimes against humanity

April 22, 2010
Malaysia must not allow this mass murderer to be immune from justice.


By Prof SHAD SALEEM FARUDI,  Information Clearing House, April 22, 2010

Source: The Star


IT IS distressing to note that former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has been invited to Malaysia as an honoured guest of an NGO when he stands accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity by many learned and independent scholars of international law.

The case against him looks rock solid, especially after his confession to the BBC and the Chilcot Inquiry that he would have gone to war to topple Saddam Hussein regardless of the issue of Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction.

Indictments around the world:

The international criminal court to which Britain is a signatory has received a record number of petitions against Blair.

The World Tribunal on Iraq held in Istanbul in 2005 heard evidence from 54 witnesses and published rigorous indictments against Blair, former US president George W Bush and others.

The Brussels War Crimes Tribunal, the Blair War Crimes Foundation and the American international law jurist Richard Falk have amassed impressive evidence of Blair’s complicity in international war crimes.

Spain’s celebrated judge Baltasar Garzon (who indicted former Chilean dictator and president Augusto Pinochet) has called for Bush, Blair and former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar to be prosecuted for the illegal invasion of Iraq, which Garzon has condemned as “one of the most sordid and unjustifiable episodes in recent human history”.

Many UK jurists have described the invasion as a devastating attack on the rule of law that left the United Nations in tatters.

Here at home, the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission, after two years of meticulous investigation, received first-hand evidence from Iraqi victims of war that there have been grave violations of the international law of war in Iraq.

Last year, the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal, consisting of several international jurists – including Richard Falk from the US, Alfred Webre from Canada, and Niloufer Bhagat from India – unanimously adjudicated that Bush and Blair do not enjoy any immunity in international humanitarian law.

The main charges against Blair relate to his collusion with Bush in an illegal war of aggression against Iraq in 2003.

Crimes against peace:

Blair repeatedly and deliberately deceived the UN, his allies and his own people that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction that could be rained on anyone within 45 minutes. In deceit and conspiracy, he incited passions for an illegal war.

The resulting amassing of an American, British and Australian invasion force outside Iraq and the invasion of March 20, 2003, were flagrant acts of lawlessness and an international crime.

The Charter of the UN contains a general prohibition against force as a means of resolving disputes. The unleashing of the horrors of war on innocent populations is permitted in only two circumstances by the Charter. First, legitimate self defence, under Article 51 in the event of an actual armed attack. Iraq had not attacked the US, the UK, Spain or Australia, and the argument about self-defence had no credibility.

Second, specific Security Council authorisation of force as a last resort to maintain peace and security under Articles 39 to 42 of the Charter. There never was such a resolution. The US and UK had tried to bulldoze one through but the Security Council was divided and the attempt failed, rendering the subsequent invasion a crime against peace.

Genocide and crimes against humanity: The Anglo-American alliance is also guilty of the heinous crimes of war, genocide and crimes against humanity.

The misadventure in Iraq has up to now caused 1.4 million deaths, four million refugees and countless maimings and traumas. Two to three million Iraqis are mentally and physically disabled. Iraq today is a land of five million orphans and one to two million widows.

There is near-total devastation of basic infrastructure, health, cultural and educational systems. Water systems have been contaminated. Iraq’s assets have been looted by the Allies.

In the prosecution of the illegal and racist war, indiscriminate rocket attacks were, and still are, being rained on civilian centres, killing thousands of innocent women and children.

In 2004, the entire population of Fallujah was expelled, save for young men of military age. Banned radioactive ammunition like depleted uranium, white phosphorous and cluster bombs have been used. Torturing of prisoners of war has been practised on a large scale.

These crimes of complicity by Blair are punishable under the United Nations Charter, the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, the Nuremberg Principles, Article 146 of the 1949 Geneva Convention and Article 3 of the 1907 Hague Convention.

What is also notable is that Blair has expressed no remorse whatsoever. Instead, he struts around the world as an apologist for the US in the Middle East and Israel. He recently received an Israeli “peace prize” worth US$1mil (RM3.2mil).

Malaysia must stand up and be counted among the community of civilised nations. It must not allow this perpetrator of epic crimes, who fakes faith in democracy and in “God’s work and God’s will”, to touch our soil ever again.

(Blair, who gave a talk at a local university in 2008, has been invited to head a line-up of speakers at the 2010 National Achiever Congress in Subang Jaya this weekend.)

If he does enter this country again we should arrest him. Regrettably, Malaysia has not yet ratified the Rome Charter, but we do have a Penal Code. Murder is a crime.

The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission has countless reports from Iraqi survivors against Blair for complicity in mass slaughters, tortures, looting and other war crimes. The police must act on these reports and arrest this mass murderer.

In addition, citizens’ groups must file complaints against Blair with the United Nations General Assembly and with the Attorney-Generals of countries like Spain, Germany, Belgium, France and the UK which have “universal jurisdiction” statutes to pursue and prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity.

A tribunal like the one that tried Nazis at Nuremberg and several Yugoslav and African warlords since then needs to be constituted.

The world needs to be reassured that international humanitarian law is not applied and enforced in a racist and selective way against Asian and African tyrants only. Imperial politicians from the West who destroy millions of lives should not, any more, be immune from justice.

Shad Saleem Faruqi is Emeritus Professor of Law at UiTM and Visiting Professor at USM.

Former Argentine president gets 25 years for crimes against humanity

April 22, 2010

Amnesty International, April 21, 2010

Reynaldo Bignone served as de facto president of Argentina in 1982  and 1983

Reynaldo Bignone served as de facto president of Argentina in 1982 and 1983

© AP GraphicsBank

Amnesty International has welcomed the prison sentence handed to a former Argentine president responsible for crimes against humanity in the 1970s.

Reynaldo Bignone, a former military general, was found guilty of torture, murder and several kidnappings that occurred while he was commander of the notorious Campo de Mayo detention centre between 1976 and 1978.

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Jimmy Carter: Goldstone and Gaza

November 7, 2009
By JIMMY CARTER, The New York Times, November 5, 2009

Judge Richard Goldstone and the United Nations fact-finding mission on the Gaza conflict have issued a report about Gaza that is strongly critical of both Israel and Hamas for their violations of human rights. On Wednesday, a special meeting of the U.N. General Assembly began a debate on whether to refer the report to the Security Council.

In January 2009 rudimentary rockets had been launched from Gaza toward nearby Jewish communities, and Israel had wreaked havoc with bombs, missiles, and ground invading forces. Judge Goldstone’s claim is that they are both guilty of “crimes against humanity.” Predictably, both the accused parties have denounced the report as biased and inaccurate.

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Criminals shouldn’t be allowed to investigate themselves

October 22, 2009

22_child-victims-gaza0109_300_0.jpg

Khalid Amayreh, uruknet.info, October 21, 2009

In its rabid efforts to whitewash the Goldstone report, Israel is likely to carry out another disingenuous probe into its genocidal onslaught against the Gaza Strip nearly ten months ago.

The report, compiled by South African judge Richard Goldstone, himself a Jew, accused Israel of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity, including the deliberate targeting of innocent civilians.

As many as 1400 Palestinians, mostly non-combatants including more than 330 children, were killed during the 22-day campaign which some historians and intellectuals compared to the allied saturation bombing of the German city of Dresden at the close of the Second World War.

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Lisbon Treaty: Will War Criminal Tony Blair become President of the European Union?

October 4, 2009
by James Corbett, Global Research, Oct 3, 2009

Major media outlets from the BBC in Britain to RTE in Ireland are now reporting that the Yes side scored a resounding victory in Ireland’s vote Friday on the EU Lisbon Treaty. With the treaty’s ratification, the obstacles preventing the total federalization of the EU superstate are now removed.

As the Daily Mail reported earlier this week, one of the first orders of business for the post-Lisbon EU will be to appoint Tony Blair as the first President of the European Union. This move has been fully expected ever since Tony Blair’s highly suspect conversion to Catholocism two years ago. Of course, the many laudatory pieces (and even the adversarial ones) we are likely to read about Mr. Blair in the coming weeks will signally fail to mention that he has been accused of numerous war crimes and crimes against humanity including:

– Continuing economic sanctions imposed on Iraq from 1990 until its invasion at the hands of his government in 2003 that resulted in the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children.

– Conspiracy to join with another power in a war of aggression (the supreme international war crime).

– High treason in manufacturing a case for war (including the infamous Downing Street Memo).

– Participating in a political and military coalition with the U.S. in Iraq that deployed controvened weapons like white phosphorus.

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UN: Israel ‘deliberately’ attacked Gaza civilians

September 16, 2009

Middle East Online, Sep 16, 2009


‘Violations of humanitarian law and human rights law’

‘Strong evidence’ of Israeli ‘willful killing’, torture, extensive destruction of property in Gaza.

UNITED NATIONS – A UN report Tuesday accused both Israel and the Palestinians of committing “war crimes” in the Gaza Strip, but particularly slammed Israel’s use of disproportionate force in the conflict.

The damning report found Israel violated international humanitarian law during its assault on the Gaza Strip eight months ago.

The four-member probe panel “concluded that actions amounting to war crimes and possibly in some respect crimes against humanity were committed by the Israel Defense Forces,” the head of the UN probe, former international prosecutor Richard Goldstone, told reporters.

Rocket firing by Palestinian resistance groups also amounted to war crimes “and may amount to crimes against humanity,” a seven-page summary said.

But only four paragraphs of the summary were devoted to Palestinian violations, and Goldstone, appointed in April to lead a broadened human rights probe into the Gaza violence, was more sharply critical of Israel.

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Al-Bashir visit to Egypt is a missed opportunity to enforce justice

March 26, 2009

Sudanese President Omar al Bashir

Sudanese President Omar al Bashir

Amnesty International, 25 March 2009

“Egypt and other members of the League of Arab States should not shield President al-Bashir from international justice”, said Irene Khan, Amnesty International’s Secretary General. “His presence in Egypt today should have been an opportunity to enforce the arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court.”

“By declaring that President al-Bashir has immunity from the arrest warrant for war crimes and crimes against humanity, the Arab League has undermined international law which provides no such immunity for anyone, even a serving head of state, for such grave crimes.

“The Arab League was right to demand international justice for war crimes and other serious violations of international law committed during the recent conflict in Gaza. They should apply a similar standard to crimes committed in Sudan”.

Amnesty International is calling on all members of the international community to ensure full accountability for crimes under international law committed in Sudan, Gaza and wherever else they occur.

SUDAN: Rights Groups Applaud Bashir War Crimes Warrant

March 5, 2009

By Nigar Hacizade | Inter Press Service


UNITED NATIONS, Mar 4 (IPS) – Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir, the first head of state to be indicted by the Hague-based International Criminal Court, now faces an arrest warrant issued Wednesday by the ICC’s Pre-Trial Chamber on charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur.

The decision was hailed by human rights organisations that had long anticipated the court’s move. Richard Dicker, director of the International Justice Programme at Human Rights Watch, called the decision “a momentous occasion first and foremost for the people of Darfur, but also for ICC and the cause of justice and ending impunity for the most serious crimes in law.”

Right after the decision was announced, thousands of pro-government protestors took to the streets of Khartoum, to hear President Bashir reaffirm his defiance in the face of the charges. Bashir has repeatedly said that his country does not recognise the ICC and the decision is “not worth the ink it is printed on.”

Sudan’s ambassador to the U.N., Abdalmahmood Abdalhaleem Mohamad, said in a press briefing following the decision, “Today is a day of national outrage, of national anger. We strongly condemn this verdict; the ICC does not exist for us. We are not bounded by its decision and we are not going to cooperate with it.”

He reiterated Khartoum’s position that the court is a tool of Western aspirations of hegemony and imperialism.

The decision came amid substantial opposition not only from the Sudanese government, but also the African Union and the League of Arab States, as well as China, a close ally of Sudan and a permanent member of the Security Council. Critics have argued that the decision might damage the fragile peace process in the region and lead to an escalation of violence.

But human rights organisations respond that giving up justice for peace is not a credible or sustainable move.

“There is no real peace process to speak of,” Dicker told IPS on Monday. “Neither side is showing will to end the conflict.”

Regarding the escalation of violence, Dicker said “given the track record of the Sudanese government in crimes on its people in the last six years, I wouldn’t rule anything out in terms of retaliation.”

Analysts have suggested that inflicting more violence will isolate Bashir and his government further, eventually leading to his fall from power and arrest, much like Slobodan Milosevic.

Concerns exist regarding the U.N. personnel on the ground in Darfur. Alan Le Roy, the under-secretary-general of U.N. Peacekeeping Forces, said in a press briefing on Tuesday that while there is a contingency plan for the hybrid U.N.-African Union force known as UNAMID, there are no plans to either move or scale down the mission and UNAMID will continue its normal operations as scheduled.

Le Roy noted that “we are deeply concerned with the tensions on the Sudan-Chad border,” but “we have to fulfill our mandate, which is to protect 14,000 IDPs (internally displaced persons) near our camp.”

The spokesperson for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon confirmed Wednesday that the mission has been rigorously patrolling the area as normal and is so far unaffected by the ICC’s announcement.

The U.N. Security Council, through Resolution 1953, referred the case of Darfur to the ICC in March 2005. While Sudan is not a party to the Rome Statute, the legal mandate of the ICC, Article 13 of the Statute allows the Security Council to refer cases to the court.

Luis Moreno Ocampo, the ICC’s prosecutor, opened the case in June 2005, and requested an arrest warrant for President Bashir in July 2008. Arrest warrants have also been issued for Ahmad Mohammad Harun, minister of state for humanitarian affairs of Sudan, and Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-Al-Rahman, alleged leader of the Janjaweed militia accused of carrying out atrocities in Darfur.

Last November, Ocampo requested arrest warrants for attackers on the UNAMID forces.

A press release issued by the court following the decision said that “according to the Judges, the crimes were allegedly committed during a five year counter-insurgency campaign by the Government of Sudan against the Sudanese Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A), the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and other armed groups opposing the Government of Sudan in Darfur.”

The conflict has resulted in 300,000 dead and 2.7 million displaced, according to U.N. estimates. The Sudanese government maintains that the conflict has been exaggerated and the numbers inflated.

The ICC is a permanent independent judicial body created by the international community in 1998 with the aim of persecuting the gravest crimes such as genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

While the indictment and warrant was widely anticipated by various human rights groups, Bashir was not charged with genocide due to lack of “reasonable grounds.”

There are allegations that the court has been pursing “white justice” and is only interested in persecuting Africans. Asked about the perceived double standards of justice, Niemat Ahmadi, a longtime women’s rights activist and the Darfuri liaison officer with the Save Darfur Coalition, noted that “African leaders have failed in their own responsibility to African people” and that there would be no need for an international court if Sudan had the adequate legal mechanisms.

The other three cases currently before the court are of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic and Uganda. All cases have been referred to the court by the respective countries, and those indicted so far have been fallen warlords or government opponents.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the situation in Palestine aggravated by Israel’s assault on Gaza in late December and January, have led many, including the Sudanese government, journalists and ordinary Sudanese people to question whether the court is capable of indicting Western leaders.

In response to these allegations, Dicker explained that the court is very new and operates on an uneven playing field. While he acknowledged that “American or European leaders are less likely to be charged in this court,” but added that “it is counterproductive to say there can be no justice because we cannot have justice for all.”

The United States, despite its unwillingness to join the ICC and previous efforts to undermine the court, has been instrumental in referring the case of Darfur to the court through the Security Council.

During the George W. Bush administration, an independent investigation concluded that genocide was taking place in Darfur. Britain and France have also supported the indictment.

The Libyan ambassador to the U.N., who is chairing the Security Council for March, said on Tuesday that he is carrying out bilateral consultations with the other Security Council countries to defer the case based on Article 16 of the Rome Statute.


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